• Keeping them occupied while they wait for their turn.
• Making sure they do not get upset when they get robbed.
• Finishing the game before they get bored.
Here are some ideas that we have found worked with playing Catan with younger kids.
1) Banks and building blocks.
A simple way to keep kids involved is to give them the responsibility for the bank. That way they must watch each player in turn to know what resource cards to give out. If you have two kids playing at the same time, you can split the task by giving them different resources to look after.
If you have younger kids playing, then encourage them to build something out of the game pieces. It is a great way to keep them occupied. Even adults indulge in constructing something out of the game pieces occasionally.
2) The Friendlier Robber
This is an is a small change to normal ‘Friendly Robber’ rule for Settlers of Catan.
a) The robber cannot be placed on a hex bordering a player’s settlement unless they have 3 or more victory points.
b) The robber cannot be placed on the same player twice in a row.
c) The player moving the robber may only take resources from players with 4 or more victory points.
d) If the robber cannot be placed, they remain in or return to the desert.
This is a change to the normal ‘friendly robber’ rule, but it means that the robber does not enter the game straight away. It also means it often only effects the leading players early in the game. We found this to be a great way to level the playing field a little.
3) The Very Friendly Robber.
This is a complete change to the Robber’s rules. Like a Robin Hood, they sell from the bank to give to the player.
a) The player moving the robber to the resource hex they want.
b) They draw that resource card related to that hex from the bank.
c) The robber does not stop resource production from the hex it is on.
This is a fun rule for the kids and is our favourite ‘introduction’ rule tweak. It speeds up the game and makes it more fun for them.
Have fun teaching your kids Catan. It is a great game and helps them with a great number of life skills. Playing games with kids are one of the best things you can do to improve their social and academic skills. After all we learn through play and kids especially so. It is also a nice way to spend more time as a family having fun.
I hope you will find these 3 Top Tips helpful and Catan will give you as much enjoyment playing as it has given me.
If you like Catan you may also like to add to your collection and play the expansions games.
Or add more players with Catan 5 & 6 Player Expansion
Or alternatively why not try out different themes based upon the Catan game like.
Or you would like to play on the move with Catan Traveller Edition