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The popularity of escape rooms has grown exponentially from about 20 in 2014 to more than 2,000 today, according to USA Today. This surge in real-life escape rooms has also created alternatives, such as board games, escape room ideas for classrooms, and virtual experiences. 

What exactly is an escape room? Are they suitable activities for kids? What are some virtual escape rooms your kids will love to try? Below is a list of answers to all those questions and more!

What Are Escape Rooms?

Escape Rooms are an immersive game where participants, usually a group, are provided with clues they need to solve to win the game. Each clue is a puzzle, riddle, or challenge to solve as a team. 

While not actually locked in a room, some may have an end goal of escaping some kind of building, like a prison. Other end goals may be finding a treasure, stopping a crime, or launching a rocket. Most have a 60-minute time limit.

What Are Virtual Escape Rooms?

Virtual Escape Rooms are built on many of the original concepts of the in-person activity. They require participants to solve clues to achieve an end goal. But, Virtual Escape Rooms are played online instead of in-person, and they may not have a time limit. 

Librarians, teachers, and even kids using Google Forms have created them, and participants often have to navigate them independently. Using a video component to collaborate with friends and family is up to the participants to set up. The good news is that these are usually free and set up to be kid-friendly!

In-person Escape Rooms or companies have also created virtual experiences. These typically require a subscription or one-time payment. Some come with a guide and are meant to be played at a set time. Others are up to the participants to navigate, and most use online video components such as Zoom to communicate. 

Are Escape Room Good Activities for Kids?

Yes, with age-appropriate themes and clues, Escape Rooms are excellent activities for kids. Escape rooms promoteteamwork and collaboration as participants use their unique skills to solve clues. 

Escape Rooms also engage problem-solving skills. Developing problem-solving skills has been connected to critical thinking, resiliency, and confidence. These are all important factors in academic success and future career achievements. 

Many Virtual Escape Rooms have been created specifically to learn and improve academic skills in engaging ways. Most of all, they are fun and interactive, and kids need that more than ever! They may even inspire your kids to create their own Virtual Escape Room! 

What Are the Best Virtual Escape Rooms for Kids?

Free Virtual Escape Rooms

Librarian Sydney Krawiec, an employee at Peters Township Public Library in Pennsylvania, created the Hogwarts Virtual Escape Room. It has been played in 22 countries and translated into seven languages! As a first-year Hogwarts student, participants solve wizard-related puzzles. Kids can play it independently or with a team.

Other librarians also created games during the pandemic to engage kids and teens who couldn’t visit the library in person. Brooke Windsor, a librarian at Richmond Hill Public Library, created themed Escape Rooms, including Star Wars, Marvel Superheroes, and Jurassic World

The Suburban Mom keeps an updated list of Virtual Escape Rooms, including the Birthday Escape Room and several others her daughter created. Dazzling Daily Deals’, 55 Free Virtual Escape Rooms for Kids, includes several history-based games, such as The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and The British Are Coming about the American Revolution. 

Brain Chase Virtual Escape Rooms works on a monthly subscription, with new challenges released each week. They also have a nationwide tournament with cash prizes. While fun and engaging, these games teach skills ranging from typing, engineering, and cooking to learning a new language.

The Escape Game created an online version of their in-person games called Remote Adventures. Recommended for kids 13 and up (adult required for kids under age 15), they make a fun activity for teens. One popular option is The Heist, where participants work to stop an art-theft crime. Other fun games include Rugrats: Search for the “Losted” Toys and Prison Break.

Puzzle Break in Long Island currently offers one virtual escape game that is suitable for ages 8 and up. Break the witch’s spell with your family or friends in this collaborative game. The Mystery Escape Room provides several online options, including some based on Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, and Treasure Island. Pay per event and participate with four to eight people. 

With so many Virtual Escape Room experiences available, it is easy to find one that engages your kid’s interests! Working together with friends and family creates positive social interactions that many kids have missed these past few years. As a bonus, they promote many essential academic skills such as problem-solving and collaboration. Whether as a family or for your kids to do with their friends, Virtual Escape Rooms are an excellent activity for your kids to engage in, starting today!