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Bigbluss

Fun things for kids in MSFS...?

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Hey all,

My neighbours came round last week and brought their little boy, who is 9 years old and seems really interested in planes. So much so in fact he was able to list off his favourite cold war fighters. I was pretty blown away as that seems to be a fairly niche interest for a 9 year old...Anyway, I offered to show him my sim setup and he had a go on DCS F-14 which he really enjoyed but was, understandably, a bit of a tall order for a child with zero aviation knowledge!

His parents are over again tonight and he's asked if he could spend some time on the simulator with me, so I'm going to forego beers with my girlfriend and the other adults for an hour (the ultimate sacrifice!) and run take him through a few things. I have no children, and I'm utterly clueless about what interests kids of this age. I'm considering taking a step back and just firing up MSFS for him and letting him play through the tutorials (on game physics mode..?) solo. Does anyone have any advice about the most fun activities on a flight simulator for kids? Perhaps if he likes fighters I should stick with DCS in game mode...Totally unsure. His parents seemed really happy he has such an active interest in this stuff and I certainly don't want to do anything to discourage a potential future aviator / engineer!

 

thanks 🙂

Edited by Bigbluss

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23 minutes ago, Bigbluss said:

Hey all,

My neighbours came round last week and brought their little boy, who is 9 years old and seems really interested in planes. So much so in fact he was able to list off his favourite cold war fighters. I was pretty blown away as that seems to be a fairly niche interest for a 9 year old...Anyway, I offered to show him my sim setup and he had a go on DCS F-14 which he really enjoyed but was, understandably, a bit of a tall order for a child with zero aviation knowledge!

His parents are over again tonight and he's asked if he could spend some time on the simulator with me, so I'm going to forego beers with my girlfriend and the other adults for an hour (the ultimate sacrifice!) and run take him through a few things. I have no children, and I'm utterly word not allowed of what interests kids of this age. I'm considering taking a step back and just firing up MSFS for him and letting him play through the tutorials (on game physics mode..?) solo. Does anyone have any advice about the most fun activities on a flight simulator for kids? Perhaps if he likes fighters I should stick with DCS in game mode...Totally unsure. His parents seemed really happy he has such an active interest in this stuff and I certainly don't want to do anything to discourage a potential future aviator / engineer!

 

thanks 🙂

 Hello, 

For my 11 year's old child I usually put aircraft airborne, explained to him throttle, lights,gear and how to change time of day and weather, and let him discover is own way. Some times he thinks he is playing GTA🤣. Lucky there's no passengers on that aircraft😇


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DCS would probably be a bit overwhelming for a young kid and its GUI is not the best for teaching someone some stuff particularly if they are young, whereas the big icon-driven  'console-esque' GUI of MSFS is pretty much ideal for showing it to kids and would be ideal if his parents subsequently decide to get him MSFS for the XBox, since he'll already know it. Keep in mind too that MSFS can restart the flight really quickly, which is also what you want.

If you have a  toy/model plane to hand, this is ideal for explaining what the controls do, since you can point to the ailerons and elevators etc, and/or move the model/toy to visualise what things do. You can even show your controller and move that, then move the model/toy aeroplane with your other hand to help visualise the movements of the controller with the movements of the plane. Kids are pretty smart and they'll pick things up fairly well if you do this - i.e. explain things visually - rather than going into long technical and wordy explanations and turning it into a boring school lesson rather than some fun. No kid who likes jet fighters wants to get bogged down with the Bernoulli Effect and all that stuff, so don't bore them with all that technical stuff. If you don't have a suitable model/toy plane, show them the control movements on the exterior view of the aeroplane and use the good old 'fighter pilot outstretched hand' to replicate the movements of the controls.

Turn on all the 'assists' such as autorudder etc, and turn off things like stress and crash damage. And turn on the dials which show up on the external view, which I'm guessing is an option you've probably turned off. Pick an airfield which is easy to spot from the air and preferably one with a long runway oriented to a cardinal compass point to make lining up an approach easier. Liverpool John Lennon Airport in the UK (EGGP) is pretty much ideal for this, since it is right alongside the Mersey Estuary and the runway is parallel to it, so it's hard to miss and it is one of the souped-up airports in the sim, so it looks good as well, and it you head south from there, this is where the 'Mach Loop' is located, so you can blast around the Welsh hills at low level going over lakes and down valleys etc, where real fighter planes do that on a regular basis.

The DC Designs F-14 can be a bit twitchy in the pitch axis too, so if you are planning on using that, maybe turn down the elevator sensitivity a bit. If you have the YSIM YSIM SUBSONEX JSX-2, or the Azurpoly Bede BD-5, either of these simple jets would be good fun to play around with, particularly the JSX-2, since it has a smoke system where you could do an airshow routine. Failing that, you can download the free Dornier AlphaJet which also has a smoke system and use that.

See if you can get him to write his name in the sky with smoke. A good way to engage kids, is to say stuff like 'I bet you can't do this...' and then let them try stuff out.

Edited by Chock

Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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If you also have MSFS the obvious ones in MSFS are -

  • put him in something easy to fly with assists on and a good view like the Pipistrel and see if he can find his house and his school
  • turn on the POI and visit some famous land marks even a 9 year old would know like the Eiffel Tower
  • POI again but this time track down some elephants and grizzly bears in a bush plane
  • play with the weather, rain and storms versus sunsets

If all else fails ask him what he wants to do

Edited by Glenn Fitzpatrick
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8 minutes ago, cteixeira said:

 Hello, 

For my 11 year's old child I usually put aircraft airborne, explained to him throttle, lights,gear and how to change time of day and weather, and let him discover is own way. Some times he thinks he is playing GTA🤣. Lucky there's no passengers on that aircraft😇

You permit your 11 years old child is to play GTA??

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5 minutes ago, 737_800 said:

You permit your 11 years old child is to play GTA??

He must have been a late starter, most kids get into that when they hit about eight. 🤣

If all else fails, here is the perfect guide:

 

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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My daughter is nine and loves sight seeing in the some the slower planes, she can take off herself if I control the rudders with an Xbox controller (she can’t reach the pedals).

She gets a kick out of the whole thing, pushing the throttles forward, lifting off and sometimes even managing to land.  She’s getting pretty good at hand flying the plane to get where she wants to go.

Best advice is keep it fun and only as long as they are interested.  Oh and be prepared that they will eventually want to crash into something.  My daughter also likes watching me fly when she needs a break (a FFB yoke can be a workout for a nine year old!). After the France update was launched she had fun watching me flying around Paris through the Grande Arche de la Defense (success), under the Eiffel Tower (success), and through the Arc de Triomphe (end of flight 😉 )

Edited by regis9
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Dave

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Set it to CoPilot flying with some POV's to look at as well.  Should keep him occupied for a bit 🙂 


Have a Wonderful Day

-Paul Solk

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My 6 and 8 yr old boys like to put it in external view (from behind like 6 o'clock position) and fly the planes like that.


|Ryan Butterworth|

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You can also make a simple plane with a sheet of paper on which you add small control surfaces. There are plenty of examples on the net.
That's how my father made me understand the basic principles.

Infallible.😎

Richard.


Richard Portier

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Hmmmm, I have a bit of personal experience with this, seeing as I was 7 years old when FS2004 came out (my first introduction to the FS world!).

My dad bought it and installed it for me and loaded up the tutorial flight in the C172 and I was so bored I walked away disinterested because I had no idea what to do and couldn't be bothered listening to and following instructions. Also, I was clearly an ungrateful brat! 😈

As time went on I figured things out. When I had friends over and we'd load up the sim, it was either takeoff and fly (either the zippy Extra 300S or the trundling 747) from somewhere they knew, like the local airport or a city they've been to. Or just set some ridiculous weather conditions like "Major Thunderstorms" etc. and have a laugh and fly around.


Jesse Casserly 👌🏼

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41 minutes ago, 737_800 said:

You permit your 11 years old child is to play GTA??

Only in director mod, with some sets of rules such as: no weapons, invincible no people to run over, etc.I like the idea that he can explore all kind of vehicles in game. And only on weekends, except when he is on vacation. When the rules are compromised, he won't play. 

  • Like 1

1pc:WIN10/64, MSFS,PF3 (ASAP),TRacKir5,SPAD Next,FSUIPC 7,GSX&2(ASAP)
I7-4790K@4600/32Gb DDR3-1600/ASUS ROG 2070 SUPER OC/GEKOGS105/Alpha Flight Control/CH throttle,Ped/SAITEK InstR/Radio Panel
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A more tough question to answer would be the opposite : what are serious things to do for an adult who loves complex airliners in MSFS ?

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4 minutes ago, cepact said:

A more tough question to answer would be the opposite : what are serious things to do for an adult who loves complex airliners in MSFS ?

Wait a while for the PMDG 737 and Fenix A320 I think!

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Everyone - thanks so much. This is hugely useful, sightseeing and external view etc just weren't things I'd even considered...Shows how out of touch I am, I was wondering whether or not to teach VOR navigation......Hah.

Thanks again - I expect you've just made someones afternoon a lot more fun and interesting.

Edited by Bigbluss
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