I just GMed my 3 year old for the first time!


Liquid Awesome
So my 3 year old daughter has been watching a LOT of Dora the Explorer lately and I asked her if she would like to go on a REAL adventure, just like Dora. So this morning we had our first adventure.

I ginned up a map using clipart pasted into word. The sites of importance in our (fairly large) yard and home were: Mailbox, Christmas Tree, Horsie, Computer. I loaded her up a Backpack with various sundries including: A bandaid, a little shovel, a small watering can, a paper towel and of course the map.

Off we went to the mailbox where she discovered a fake $5 bill inside. This was promptly added to the backpack and we consulted the map directing us to the Christmas Tree (just so we're clear, we don't have our Christmas Tree up for this year. This was a live christmas tree we planted in our yard from a few years ago and she knew that this was what the map referred to).

Along the way, we were accosted by a monster (a stuffed monster wearing a backward plastic fireman's hat) who demanded money in exchange for a secret. She promptly whipped out the $5 bill and handed it over in exchange for this info about the Christmas Tree:

Water the stick and dig underneath
And there you'll find a special treat!

I congratulated her on solving the monster problem in a non violent manner and we continued to the tree. She located the stick and pulled out her watering can from the trusty Backpack. She scooped water from the nearby water garden and watered the stick and then proceeded to dig at the softened earth underneath. There she found a plastic apple (actually a plastic red bell-pepper but we were pretending). This went into the Backpack and we consulted the map once again and proceeded to the Horsie.

The Horsie in question was easily identified as her rocking horse set up in our carport. We hastened there as she yelled, "We HAVE to HURRY!" (she yelled this on every leg of the adventure). The Horsie offered to give her a ride and a secret in exchange for a treat. Out came the apple and she was soon happily rocking along, grinning like crazy. Then she demanded her secret, which she received via the little "pocket voice recorder" (you know those things that record and play back a little 30 second message to remind you of things? One of those). The message told her:

Go to the Shed and find a Key
To continue your quest, it's what you need!

After explaining what a "quest" was I sent her along to the shed where she got a house key. This allowed her (with some assistance) to open the locked back door to the house that let us in to the next item on our map: The computer.

At the computer she found a treasure in the form of one of those gold-foil wrapped chocolate coins as well as some pictures up on the screen of all the places she had gone on vacation this summer, notably: The lighthouse at the NC coast, the Zoo, the mountains of Colorado and a boat in the Florida Keys. I explained that part of her prize was pictures from all her other adventures! She was most excited about the chocolate though.

To complete her roleplaying experience she immediately insisted that she run the same adventure for me. So I was led rapidly through the same stages I just described, albeit with a few continuity errors (I was required to "dig up" the apple/pepper despite the fact that it was plainly sitting right there on the ground). She did an excellent job with the NPC's, particularly the Monster, for whom she adopted her deepest, most gravelly voice.

But I'm now a victim of my own success. She instantly demanded another adventure "RIGHT NOW". After I explained that it takes some time to plan these things and that the earliest I'd be able to put together another adventure would be after her nap this afternoon, she considered briefly before reiterating her demand of "RIGHT NOW!!".

After some wrangling, use of "the Daddy Voice" and heavy bribery with more Dora videos and a snack, she has relented for a while at least. So now I'd better run and get cracking on my next adventure for the most demanding player I've ever had. Maybe I need to force her to GM more often...


Dammit, Rel - quit with this dungeon crawling and get her to do some real adventuring!

Kidding aside, congrats! Welcome one more to the dark side :D


Is there a spot for another player? I'd like to join this campaign. Is it a requirement to be familiar with Dora the Explorer? I've never heard of Dora, but I really do like those chocolate coins.

Also, if it's a problem with me being 24 years older than your daughter and 3 times as tall, I'm willing to play the Half-Giant side kick. That is if she'll be my friend and all.
Oryan77 said:
Is there a spot for another player? I'd like to join this campaign. Is it a requirement to be familiar with Dora the Explorer? I've never heard of Dora, but I really do like those chocolate coins.
Heh heh...Dora the Explorah is the latest thing with the kiddies. My 2-year-old loves Dora, Elmo, Barney, and Calliou.

And, as I'm learning, it doesn't matter what *I* might think of them. ;)

At least she doesn't care for the Teletubbies...brrrr....


Did you interject a bunch of Spanish into the game?

And did your daughter scream "vominos!" (I'm sure I didn't spell that right...) the whole time?

Otherwise, it's just not Dora the Explorer. :)


Hate to sidetrack the thread, but Woas - what the HECK is the meaning of your signature? What game is that from?


Liquid Awesome
Woas said:
Or the Boohbahs.
*shudder* I've said this before: The Boohbahs are completely wack. Wacker perhaps than the Telletubbies. It isn't that they're evil per se, but more like insanity embodied in fat, jiggly, brightly-colored packages.

alsih2o said:
Best. Parent. Ever.
Thank you. Although I'm under no illusions that I'm the best parent ever, I may just swap that into my sig. But the question is what to replace? The Story Hour link, the Jimmy Buffett lyrics or the quote from Torm?

Just so you know (in case anybody else out there is thinking of doing something similar), for the next adventure, I think I'm going to just take digital pictures of sites in our yard rather than spending all that time hunting for appropriate clip art.

What is funny is how closely this maps to making up an adventure for 1st level D&D characters. I'm thinking, "How can I make this challenging and interesting, but still doable for someone with such basic skills?" It's tough. But, as with all gaming, it's so fun watching them discover the adventure you've made that it is totally worth the effort. Probably even moreso under these circumstances.

Thank you all for your kind words and I'll keep updating this thread with tales of our further adventures.


Mega Fun Rel. I have a friend that did something similar with his 10 year old step daughter. He did a little larger scale. He buried treasure in the wild desert outside of town and took her out there with a treasure map.

On a similar note, my son and I will probably head for the local corn maze tomorrow. :)

Beale Knight

That is so cool! My 2 1/2 year old is a Dora fan, and likes Blue's Clues too. I'm going to have to work something like that up for this spring.

And it's going to have to use those big foam dice we bought him last MidSouthCon!

The only thing that worries me is since he's so used to Nightmare Before Christmas and all of our extensive Halloween decour that he'll raspberry the monsters! :p

Captain Howdy

That sounded like a fun afternoon. I remember that when I was a little kid, my Dad would tell these "man crossing the bridge stories" they started as a way to get out of telling a bedtime story, because he would say "Once upon a time, there was a man crossing a bridge. If the bridge had been stronger, my story would be longer." Then he would tell us to go to sleep. But one time we forced him to ad-lib an entire muli-night story about what happened after the bridge broke. Eventually the stories became a bedtime staple.
Anyway, I think it's cool that you take time to do stuff like that with your kid. To many parent's don't. It's not always their fault, but games and "adventures" like that are really something kids like. I bet your daughter will remember your adventures for her whole life.
die_kluge said:
Hate to sidetrack the thread, but Woas - what the HECK is the meaning of your signature? What game is that from?
I think it's from Star Tropics, an adventure game for the NES. I can't remember who that NPC is, or why he says that, though.


I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to understand that Dora is
actually an Extreme Explorer.

Good job on the adventure!



Prodigal Member
Beale Knight said:
The only thing that worries me is since he's so used to Nightmare Before Christmas and all of our extensive Halloween decour that he'll raspberry the monsters! :p
Special Attacks:
Raspberry (Sp): As the spell daze.


Liquid Awesome
Without going into all the gory details, the afternoon "Adventure" (this is what she's calling them now) was a big hit. We gradually, through the course of the adventure, gathered all the materials we'd need to make a fire. Then I made our first fire of the autumn in the fireplace tonight. Dinner was grilled cheese sandwiches cooked in the Pie Iron that I got last Christmas.

As soon as mommy finishes reading her a story we're going to cook some marshmallows and call it a day.

Good Saturday it was. :)

But I'm totally going to have to put together some more Adventure ideas before tomorrow...


Dude. You rock. You rock more than Rocky McRockerson of the Rockin' Rocket Rock'n'Roll Band.

My admiration for you continues to grow...in a wholesome, non-stalker-y way.