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.
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