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This game takes FOREVER when played correctly. So, I used to hardly ever take it off the shelf. I really prefer games that don’t take hours to play!
But, I don’t like hanging onto things I don’t use. Which means I wanted to find a way to make Monopoly more user friendly for our family.
After all, who says you have to play by the rules as long as you all agree?
This game is the perfect tool to pull off the shelf and use for a variety of fun learning activities. By tweaking how you play, you can integrate your younger kids as well, which is a bonus.
If you don’t have a copy of Monopoly, you can pick one up from Amazon. (Why yes, that is an affiliate link!)
1. Buying Property & Houses Card Game
Monopoly has all of that beautiful money, just waiting to be used! It’s the perfect tool for teaching kids all about reading money and matching the correct amount of money to a purchase.
We organize the money into the plastic holder that comes with the game. Then, we shuffle all the property cards and pile them face down.
On each person’s turn, she draws a card and locates that property on the board. Then, she reads the price, and counts out how much money it is.
She takes the money out of the bank and puts it in front of her. Kind of backwards shopping I know, but it’s been a fun way to play!
Then, whenever it’s their turn again, players can buy houses for $100. They use the money in front of them to buy those.
They don’t need a Monopoly to buy a house, and houses can go on any property they own. This makes the game go more quickly, and keeps the little ones engaged longer.
We play until the property is all sold.
2. Story Telling
This one is simple, and very similar to our Story Bowl game. We put all of the playing pieces (the top hat, the car, etc.) in a plastic bowl.
One player draws out three items. Then, that person must tell the rest of us a story using all of their pieces.
The younger kids usually use the actual pieces as props, helping to act the story out. My older children often just refer to them in their story instead of using them like props.
When one person’s story is done, we put all the pieces back in and another person draws. Let everyone tell a story or two before calling it quits.
3. Go Around the Board
We use the dice and practice counting for this activity. Everyone picks a game piece and places it on the Go square. Then, we take turns rolling the dice, adding how many dots in all, and moving our piece that number.
I usually set a limit, such as we’ll go around the board three times. Some of my younger kids would play this version for a long time without that limit!
It’s a fun way to practice one-to-one correspondence for the younger kids and addition facts for the slightly older crew.
4. Majorly Modified Monopoly
In an effort to modify the game to make it easier for my younger kids, I decided to remove the money element all together.
When it’s your turn, roll the dice. If you land on a property, you get to find the card and keep it.
If you land on another square, you have to sing the ABC song, Touch your toes 10 times, or do any other random activity that the person who goes after you decides.
This version keeps us laughing! It’s never played the same way twice.
5. Money Sort
This is the version we play if the game box has gotten disorderly, or if we just want some sorting practice.
I shuffle the money (or gather it up if it’s already unsorted in the box…) and divvy it out. Honestly, I just give each player a random stack of money.
All players get busy sorting their money. Whoever sorts all of theirs by denomination first wins.
Once everyone has finished, we take turns skip counting. One person counts all their fives, someone else counts all the tens, and so on.
Several years ago, I got a Monopoly card game. It was so much fun, and plays so quickly! If you’re looking for something completely different, give this game a try!
Have you use Monopoly for learning?
I’d love for you to share your tweaks. It’s the perfect game for all sorts of learning fun! And I really prefer these versions to the “real” one!
Photo credit: Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels
This post originally appeared on my Tanner Learning blog. I am in the process of removing all the posts from there and including them on this site. Three blogs was one too many for me!