Thursday, October 2, 2014

math via monopoly

I picked up a monopoly junior game last weekend, and it has definitely peaked D's interest. We've played a few games, with him always insisting on being the bank. He loves counting out the money and being in charge of that part. The money exchanges are pretty simple-- the bills only go up to $5 and most transactions are of that amount or smaller. But it's awesome getting to see how "just a game" leads to getting to know numbers. He already has had a decent understanding of numbers and quantity from his time in montessori, but it's cool to see him apply this, breaking down numbers into smaller parts through playing the game. For example, needing to pay a $4 fee and instead of paying with his $4 bill, deciding to give the bank a $3 and a $1. Or when I needed to give him $6, he said to me, "You can give me two $2 bills and then two $1 bills." We played for a short while yesterday afternoon, and at one point he needed to pay just $1 to the bank but didn't have any single bills left... he was kinda stumped for a minute, but worked out how to exchange and give the bank a $2 bill, getting back $1 in change.

There's also great potential for talking about other financial matters here-- the first game we played I ran out of money quickly, but D didn't want the game to end. So I suggested that the bank could give me a $10 loan, which I could pay back later (assuming my luck in the game changed). We've talked about how real banks lend out money to people to use to buy cars or a house or start a business. He asked if people go to banks in real life top exchange money (like big bills for smaller bills), I said yes of course and how we can also go to any teller and ask for change, and also about other forms of money that we "exchange" like using checks. I have a tendency to go into "lecture mode" so I'm trying to be careful to give enough information to answer his questions, and hopefully inspire further inquiries, without going into glazed-eyes territory.

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