Playing a 6+ board game with 8, 5 and 3 years old kids is a patience-testing endeavour. We managed for quite a while, but now they have to spend their energy outside of the house (and very conveniently there enough leaves to be cleaned in front of it).
This is what I wrote on Facebook. Yes, it’s tough to balance between their needs, but it’s also lots of fun to see what everyone takes out of the game (Hoeveel zakgeld heb jij?*, which is about earning, spending and investing pocket money).
- Alexander likes the idea of making money. He never buys anything in the game and tries to max on bank savings, because those make the best returns at the end. Next to being a player, he is also ‘the bank’ – he has to do calculations to check everyone’s investments and to give change when buying. On the math side for him the game is about fluency and moving from ‘hands on’ money counting to calculating on the fly – he is not there yet, but the game makes practicing more fun.
- For Anna the game is about focusing attention (she is easily distracted) and counting money, which she tries to avoid because Alexander does it so eagerly. She wants to win, but buying new things is very exciting, so she often spends money on that without thinking of long-term implications.
- For Emily the game was about turn-taking, following the rules and counting dots on the dice (she not confident and needs help when it comes to 4+). She finds fun to ‘eat and drink’ those little snacks that you have to buy in the game. But I guess the biggest thing for her is to be allowed to play ‘as a big one’ (this is actually the first time she played as a separate player and not together with one of the adults).
*I really like the design and educational value of the game. I got it in a second-hand shop mainly for realistic-looking money to pretend play shopping, but the game is really fun to play, so we keep it as a whole. Btw, while inside are euros, the background image on the packaging shows roubles :)