What Is Your Favorite Board Game To Teach Financial Literacy?

Many families recognize the bonding experiences possible, educational & entertainment value and inexpensiveness of having a regular family game night at home. Playing family games that also teach financial concepts is an excellent way to have fun while helping your kids (and sometimes yourselves!) learn and practice financial concepts.

I’d love to hear what your favorites are.

Here are a few that we have found to be worthwhile.

Amazing to me, our first grandson learned to play monopoly icon starting at 4 years old. At almost 7, he now beats the socks off of me when I play with him.

I’m sure most everyone has been exposed to this real estate tycoon’s paradise of buying and selling properties to make it big. The Great Depression gave birth to the idea by Charles B. Darrow in Pennsylvania. He took the idea to Parker Brothers who rejected it, so he produced and sold it himself for a year! It sold so well he couldn’t keep up with requests, so he went back to Parker Brothers. Guess what? In 1935 they took him up on the idea and it was the best selling game that year.

What Monopoly can teach your kid:

  • Money concepts (counting, value, what it represents, that it is limited, etc)
  • Real Estate concepts (you can buy and sell properties, you can develop the properties and charge more for them).
  • Life is unpredictable – Go Directly To Jail card – gotta love it!

There Are multiple varieties of Monopoly sold
Just purusing the Walmart site with a search term of Monopoly turns up many different varieties of the game from the classic to Star Wars and from board game to tablet versions.

Facts you may not know about Monopoly
(from Hasbro)

  • Mr. Monopoly is the name of the MONOPOLY® man.
  • George Parker tried to stop production MONOPOLY® game in 1936 but later changed his mind.
  • There have been over 5,120,000,000 little green houses since the first MONOPOLY® was sold.
  • There are world records for longest treehouse game (286 hrs), longest underground game (100 hrs), longest game in a bathtub (99 hrs) and longest game played upside-down (36 hrs).
  • It was once played for 1,680 hours.
  •  MONOPOLY® game boards hid maps, compasses and files and were smuggled into POW camps inside Germany during World War II.
  • Fidel Castro had all sets destroyed In Cuba.
  • More than 250 million sets of MONOPOLY® have already been sold.
  • The game exists in 27 languages including Croation and Thai.
  • Since the 1970’s, there has been a Braille edition of  MONOPOLY®.
  • Total money the bank has available in classic MONOPOLY® is $15,140.
  • Atlantic City once tried to change the names of the real Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues, but public outcry vetoed the bill.
  • In Communist Moscow, at the 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow, all six sets of the MONOPOLY® displayed mysteriously disappeared.
  • More than 20 different tokens exist, including things like the horse, dog, car, elephant, purse and lantern.
  • Alfred Dunhill made a set that included gold and silver houses and hotels – it  sold for $25,000.
  • For $600 in 1978 you could buy a chocolate game from the  Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog.
  • Heres a buying tip – most landed on properties are Illinois Avenue. “GO” and the B&O Railroad.
  • Jake the Jailbird. is the guy in jail –  Officer Edgar Mallory sent him there.
  • A rule I didn’t know – if you land on an unowned property and don’t buy it,  the property goes to auction.

Another long-lifer (pun intended) is The Game of Lifeicon. It was originally invented as The Checkered Game of Life in 1860 by non other than Milton Bradley. It has undergone multiple revisions and versions with the major one in 1960 – to become the game of today with the 3D effects, the cars, the road, colleges and etc.

Believe it or not, I never played Life until this past year.  I tried it by myself first because I wanted to bone up before playing my 6 year old grandson!  Hint:  it goes a lot faster when you play yourself!

What Life Can Teach You Kid

  • Banking concepts
  • Money Concepts
  • Insurance Concepts
  • How going to college can help and hurt your
  • Babies are Expensive
  • Life is unpredictable

Facts You May Not Know About Life

  • Milton Bradley was a lithographer in 1860 and his main  product was a portrait of a clean shaven Abraham Lincoln. When Lincoln grew his trademark beard, Bradley’s main product no longer sold well.
  • To save his business Bradley printed up several copies of a game he’d invented called, “The Checkered Game of Life.”
  • The Checkered Game of Life  was the first Milton Bradley.
  • 45,000 copies of the game by the end of the 1860.
  • Reuben Klamerand a co-inventor re-developed the game for the 100th anniversary of the company in 1960 to our modern version.
  • Life Tiles were added in 1992, for things like recycling their trash, learning CPR and saying “no” to drugs.
  • The game exists in about 20 languages.

Cash Flow
Created by the Rich Dad/Poor Dad guy – Robert Kiyosaki to teach the concepts of cash flow, balance sheets, net asset values, passive income and more, this expensive board game is played by clubs of people using each other to better their understanding of financial concepts. The kids version is basically the same as the adult version, except it only has the Rat Race (not the Fast Track) and it has more 3D objects for the kids to experience.

Our family plays this game when we get together for our annual meeting. We all seem to take more risks in the game than we are willing to do in real life! Our 6 year old grandson likes to be included, but is not old enough to really understand the game as yet, but it won’t be long!

What Cash Flow Can Teach You and Your Kids

  • Banking concepts
  • Stock investment concepts
  • Real estate investment concepts
  • Balance sheet concepts
  • Income statement concepts (cash flow)
  • Assets vs. liabilities concepts
  • Passive income concepts
  • Entrepreneurship concepts
  • Babies are expensive
  • Why people with big salaries aren’t always the richest

There are several varieties of the Cash Flow
Cash Flow for Kids is basically the same as the adult version, except it only has the Rat Race (not the Fast Track) and it has more 3D objects for the kids to experience.

Cash Flow 101 – has a board game and an electronic game and now you can play it online for free

Cash Flow 202 is an add on to Cash Flow 101 (you can’t play 202 without having the 101 game). It also has a board and an electronic game.

Facts You May Not Know About Cash Flow

  • The board game is selling for over $100 now
  • The game favors real estate transactions over stock trading
  • Time needed to set up the game for 6 players is about 15 minutes

Thrive Time for Teens
Sharon Lechter, who has co-authored books with Robert Kiyosaki, developed Thrive Time in 2010. You are a teen in high school with a part time job. As you move through the game, you draw cards that present you with opportunities, temptations and challenges, such as borrowing your parents car and hitting your neighbors mailbox – causing $300 damage. You get chances to open businesses, get bigger salaries, use and misuse credit and do great deeds.

My spouse and I got this game in anticipation of introducing it to our grand kids. We have played a few times and found that we need to make up rules for some of the situations we found ourselves in!

What Thrive Time Can Teach Your Kid

  • Banking concepts
  • Credit and debit concepts
  • Entrepreneurship concepts
  • Stock investment concepts
  • Balance sheet concepts
  • Income statement concepts
  • Asset and liability concepts
  • Passive income concepts
  • Social responsibility concepts

This game was developed for Parker Brothers by Edgar Cayce and first sold in 1904. In it you attempt to get a corner on one of several commodities. It simulates open outcry bidding on the commodities market. Everyone plays at once. My parents used to play Pit in the 1950’s and had a great time – it got very noisy and when someone got a corner on the market for one of the commodities, they rang the bell with great gusto!

What Pit Can Teach Your Kids

  • Commodities can be bought and sold in exchanges
  • Futures trading concepts
  • Historical commodity trading concepts

What’s Your Favorite Financial Literacy Board Game?
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