Break Out! Escape Rooms at the Library

by Hannah on 2019-10-11 12:00:00

We have several upcoming escape room events for kids and teens! You may have wondered, why would a library host an escape room? You may also have wondered, what even is an escape room? So we'll start there. 

An escape room is a type of competitive game where a team of players discover clues and solve a mystery to escape a “locked” room. To "escape," participants must work together, think critically, and be creative. Escape rooms have grown in popularity in recent years, across many age groups. Some folks like to get a group of friends together to "escape," while organizations also use them as team-building activities. They build skills, require communication, and - maybe most importantly - they're fun!

Because you have to work with your group, escape rooms pretty obviously help participants work on their communication and social skills. You have to be able to communicate effectively to solve the problems, but you also benefit from listening to your group members' input. And since escape rooms are timed, communicating quickly and efficiently is key. The best escape room teams have good listeners who can read a room and pick up on social cues. Plus, a team with an effective leader, who can organize the team to tackle each puzzle or task, will be extremely successful. Teaching leadership and communication can be HARD, and escape rooms are a fun way to work on those skills.

Plus, to escape the room, you must complete puzzles and solve challenges. Logic, memory, and sheer cognitive processing power are all flexed by escape rooms. Because you're not actually trapped in a room, escape rooms can be a great way to work on memory, logic, and information retention, without the pressure of being in a high stakes situation, like a pop quiz. Training your brain in a game means you'll be better prepared for situations that arise in real life.

Some escape rooms require you to work on your physical abilities. Fine motor skills help solve detailed, intricate puzzles, while gross motor skills such as running and jumping are beneficial in some challenges. Everyone on your team will have different physical, mental, and social skills and abilities, so it's best to have a diverse group of people who can work together.

Finally: dopamine. Working as a team, solving challenges, and finally escaping the room can make your brain produce all kinds of happy chemicals. You might make new friends, strengthen bonds with old friends, or just generally feel better about yourself. 

So how does this apply to libraries? We have a vested interest in helping people learn. Some escape rooms deal with a specific subject, or have a particular educational focus, but all escape rooms help improve social skills, communication, problem-solving, multi-tasking, time management, and more. 

But we also have a vested interest in getting people in the door. The more frequently people visit the library, the more likely they are to learn about and take advantage of all the amazing free resources we offer. Come to the library for an escape room program, and you might discover upcoming events that interest you (like our holiday craft programs for teens), or find ways to get involved with your community, or realize that, really, Gale Courses can make your life easier. Plus, if kids and teens come to the library to have fun, they'll make positive memories, invite their friends, and become life-long library users. It just makes sense! 

Visit our Calendar of Events to check out our upcoming escape room programs!

Further reading:

12 Remarkable Reasons Why Escape Rooms are Good for Your Brain
Benefits of Escape Room Games
Top 10 Health Benefits of Escape Rooms