As kids, Madoline and I loved playing Monopoly. We enjoyed accumulating property, building hotels and watching the money roll in. We used to play to the extent of having to use calculators to keep track of our individual wealth after exhausting the bank’s supply of cash. When our cousin Mabel arrived in April for her 3-month sampling of the American life, we pulled our Monopoly game back out as part of her introduction to American culture.
Mabel seemed to have born with more than usual bad luck. Since childhood, she has been prone to little (and sometimes not so little) mishaps and accidents of all sorts as well as general ill fortune in all aspects of life – family, personal, professional, etc. Her ill luck also obviously carries over to pretend life, Monopoly included.
During our first Monopoly game with Mabel, Madoline got so tired of Mabel landing on her hotels and unable to afford rent that she devised a lottery system for the game in the hopes that Mabel would win a few jackpots and be able to pay her way. (We don’t like to end the game when someone runs out of money because otherwise it would end too soon.)
Lottopoly, as we call it, was an instant success – for Madoline and me that is. Despite purchasing 3 tickets per lottery that first day, Mabel didn’t win a single lottery. Madoline and I, on the other hand, grew richer and richer, and the Lottopoly became the highlight of the game.
We have since invented more expansions to add some spice to our Monopoly games. All of our expansions have to do with making, saving and investing money, and are a fun way to teach children, and even grown-ups, basic money management and investment principles. Players have to learn how to budget their cash and not over-invest or face penalties for early withdrawal of invested funds.
We have decided to begin publishing a series of Monopoly Expansions here at Our Fourpence Worth. Each game expansion comes with forms that you can download and print for free in PDF or JPG format and detailed instructions for playing with your friends and family. We will begin posting Monopoly Expansions for different money management principles, Certificates of Deposit (CDs), Foreign Currency Investments, Lottopoly and more starting this week.
Monopoly is a fun and fairly inexpensive way to teach kids basic money management skills. I would definitely recommend it to parents who are looking for frugal and beneficial diversions for keeping kids entertained during hot summer days.
Check back tomorrow for the first Monopoly Game Expansion!