A few weeks ago, my son and I decided to put together an after school club using the Nintendo Labo, the cardboard building game product by Nintendo. Our goal was simple: we will use the Nintendo Labo’s appeal to help build our youth esports league audience. Last week was the first day of a six week series and so far, it’s been a great success.
Didn’t take long to clear out the shelves
From Tip 5: Expect that some kids will try and sneak in a game of Fortnite
The Top Ten Things We Learned Starting A Labo Club:
- Buy Your Labos On Amazon. First we went to Wall-Mart and there were none found. I’ve gone back a few times with no luck. Target had four, I needed eleven. The store clerk at Target said that if a store doesn’t sell many, Nintendo won’t push new deliveries. Buying off of Amazon was easy, and only took two days because, well, Amazon Prime.
- Two Hours is a Good Length. Overall, two hours felt like a decent amount of time. Some kids needed to be pushed into the Discover mode a few times because they lost their attention. I’m looking forward to a more complicated build at our next event.
- 10 Kids Per Parent is The Max Size. I’ve taught college students for years, but that experience did nothing to prepare me for this age. Expect to stay very busy with one kid asking for help three seconds after you start answering another kids question. You will be busy. I wouldn’t recommend having more than ten kids per adult.
- Labels, Labels, Labels. Bring lots of labels. Label the Labo box, a takeaway bag with that day’s item. It helped out a lot.
- Open Game Time. I gave the kids the last half hour for open game. It gives them something to look forward to when they start getting antsy doing the same project. Expect that some kids will try and sneak in a game of Fortnite (our game has a no teen game rule).
- RC Car Falls a Bit Short. RC is a nice learning experience, but it falls a bit short. The biggest problem is that several Switches had worn out game cons and the RC car would travel in a circle. Luckily we had backups. Also, if the legs get bent at all, it doesn’t work well.
- Spread Out. You need a lot of room. We are in the school cafeteria which helps reduce templates getting mixed up.
- Markers. My son had no interest in coloring his Labo, but for several kids, this was their favorite thing.
- Drop Off Switch. If you let the kids bring their Switch, have them drop them off at the office in the morning. I learned from being a Scout den leader that anything they can get their hands on they will -and you won’t keep their attention.
- Have Fun. Don’t forget to have fun. It’s a great time and the kids and parents seem to really enjoy having social, safe, game time at school.
Ten Things We Learned Starting An After School Labo Club