We are big board game fans in this house. The more we play, the more intricate our game choices become - but we always go back to the classics.
We started avidly playing board games when the youngest was three and the eldest was six. Initially, I questioned whether their attention spans would be long enough for a round of 'Game of Life' or whether they would get the rules of 'Monopoly'. But I needn’t worry because they love sitting around the table with a few treats and arguing over who gets to be the red car or the dog.
The great thing is that board games teach our kids so many life skills – patience when it’s not their turn, dexterity when spinning the wheel, counting, identifying colours and most importantly, that it’s not all about winning. In fact, board games teach our kids about money, value, and cost.
Orchard Toys Games
Our family love of board games started with the beautifully designed Orchard Toys games. From bingo to matching games and spelling games, the Orchard Toys range really won’t let you down. Even though our kids have played these games a million times over the years, we always go back to them. 'Pop to the Shops' and the 'Money Match Café' are a great introduction to understanding, learning and teaching kids about money.
The Junior Versions
Yes, the rules of 'Monopoly' can get very complicated and seem unnecessary to a little one. Still, the junior alternatives are a fab way to explore this household game before getting stuck into the nitty-gritty of rents, loans, and bankruptcy. The junior versions are equipped with all the fun and give an understanding that spending money wisely can be an excellent investment!
'The Game of Life'
Quite simply, 'The Game Of Life' is one of the best games around and has a good focus on understanding and teaching kids about money. Best of all, it also comes in a junior version. However, my kids still love the 1980s version, which I got from Santa! But we have this game in three versions because it has been updated throughout the years to include a few ethical considerations, such as recycling.
Did you know, 'The Game of Life' was initially invented in the 1860s and was designed to teach young adults about the various paths in life and how to succeed? If we set aside the fact that in this game you have to get married, have kids, and a pet or two (which very much is a personal choice), we can still use this game to teach about finances, the various costs that pop up over life, and that insurance matters!
I hear you, 'Catan' is way out of our children’s league just yet, but it is on our radar for when they outgrow the more accessible games. 'Catan' and other games like it will teach them so much about bartering, trading and managing money.
And if all else fails, board games are a great way to start counting numbers and reinforce basic maths!