In a previous blog post, I urged parents to play board games with their kids because many help children to practise maths and social skills. For KS2 children, I believe Monopoly is the best board game to support learning.
Here are 10 reasons why:
1) Compliments to 10 and number bonds - With ten steps along each side of the boards and two dice, children are forever practising these simply but vital mathematical skills. Encouraging them to jump the steps and count up to the next corner can enhance their speed and fluency.
2) Multiplication - (utilities) Multiplication skills come in handy when a player must roll a dice and pay 4 or 8 times the amount rolled. Also, many elements of the game use multiples of £50 (cost of houses around the board / rent on a station).
3) Doubling - Once someone has all of a set, the rent payable is doubled. In most sets, this amount isn't specified so must be calculated by players.
4) Adding/subtracting money - One of it's most obvious benefits for children is the understanding of money transactions, including change. Put a child in charge of being the banker, be patient with them and watch them become faster and more confident with maths.
5) Percentages - When a player is really short of money, they can mortgage a property. Once they are ready to return it to play, they must pay the banker the mortgage amount plus 10%. This amount must be calculated by the player.
6) Multiple Editions - Whether you like Doctor Who, Star Wars, Disney or Minions, there's a Monopoly board for all!
7) Entrepreneurial skills - When most of the cards have gone, some bartering and negotiating must take place to secure a full set. Players must decide which sets could be the most profitable as well as considering the cost and benefits of building houses and hotels.
8) Rent - Quickly, players learn that nothing comes for free. If you want to stay somewhere, you must pay them rent.
9) Taxes - The chance and community chest cards help children to begin to understand taxes. I remember playing as a teenager and adding in a "pension" element to the game too!
10) Chance - The most important thing that children learn is that, mostly, life is about chance and that you never really know what's around the corner. You just have to adapt and make the most of what you've got.