Monday, May 23, 2011

Monopoly Fun Math

My boys and I played Monopoly, The Star Wars Clone Wars Edition, for a couple of hours this weekend. I remember really enjoying the original Monopoly game as a kid, but my parents never played this with me. In fact, I don't think I've ever played this with an adult WHEN I was a child…

I really liked playing this game with my kids because I think Monopoly really helps kids with Math and Reading. I got a good feeling that my boys really know how to count and add. I think games like this one makes math and reading fun.

First, the math:
(1) I made my younger son (5 yrs. old) add the 2 numbers from the dice rolls; it's too easy for my older boy (8 yrs. old). Even by the end of the game, the little one was starting to recognize the common rolls of the numbers so that he didn't have to count with this fingers to sum the 2 numbers. When he got a number wrong, I would make him say it correctly 5 times: "Five plus seven is twelve. Five plus seven is twelve. Five plus seven is twelve. Five plus seven is twelve. Five plus seven is twelve."
(2) I made my older son take care of adding and subtracting currency when making rent payments with each other. "So, I owe you $28 for rent on your property. If I give you $50, how much money do you give back?" I would help the little one, but he was starting to figure these out himself.

Second, the reading:
It's not as much, but my 8 yr. old is reading the Jedi & Sith (Chance & Community Chest in original Monopoly) cards. Also, when something is not clear, I make him search and read from the rule book. I think it's also valuable to read the names of the properties with them.

We didn't play the game with the cities/settlements (Houses & Hotels in original Monopoly), but I think by the end of the summer, my older boy will be able to do the multiplication involved with the next level of Monopoly game play. When they see the real (or game) world value to math and reading, I think they get a bit more motivated to do homework to learn this well.

Here are a couple of suggestions based on my experience:
(1) As the adult, I had to keep the game fun and calm it down at times when the kids were getting too competitive.
(2) For my kids (5 & 8 yrs. old), 4 sessions of about 30 minutes of play time per session and more than 1 hour in between sessions worked beautifully. Playing for too long starts to bore little kids.

1 comment:

  1. I hope to be a good a father, no dad, than you are.