I know that "Ticket to Ride: First Journey" exists but since I have a base game already (Ticket to Ride: Europe) I was wondering whether it could be streamlined for 5y-old children.
I played with my 5y old daughter using the Ticket to Ride: Europe base game and the following house rules. (We played twice; each game taking 20-30min.)
The first player to complete 4 tickets wins!
(We don't use the score track)
- Deal four train cards to each player
- Everybody play cards face up
Remove all destination cards higher than 8 points from the destination pile
Deal one destination card to each player
- On your turn you either draw two cards or lay down a track.
- When you draw you can always draw two cards (ignore the restriction on the locomotive card)
- You do only one destination card at a time. Once you complete one, you immediately draw another one.
- Ferries and tunnels are normal routes
- Double routes are always available
Use markers to identify the two cities in the destination card. We used the train station from the Europe base game. It also helps a lot to plan with them the shortest route beforehand. (Even it they end up doing it differently later on.)
I also found useful to make them aware they should try to collect sets that they will need later on, but it's equally important to not bore them too much with game mechanics and let them work these out by themselves.
Overall I felt that it worked pretty well. She understood the rules quickly and enjoyed playing.