I'm a huge advocate for teaching real-life skills to kids through games and education. In our house, we play a lot of games and Monopoly is one of the most popular. And thank goodness -- I can only play Chutes and Ladders so many times in my life.
Monopoly does more than just teach kids patience, good sportsmanship, and how to count. It teaches four other invaluable skills.
Since each player is given a certain amount of money, kids are forced to learn how to spend money wisely. When we first started playing this game, the kids would just buy up all the property without ever thinking of what would happen when they landed on other player's property. Pretty quickly, they learned that they needed to keep some money to pay rent, to build onto their investments, and well, save some for a rainy day.
This skill pours over into life -- allowances can be spent or saved. A kid who has learned how to save money can get something more valuable than the kid who consistently wastes their weekly $5 on one of those "surprise pack" toys that are worth absolutely nothing.
This goes without saying, but I am gonna say it anyway. Monopoly teaches kids that it costs money to live. Living in a house requires rent or a mortgage (or a lot of cash!). It teaches kids how to calculate property taxes and the idea of supply and demand.
Probability is math and critical thinking skill taught in the game of Monopoly. It's all about the likelihood of landing on a space owned by another player, which then determines if you have to spend some of your money. These factors help children think about when to buy more properties or turn the properties owned into larger investments.
Kids can practice their reading skills when they land on spaces and pick up cards.
Homeschool can get a little boring, but I find the best way to make learning fun is through puzzles. Puzzles encourage a child to think physically, logically, and creatively. I have dozens of wonderful puzzles that we have used for a long time to teach math, history, geography, and other subjects, but these five puzzles are my absolute favorite for kids between kindergarten and third grade.
Teaching Kids How to Play Chess
Teach you kids to play chess. Why? Chess is about strategy and logic. Not only that, it requires a great deal of patience. All of those are wonderful qualities in adults, but they are MAGNIFICENT qualities in children. A child who can play chess is more likely to perform better in the academics.
And if that isn't enough to convince you to get started, here are some more great reason:
#1 Increases IQ
Yep, kids who know how to play chess are smarter. And not just book smarter -- all around smarter! Studies show that just after four months of learning and playing chess, kids can boost their IQs.
#2 Provides an Opportunity to Bond
Many families do not get enough time together due to work, school, and parents allowing smartphones to rule their lives (you should only use your phone for talking on and you really should spend no more than an hour reading blog/news each day. Even if that means you don't read my blog.). Turn learning chess together and playing it during the week an integral part of your routine and you will develop a stronger relationship with your family. Kids want to play with you; they don't really want to watch TV -- they just aren't given any other options. Wow, did you see that? I almost started ranting.
#3 Chess Helps Kids Get Creative
When playing chess, the right hemisphere of the brain works really hard, and that is the side of the brain the rules creativity. By playing chess just once or twice a week, kids can vastly improve their ability to thing outside the box.
#4 Better Problem-Solving Skills
Chess turns kids into brilliant problem solvers. In terms of academics, this translates to kids understanding math. In the real world, this means a kid can figure out how to solve something like build a lego model without help.
#5 Chess Makes Better Readers
Studies show that children who play chess test well above kids who do not play chess. The reasoning isn't completely understood, but researchers think it may have something to do with chess being able to improve a person's comprehension skills.
Let's Play Trivia
Let's play trivia guys! January 4th is National Trivia Day, so it is imperative that we play trivia all day! I've added this youtube video, but I highly recommend playing a few trivia board games tonight with the family. Below the video you will find my absolute favorite trivia board games!
My Favorite Trivia Board Games to Play with the Family