Games can be a great tool for teaching important skills to our kids. This classic game is no exception. Make learning fun with these 10 surprising lessons learned playing Monopoly.
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One of the best things about homeschooling is being able to teach our kids the things that really matter in life.
We aren’t teaching to a test.
Plus, we can use so many different tools to make learning fun and engaging, including using board games.
Our family loves to play board games together, or any games really. We have spent months running D&D campaigns together. Which, by the way, is an excellent game to play to hone your skills in writing, reading, problem-solving, math, critical thinking and more.
Today, I am talking about the classic board game of Monopoly.
Now there are some newer versions of this game on the market. Fancy ones that do the math for you, that’s not the one I’m referring to.
This is the classic version.
The one where you will need to do quite a bit of math. Really showing how math is used in everyday life and in turn demonstrating the importance of learning math.
Monopoly = Learning
My kids love playing Monopoly!
However, we don’t play as much as they’d like us to simply because it takes a long time to play. If you want to give it a go, be sure to set aside a good 2-3 hours, especially if you’re going to be teaching these skills while playing.
10 Lessons Learned Playing Monopoly
Spending money teaches them the value of a dollar. That if they want something, they must spend some of their paychecks in order to get it. Someone else isn’t going to buy it for them and if they don’t have enough money, they cannot buy it at this time. Which leads into #2
Budgeting allows them to see how much money they earn and how much money they spend. Spending includes recurring costs, such as rent, as well as miscellaneous costs, like gifts.
Now in the game, the costs aren’t always the same, they depend on where you land on the board. However, you can still teach them about budgeting their money to plan for a future purchase, like Boardwalk. Or explaining why they shouldn’t spend all of their money quickly since unexpected costs may arise.
3. Planning Ahead
This is where budgeting helps them succeed.
If they have their sights set on owning all three yellow properties, then they need to make a plan for how to make that dream a reality. They need to pay close attention to who owns the properties and how they can persuade that player to sell or trade them. They also need to ensure that if/when they land on one of those properties, they have enough money to purchase it.
4. Rent and Mortgages
Teaching what these terms mean and the differences between them are vital life skills every high schooler should learn. I remember for years I didn’t know what people were talking about when they said the word mortgage.
I think my kids used to think we just lived in this nice house for free. They struggled to understand that our income needed to be used to pay our bills before going to buy that cool new video game.
Take time to explain these terms and be sure to go into detail about long term goals.
Understanding that in addition to rent or a mortgage payment, you must pay for electricity, phone services, and other utilities. It’s also important to talk about how when you rent, some of these costs are paid by the owners. It’s good to show them the actual cost of such utilities and explain how these are a recurring cost every month.
“The only sure things in life are death and taxes.”
Depending on where you live, taxes can effect you every day. We live in a state that doesn’t have sales tax, so it’s hard for my kids to understand how in other states, you must add tax to each purchase you make. Here the price you see on the tag is the price you pay, period. This isn’t to say we don’t have other taxes though. We have income taxes (obviously) and property tax.
Use the game to explain how income tax works and how everyone has to pay taxes on property they own.
7. Making Change
Learning how to make change is a skill that could not only save them money but could help them get a job as well. Let them take turns being the banker to really hone the skill, they will certainly be making lots of change throughout the game.
8. Basic Math
Practicing basic math skills keeps your mind sharp and being able to add or subtract or even count quickly in your head are important skills to have.
While knowing about auctions and how they work may not be a skill that everyone needs, it doesn’t hurt to understand them either. Maybe they want to buy something on Ebay someday, you never know.
I’m not saying you should teach your kids to be greedy, but rather the effects of being a greedy person.
Webster defines greed as:
“intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.”
Explain how a person driven solely by greed often times loses way more than they gain in life.
Now you know these 10 lessons learned playing Monopoly and how you too can use this classic game as an entertaining teaching tool. Can you think of any other lessons not mentioned here that Monopoly teaches? What other games do you use as teaching tools in home school?
Wanna grab a copy of this awesome game for your family? Here’s the version I recommend.
Want some additional fun and educational ideas for your home school? Check out this post on how to use National Holidays to add some exciting learning activities to your routine.