One of the most appealing things about The Sims series is the freedom to play your own way. It’s the ultimate sandbox life simulation, allowing you to live out whatever virtual life you want. For some people, that’s creating lots and lots of exciting drama. For others, it’s living out their fantasy of having a home and family to call their own. While you can certainly have lots of fun raising a family with just the base game, there are some packs that really elevate this playstyle and bring it to a whole new level.
If you’re a family player and can only get one pack for The Sims 4, get Parenthood. It is the quintessential pack for raising families in The Sims 4. With a new Parenting skill, character values for children to develop over the course of their childhoods, teen mood swings, childhood phases, secret diaries, school lunches, school projects, curfews, groundings, time outs, and more, Parenthood will really bring your families to life in a meaningful and realistic way.
Cats & Dogs
In my opinion, a family isn’t complete without a pet which makes Cats & Dogs the perfect expansion pack for families. Adding a cat or a dog to your household brings a whole new level of depth to your families and Brindleton Bay is the perfect cozy coastal town to settle down and put down roots in. It’s good for kids to grow up with a pet and they have some adorable social interactions with pets. They can even help take care of pets by feeding and brushing them. If you also own Parenthood, caring for pets will build Responsibility for your little ones.
Continuing on this train of thought, adding more animals to your growing family can only be a good thing. Teach kids the value of responsibility and hard work by getting them outside working in the garden or tending to all the adorable farm animals. Fresh air, greenery, and bonding with animals sounds like the ideal way for any kid to grow up. Even toddlers can interact with all the farm animals! How cute! Family picnics with home cooked meals straight from the farm make for wonderful family memories, too.
Some of my most cherished memories of growing up revolve around the changing seasons and celebrating special holidays with my loved ones. Especially now during tough times when a lot of us aren’t able to see each other as much as we used to, Seasons can really be a therapeutic expansion pack for loneliness. Take the family out to build snowpals and have snowball fights in the winter, go skating, enjoy hot drinks from vendor stalls, or if winter isn’t for you, have a water balloon fight on a hot summer day, go rollerblading, and enjoy cool refreshing drinks, instead! Customize your own holidays so they represent your own experiences and values and come together as a family to celebrate them together. Seasons really adds a lot of depth to families.
If you couldn’t get enough of summer with Seasons, maybe Backyard Stuff is worth adding to your collection. With two huge slip-n-slides, a drink tray, bird feeder, wind chimes, and a new radio station along with plenty of bright, colourful patio furniture, Backyard Stuff will really make your Sims family the talk of the town at the next summer cookout. Kids and adults alike will love playing on the slip-n-slides and sipping on cool refreshing drinks made with love. Or if that all sounds a little too cutesy for you, just watch your Sims get the plumbob pecked out of them by angry birds.
The Sims Team has really been stepping up their game when it comes to including toddlers in gameplay lately but for a long time, toddlers felt very limited in what they could do. There wasn’t much of anything for them to enjoy outside the home which made family outings not much fun at all for the littlest members of the family. The Sims Team rectified this somewhat by giving toddlers a reason to go play at the park. Toddler Stuff comes with a slide, ball pit, and jungle gym for toddlers to play with, which build Movement and Imagination skills. These pieces come both separately and as one giant playground object. And if your toddlers don’t have any friends their age to play with, schedule a play date for them!
Kids Room Stuff
This is probably still my favourite stuff pack to this day. Kids Room Stuff really enhanced the childhood stage of a Sim’s life and made it unique. This pack adds two new toys for children to play with; a puppet theatre and a Voidcritter battle station. What are Voidcritters? Think of them like the Sims equivalent of Pokémon. Kids can collect, trade, and train their Voidcritter cards on the battle station. The Voidcritters have a lot of mechanics attached to them. They come in both standard and foil variants and are divided into four elements with some elements being weaker or stronger against other elements. Kids can battle their Voidcritters with their friends on the battle station and the winner is determined by a combination of the Voidcritter’s power level (from training) and their natural elemental abilities. On top of the new toys and collection, this pack also comes with lots of fun items to decorate a kid’s bedroom. I just love this one for families so much.
My First Pet Stuff
This pack is pretty controversial; after all, it wasn’t the smartest move to make DLC that requires another DLC pack in order to access all its content. It’s no wonder why The Sims Team has not released another pack like this since. Still, I do enjoy the content this stuff pack comes with for my families. My First Pet Stuff comes with new caged rodents to play with along with an assortment of items and clothes for cats and dogs. The catch? You can’t use any of the items meant for cats and dogs unless you own the Cats & Dogs expansion pack. Yeah. Pretty shameless, right? I agree. However, I do have a lot of fun playing with my pet rodents and I love that my kids can study their rodents for school. I really love the extra clothes and items for cats and dogs, too, as well as all the décor that’s perfect for a child’s bedroom. Is My First Pet Stuff essential for your family gameplay? No. In fact, I don’t recommend it at all if you don’t own Cats & Dogs. However, if you do own Cats & Dogs and like the idea of adding cute little rodents to your family, it’s worth grabbing. On sale.
What other packs would you recommend for family gameplay? Let us know in the comments or come chat with us on social media!