Trivial Pursuit for Kids

How to play Trivial Pursuit with children.

Trivial Pursuit for the Whole Family

Kids can get involved in Trivial Pursuit via multiple avenues. When I was a boy, my family only had the original Genus edition, and the whole family gathered around the board to play. I was the youngest, probably seven or eight at the time, and I credit Trivial Pursuit with my widespread knowledge of trivia and general information. My first six or seven games were tough--we didn't own any junior edition of Trivial Pursuit, so I had to go head-to-head with adults on adult questions.

There's no reason to buy a special edition of Trivial Pursuit to play with your kids. Consider it an opportunity for learning--you may be surprised at what your kids know or what they can learn when exposed to the tougher questions in the adult editions of Trivial Pursuit.

Then again, if you're looking for a game of Trivial Pursuit for kids, one they may actually have some chance of winning, your options are many. Here's a quick look at all the different Trivial Pursuit editions for kids to play.

Trivial Pursuit Young Player's Edition

Originally released in 1984, the Young Player's Edition was meant for kids 8 years old and older. This was only the second edition of Trivial Pursuit to contain different categories: specifically, People & Places, Good Times, Science & Technology, Art & Culture, Natural World, and Games & Hobbies. These categories closely mirror the original six categories, with some words a little bit dumbed down for the younger set.

Trivial Pursuit Walt Disney Family Edition

The first-ever licensed version of Trivial Pursuit was this Disney edition released in 1985. The years 85-87 saw Trivial Pursuit chasing after a younger market, with at least four junior Trivial Pursuit editions released aimed at kids and families. This Walt Disney edition had six categories all related to the various Disney movies and other entertainment: World of Places, World of Music, World of People, World of Fantasy, World of Science, and World of Leisure. The questions weren't exactly easy--they required you have a widespread knowledge of all things Disney, but the game is family-friendly.

The original 1985 version of this game is one of the most sought-after among Trivial Pursuit and Disney collectors. There aren't many surviving editions, probably because kids tend to play rough with their toys. If you own a 1985 version of Trivial Pursuit Master Game Walt Disney Family Edition, you could make $50 or $60 selling it on eBay.

Trivial Pursuit for Juniors -- First Edition

It isn't clear how exactly Trivial Pursuit For Juniors - First Edition (released in 1987) differs from the Trivial Pursuit Young Player's Edition that came out just three years earlier. One difference that doesn't have much impact on the actual game is that this edition used the same six categories as the original Trivial Pursuit game. The age range is a bit younger for this version too, with the box implying that children as young as 6 years old could participate. I'd say that kids that young might feel a little left out, as some of the questions in this game may be over their heads.

Trivial Pursuit Genus III

Considered the easiest of all the Genus editions of Trivial Pursuit, Genus III is easy enough that both adults and kids can play together, with most kids just as likely to win the game as their older opponents. With Genus III, Trivial Pursuit's editors tried to broaden the game so it was easier for different people to play. They did this by building lots of clues into the questions. There's also an increase in what some Trivial Pursuit fans call "number questions," when the question is "How many out of every 5 men suffer from male-pattern baldness?" etc. The problem with these questions is that the answer is almost always "4". The easiest Genus edition of Trivial Pursuit by far, Genus III is easy enough for kids and their parents to play together.

Trivial Pursuit Junior Player's Edition 3

Released in 1994, Junior Player's Edition 3 uses the category list that had then become standard for all official Trivial Pursuit editions: People & Places, Arts & Entertainment, History, Science & Nature, Sports & Leisure, and Wild Card. This edition is considered the toughest of all Trivial Pursuit games for kids, partly because it uses the "adult" categories and partly because the shorter list of questions (just 1,200 on 200 cards) is condensed to include only the harder questions. The box says that children age 8 and above can participate, but depending on your kid's reading skills and trivia knowledge, you may want to hold off a couple of years before trying to introduce this edition.

Trivial Pursuit Junior's Edition 4

The next Trivial Junior Player's Edition came out just two years later, and was the first edition to drop the word "Player's" from the name. The categories were the same, so many people bought this edition as a question and answer card set to play with the Junior Trivial Pursuit board they already owned. Pretty much the same story here--questions may be too tough for the youngest players, but are just right for most grade-school kids.

Trivial Pursuit Family Edition

I own a copy of the Trivial Pursuit Family Edition. My Trivial Pursuit kids love it, because they enjoy showing off how smart they are. The Trivial Pursuit Family Edition has questions for both the kids and the adults, and you answer the questions based on your age, so the kids have a fighting chance. My only complain with this edition is that it doesn't have very many cards or questions, and you'll get tired of it faster than the kids will.

You don't have to buy a special edition of Trivial Pursuit to get the kids involved. There are Family Editions (and even specially licensed Family Editions for things like Disney and Star Wars) that include questions for kids and questions for adults. The cool thing about Family Edition versions of Trivial Pursuit is that your kids can graduate to the adult questions if they want, or switch back to kid questions if they want an easier game. Anything that makes a board game adaptable to your playing conditions is a good thing, especially around kids.

Or you can do like my family did. Baptism by fire by way of the Genus edition. Believe me, I was the only kid in first grade who knew that Columbo's name was not, in fact, Phillip, and the only kid who could brag that he'd beat his mom and dad at "the hard version" of Trivial Pursuit. Play any version of Trivial Pursuit you want with your kids--they're smart, they'll catch up.