Over the summer we tend to spend ages just pottering around in our garden. We normally have a few vegetables that the kids are growing and well it’s just nice to be out in the sunshine. But the kids also need a break from the sunshine (especially on those super-hot days) and every year we tend to find a project or an activity to do inside, something fun, which just gives them a break from the outdoor heat. In the past it has often been art projects that we were working on but this year we seem to be going through a mega board game craze. It has been perfect on those really hot afternoons to just retreat into the coolness of the house for a bit.
Now I know there are a lot of amazing newish board games out there but the two that seem to have taken my kids fancy are two more traditional board games – Monopoly and Cluedo. Good old favourites that were around when I was a kid.
In fact at the moment we are having epic weekend Monopoly Marathons that end up lasting the whole weekend (we tend to play for a few hours, leave the game set up and come back to it either after dinner time or the next day). Our kids even try and squeeze in a few rounds during their dad’s lunch break (hence the standing).
While the play they are constantly learning about money management. My son keeps talking about loans, going into debt, having to pay off the debt, how he needs to keep some cash in reserve because you never know what might just happen.
But it is also the tactile side of it. I discovered a few years ago that my kids did not really get the whole saving verses spending money when it was just sitting in a bank account, they needed to have the cash, to be able to count the cash and physically hand over the cash when they buy something to fully appreciate its value. And it is this tactile element of Monopoly that I think makes it so vital especially in today’s world. The kids need to grasp the whole concept of saving and spending and it always makes more sense when they have physical cash to use (even if it is Monopoly currency).
I think Monopoly should be one of those games that all kids get to play.
The other big hit is Cluedo. Okay I am guessing some of you are wondering what the educational element of Cluedo could possibly be? For me the skill of deduction. I think it is a skill that kids need to practice. The ability to figure out an answer by eliminating all the incorrect answers. And taking it a step further when the kids get the hang of the game they start to realise that some players purposely use characters or rooms because they actually have those cards and they are trying to force the other players hand – this was a huge lightbulb moment in the one game. Suddenly they started thinking a lot more carefully about how their father and I were combining our characters, rooms and murder weapons and if we were purposely using some cards over and over again because we already had that card.
I know there are lots of great board games out there but these 2 are my kids current favourites and I am really enjoying the educational side to both of these games.