Childhood in The Sims can either be the state a Sim was created in, or attained after 72 game hours as a baby. Children do not grow older, and cannot gain skill points. Premade children have no skills. Kids created in Create a Sim may have random or no skills,[n 1] but children born in-game will always have random skills.[n 2] They will not be able to use most of them, but children who get high creativity can earn money by painting at an easel.
Children of the neighborhood can play with one another, and when children are in a house, another child will sometimes drop by to play with them. If they stay late into the night, their parents will come and take them home but will only do so if a sim greets them. If they are not greeted, they will leave but either them or another adult member of the household may return later. Either way, children will leave if a need drops too low or if the time reaches 2AM.
With the Makin' Magic expansion, magical children have access to the charm Age of Instant, which will permanently turn them into adults. This is the only way for a child to become an adult without the use of a hacked item or third-party program.[n 3] Makin' Magic also gives kids a bit more freedom, in that they can go to Magic Town on their own by jumping in A Hole in the Ground.
Since there are no genetics in The Sims, when a child is aged to adulthood, regardless of how it is done, he or she will be given a randomly selected body type, a randomly selected Everyday skin for that body type, and a randomly selected head skin. Therefore, the newly created adult may not look anything like the child.
Children can die from hunger in The Sims, but in The Sims 2 and all games following it, a child will be taken away by the Social Worker instead.
In The Sims Bustin' Out, children work in the same way as they do in the original game. There is an objective for the main character to have a baby with their spouse who will grow into a child after 72 hours of gameplay.
Children should go to school every day to maintain good grades, as they will lose a full grade level if they miss a day. They can regain some of that by studying from a bookcase or on a computer, and can even regain the full grade level if they study enough. Children whose grades remain at "F" for too long are sent to military school and are never seen again. Therefore, it is essential that they go to school every day, on time, and in a good mood to ensure their grades stay high. Children with an "A" average may occasionally receive §100 from their grandparents.
Dependencies and privileges
Unlike later games, it is possible for children to live alone and function well without any adults present in the house, and can even care for babies. However, they would have to rely on good grades, painting, or cheats to keep simoleons flowing in, and on ordering pizza, having a buffet table and hiring a caterer over the phone, or having Servo installed in order to eat anything other than snacks. Also, while children can get bills from the mailbox, they cannot pay them, thus in order to prevent the Repo-man from appearing, the move_objects on cheat would have to be used to delete the mail carrier before she places the bills in the mailbox.[n 4]
- This happens due to a glitch in Create a Sim. If the player creates a child Sim and edits him/her into an adult, the new adult Sim will have random skills from the start. Doing the opposite will result in a child Sim with no skills.
- In Makin' Magic, these skills will be lost if a child uses Age of Instant to become an adult.
- It is possible to simulate growing up by killing or deleting a child, giving an adult the same name, and making the adult look like a grown-up version of the child.
- There are hacked objects which can temporarily trick the game into treating a child as an adult, or vice versa. Such objects can be used to allow a child to pay bills.
The Sims 2
Childhood is the third life stage in The Sims 2, and it lasts 8 days. Children do not have the environment motive, but have all the others. Children still have the same Grow Up aspiration they had as toddlers, but their wants and fears are different. For the first time, making friends is important, as is being taught to study by an older Sim. (This is usually an older relative, but it can be an older friend, too.)
The school day for children lasts from 9AM to 3PM, Monday through Friday, and they receive homework after each school day. As in The Sims, children whose grades are consistently poor will be removed from the family, this time by the social worker, who can also take them away if their hunger or social motives drop too low, if they are too hot or cold,[TS2:S] or if they are left at home with no older Sims in the house. Children taken by the social worker can later be adopted by other families.
Behavior and psychology
For a while after a Sim ages up to become a child, he or she will run everywhere.[n 1] When getting into or out of a dining chair, a child will not slide the chair, but will just slide into, or out of, it. So, if a dining chair has arms, a child getting into or out of it will appear to go through the arms.
A child who is awake when one of his or her parents returns from work will generally stop whatever he or she is doing (even eating or bathing), and run to greet the parent. This action can be interrupted, and the child sent back to whatever he or she was doing.[n 2]
Children can read from bookcases on their own, although they can still be read to by an older Sim, and will often autonomously ask to be read to. They are more likely to make messes when using a shower, and can play in any puddle regardless of personality.
Dependencies and privileges
Unlike The Sims, children can't live alone without an older Sim present,[n 3][n 4] but can earn skill points. They can ask for (or be offered) lessons on all the original career reward items, and even use some of them independently. Children can also do some household chores, such as cleaning certain items and taking out trash. They can't cook unless they use the toy oven, but they can study cooking from a bookcase or the Yummy Channel. They can also eat snacks from the fridge. Nightlife introduced the inventory system, where leftover food could be stored and retrieved at any time, and Seasons and later expansion packs allows for leftovers to be put in, and retrieved from, the fridge. Both of these features make kids a little less dependent on adults for food, since they can obtain previously prepared meals. They can go along with older Sims to community lots, although they cannot buy anything. They can, however, try on clothes. Children can no longer care for babies or toddlers, though they can use the "family kiss" and some "play" interactions with the latter. If FreeTime is installed, they can sing the Nursery Rhyme with toddlers who have learned it, and can play with them at an activity table. Children cannot help out in owned businesses, but can run a lemonade stand.[TS2:OFB]
Children can be invited over, either with or without their parents. If a child is living in a household, he or she may bring another child home from school, and other children may walk by the lot. Children visiting a residential lot will almost always leave autonomously around 6 pm, even if they are with one or both parents, or if they are visiting relatives. If a child does not leave autonomously, a parent will eventually come to take the child home. Children can be telephoned at any time, but phoning a playable child after 6 pm will result in one of the child's parents appearing on the lot to bring the child home.[n 5] Children can call other Sims in the neighborhood that they have met like older Sims, and even call for some services like pizza delivery, but cannot throw parties. Children can be given cell phones, but will not be able to use them.
Children can only visit community lots when accompanied by an older Sim, although children in other households can appear on community lots on their own. They cannot purchase items at a cash register, but can use the ticket machine at a venue. They can care for pets, but cannot clean bird cages. They cannot get items from the mailbox or pay the bills. When using certain items, they will use a step-stool to reach for tall items.
Children in The Sims Castaway Stories do not go to school. This however, gives them more time to learn skills through various ways and make more friends, so that they can focus on careers when they become teens. They can still be removed by the social worker if their motives go down or they get too hot or too cold.
- According to Cyjon this is actually a bug caused by the game's failure to correctly initialize children's movement after they grow up.
- There is a mod at Leefish that will suppress this.
- Like all Townies in The Sims 2, child Townies do not have parents in their family trees, and so, technically, they live alone.
- This mod allows children and pets to stay at home without a teen or older present.
- This is due to the fact that Sims being called on a phone are, technically, considered to be on the lot. Because of this, one of the child's parents may come to the lot to pick up the child, even if the phone call has ended. This mod fixes this "bug", but it also introduces a number of other features that may not be wanted.
The Sims 3
Childhood in The Sims 3 lasts 7 days in Normal lifespan mode, though it is possible to age Sims up at any time using the birthday cake. The life stage as a whole appears to represent Sims between the ages of 6 and 12.
From this life stage onward, Sims start wishing for things they desire. As children, Sims will not initially have a lifetime wish, but will be free to build skill levels, pursue hobbies and develop friendships that will affect later life. Some lifetime wishes, however, may become available during this stage as the child's hobbies become more defined, and hard-working child Sims that are assigned one of these early wishes can sometimes even fulfill them before they become teenagers.
The child stage now marks the point where acquired skills first become visible in a Sim's skill journal. Children can build all skills except charisma, instrument skills, athletic, and gardening. However, they can be tutored over gardening or charisma by a Sim that has the maximum logic skill.
For some reason, a child's cooking and handiness skills remain invisible until they become teenagers, but all their other skills will display normally.
Children have three traits. In order for the player to select a child's fourth trait when they become a teenager, the child must have a school performance of at least a B, otherwise the new trait will be chosen at random. The worse a child performs at school, the more likely they are to gain a negative trait upon aging up. Children cannot have romance-oriented or persuasive traits like "flirty" or "charismatic," but if testingcheatsenabled true is used, they can sometimes get them by randomly rolling traits.
Unlike older Sims, child Sims can only die from very few causes: from fire, drowning, or meteor strike. This is by deliberately game design, possibly due to developers perceiving the death of children being disturbing or frightening to the player.
Dependencies and privileges
In The Sims 3, children are more independent than ever unlike in previous games. While they still cannot cook (with the exception of the toy oven) they are capable of retrieving quick meals and leftovers from the refrigerator. Children also no longer need supervision of a babysitter when left alone in the house. They are capable of using their cellphone for the first time (albeit strangely as they are unable to call emergency services). It's also possible to have children make money on their own, as there are activities they're able to do that make profit (such as fishing, painting, or selling lemonade/baked goods).
Children can stay at home alone, visit their friends' homes or visit community lots by themselves, but they must be back on their home lot before the town curfew (10:00pm). If a child is out past their curfew, they will follow the nearest older member of their household or automatically head home, after which they will be unable to leave before 6:00 in the morning. Children will always choose bicycle, even when they don't own one, as a default means of long-distance transportation when cruising alone.
As of patch 1.6, children may interact with toddlers in various ways. Children can hug toddlers, read toddler books to them, and play peek-a-boo together. They can also feed toddlers on the ground or in a high chair. However, children cannot carry toddlers, place them in cribs or change their diapers, which prevents them from fully attending to the needs of toddlers without an older Sim or babysitter present. Children are also capable of taking care, as well reinforce pets.
Unlike previous games in the series, a child will not be removed from the household for getting F on their report cards for a period of time. They may get grounded if The Sims 3: Generations is installed.
- Bury objects in a sandbox [TS3:G] (teens also)
- Check for monsters under the bed [TS3:SN]
- Dress up in costumes from the costume chest [TS3:G]
- Earn money in bake sales [TS3:A]
- Have Afterschool classes [TS3:G]
- Have bake sales
- Have a tea party.
- Play in a treehouse [TS3:G]
- Play with toys (Childish older Sims also)
- Play tag (Childish older Sims also)
- Preside over an imaginary royal court on a dining chair [TS3:G]
- Pull pranks [TS3:G] (teens also)
- Socialize with Imaginary Friends [TS3:G]
- Get grounded [TS3:G] (teens also)
- Go on an imaginary joy ride on a couch [TS3:G]
- Go on an imaginary submarine adventure in a bathtub [TS3:G]
The Sims 4
Children in The Sims 4 take 7 days to age up in short lifespan, 13 days to age up in the normal lifespan and 52 days on long lifespan. They have four different unique aspirations to choose from: Creativity, Mental, Motor, and Social, which are also special skills that only children can learn. They cannot learn any other skills until they have reached level ten in one of these skills. They have only one trait, which is chosen in CAS, or when they age up from a toddler.
In CAS, their walk style cannot be chosen and only two voices can be chosen from: sweet and warm. Their body shape cannot be changed except by using the fatness slider, but their face can be modified. Unlike previous games, they can be set as siblings with adults in CAS.
The release of Patch 46, on January 12, 2017, added the toddler life stage to The Sims 4. Before that, babies in The Sims 4 aged up into children, as they do in The Sims, instead of toddlers, as in The Sims 2 and The Sims 3.
Dependencies, privileges and duties
As in The Sims, children can be left at home alone without the need of a babysitter/nanny. They also have no curfew, so they can stay outside of their homes for as long as they desire. Although, owners of the Parenthood game pack can set a curfew for either 7:00PM, 9:00PM or 11:00PM, if the player so chooses. Ignoring hypothetical curfew will negatively impact their responsibility character value.
Children still need to go to school; however, there are no negative consequences for not going to school except a temporary embarrassed moodlet and impact on responsibility[TS4:PH]. Instead of keeping certain things constantly up, they have to complete certain objectives in order to increase their grade. They can also do extra credit after they've done their homework for that day if they already have a B or A grade. If they misplace their homework book, they can buy another homework book using a bookshelf or use another child Sim's homework book. With Seasons or Get Famous, they can join afterschool activities.
Children can be taken away on only two grounds: either their hunger motive reaches the absolute bottom (starving), or the remaining teen or older Sims in the household die.
Differences between other life stages
Things that children can do that younger Sims can't:
- Go to school
- Build most skills
- Have an aspiration
- Have a cell phone
- Use the toilet
- Retrieve snacks, quick meals or leftovers from the fridge
- Sleep in normal beds
- Visit community lots or other residential lots alone
- Die by drowning
- Die by fire
- Child Sims can also perform 'Route to Safety' in the event of a fire, unlike younger Sims.
- Die by pufferfish nigiri[TS4:CL]
- Die by freezing[TS4:S]
- Die by overheating[TS4:S]
- Take care of pets[TS4:C&D]
- Become famous[TS4:GF]
Things that children can do that older Sims can't:
- Play with toys (Sims with Childish trait can)
- Have monsters under the bed
- Use the drawing table
- Get taken away by social services
Things that children can't do that older Sims can:
- Repair broken appliances
- Cook (Unless cooking together with a teen or older Sim)
- Use the easel
- Care for babies
- Get a job
- Die of starvation
- Die of emotional deaths
- Get eaten by the Cowplant
- Learn all adult skills
- Perform romantic interactions
- Get pregnant
- Use vampire powers[TS4:V]
- Get bitten by a vampire[TS4:V]
- Use the weather machine[TS4:S]
- Rise past "Rising Star" in fame[TS4:GF]
The Sims Medieval
Children in The Sims Medieval are similar to children in The Sims in that they will not grow any older except under certain circumstances. Unlike modern Sim children, medieval children cannot die of anything.
As only Hero Sims can be playable, children will be uncontrollable. However, they can still offer much help to their parents. A hero Sim can put their child to work by having them go shopping at the market or by gathering resources around the kingdom. Married couples can have as many children as they want, but one household can only have 4 children in it. If your Sim has 5 children, you must choose one who moves away to find his fortune, study the Watcher, go to military school, etc. Single mothers can have up to 4 children.
Medieval children do not attend school. Instead they have an apprenticeship relating to their parent's occupation. For example, the daughter of the Monarch would be a Princess, while the son of the Knight would be a Squire. If both parents are Hero Sims, the child will follow the profession of whoever owns the house they live at.
Children can also duel other children with toy swords.
The Sims FreePlay
The Sims FreePlay introduced children in version 3.0 of the game. Unlike other games of the series, the age's name is Pre-Teen instead of Child, which was used since The Sims and The Sims (console). A Pre-Teen is aged up from a toddler using a birthday cake. Unlike The Sims 3, they can study at a desk without having to be at school. They can jump on the bed and look taller than children. They can interact with toddlers, as well as with older Sims.
- In The Sims 3, it is possible for a child Sim to get the romance-related traits (usually reserved for teens and above), such as "Flirty" or "Hopeless Romantic", if he/she is a clone.
- In The Sims 4, it is possible for child Sims to purchase the "Beguiling" trait that can instantly make another sim "very flirty" from the rewards store. But since the romantic social for child Sims is disabled, they cannot use this interaction.
- In The Sims 2: Seasons children can study charisma using the Books First for Learning Bookshelf of Education or the "I Object" Litigator Podium. In the base game they can also learn charisma with the Enterprise Office Concepts Bushmaster Tele-Prompter.
- In The Sims 3, children cannot play the piano, interact with the mailbox, or water plants; however, oddly enough, they can invent things and make potions. This means it is possible for children to make the "Young Again" potion if they reach level 10 Logic skill.