Play money: Learn finance with these four family-fun board games
Colder weather, storms, and shorter days mean more time indoors. Before you and the kids resort to zombie mode in front of your screens, try some old-school family time with board games instead. And sure, you could pull out a classic like Pictionary, or a new favorite like Pie Face. But consider stimulating those synapses with these four games that will (sneakily!) teach your little ones key financial skills—and bring the family together for some cutthroat capitalist fun! (Plus, one game to avoid at all costs.)
Bring the kids on a journey back in time, to the Roaring Twenties, when railway stocks built fortunes. Players try to outwit their competitors and gauge the market as they buy and sell shares of five railways at auction. Ages 13+
Kids (and some adults) often don’t have the patience to play Monopoly through to the end. This fast-paced, simplified version is easier to follow and won’t last three days. And it’s a blast. By investing in ice-cream parlors and buying and selling properties, kids learn about currency, counting, money management, and investing. Who knows? Maybe you have a tycoon in the making. Ages 5+
Okay, so pretending to be a stock picker might not capture kids’ imaginations like playing detective or submarine captain. But Daytrader introduces kids to today’s fast-moving stock market. Players learn how to trade, weather the ups and downs of the market, and invest wisely for a comfortable retirement. Ages 10+
A classic that involves simple math, money management, and even retirement saving. Sure, it’s a little creepy that a spinner determines when you’ll marry and how many kids you’ll have, but it offers fundamental life lessons. It’s a raucous way to learn about making the tough choices your kids will have to make in their financial future. Ages 8+
And then there’s this discontinued 1980s relic. Consider it the anti-financial-education game . . .
Given The Donald’s checkered history (financial and otherwise) you don’t want the kids learning money skills from the self-proclaimed “king of debt.” Players invest in and bid on high-end real estate without knowing its market value. (How is that a good idea?) Along the way they collect, yes, Trump cards. Then the negotiations begin, with property values still unknown. At the big reveal, the player with the largest holdings wins. The spoils can be YUGE, or more like Trump’s failure in Atlantic City. This is the sort of high-stakes gambling that’s the opposite of savvy investing. Ages 13+