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Discovering how strategy games can play a pivotal role in educating your child about budgeting basics, can be a fun and interactive learning experience. The rewards of teaching your kids about money today, will benefit them for years to come.

Money management is a crucial life skill that every child should learn, but it can be challenging for parents to effectively teach it. Not only do strategy games foster creativity and stimulate the mind, but they also serve as invaluable tools for instilling money management principles in children.

Strategy games educate children in money basics by:

  • Simulating Economic Systems: Many strategy games simulate economic systems, allowing children to experience supply and demand flow, price changes, and the consequences of their financial decisions. This provides helpful insight into how economies work and how individual choices impact overall financial outcomes.
  • Introducing Budgeting: Strategy games often involve resource management, where players have limited funds and need to make strategic decisions on how to set aside their money. This helps children understand the concept of budgeting and making wise financial choices.
  • Teaching Opportunity Cost: Strategy games require players to weigh the costs and benefits of different options. Children learn that choosing one course of action may mean giving up another. This helps them understand the concept of opportunity cost in real-life financial decision-making.
  • Encouraging Strategic Investments: In strategy games, players often need to make long-term investment decisions. These include building and upgrading assets. Children learn the importance of strategic planning, patience, and delayed gratification, which are crucial skills in managing money effectively.

Creating DIY games at home:

Choose a Theme: Select a theme for your strategy game, such as medieval warfare, space exploration, city building or fairy land. This will help set the tone and guide the design process.

Design the Game Board: Create a game board that reflects the theme and mechanics of your strategy game. You can draw the board on a large piece of cardboard, wood, or art canvas. Divide the board into sections or spaces that players can plot and navigate.

Decide on the game rules: Decide on the basic rules of your game. Think of elements like turn-based gameplay, resource management, strategic decision-making, and victory conditions.

Develop Game Pieces: Design and create game pieces or tokens that represent different elements in your game. These can be made from paper, cardboard, or even small objects like beads or buttons. Customize them based on the theme of your game.

Create Cards or Game Events: Introduce cards or game events that add unpredictability and strategy to your game. These cards can include special abilities, events, or obstacles that players must navigate.

Test and Refine: Playtest your DIY strategy game with friends or family members. Take note of any issues or areas for improvement and make necessary changes to the game.

The personal touch

Add Personal Touches: Add personalised elements to your DIY strategy game, such as artwork, fables, or unique features. This will make the game more engaging and enjoyable for players.

Document Rules and Instructions: Write down the rules and instructions for your DIY strategy game so everyone can be clear of the rules before you begin the game (This can also improve literacy skills, encouraging them to be be concise) . Include the setup of the board and game pieces, instructions. Add any additional information players need to know.

Have Fun and Share: Once your DIY strategy game is ready, gather your friends or family members and enjoy playing it together.

The best part of DIY strategy games is that you can adapt and customise them based on your preferences and available resources. Let your creativity fly and enjoy the process of designing and playing your very own homemade strategy game.

At what age can you introduce strategy games to kids

The suitable age for kids to start playing strategy games can be dependent on the complexity and specific game mechanics involved. Children as young as 6 or 7 years old can begin exploring simple strategy games designed for their age group. These games often have straightforward rules and gameplay mechanics that are easy to understand and enjoy.

As children grow older and develop their cognitive skills, they can handle more complex strategy games and educational games with deeper strategic elements. Around the ages of 10 to 12, kids can engage with strategy games that involve more decision-making, resource management, and long-term planning.

One must always consider the individual child’s maturity level, in interests, and ability to grasp abstract concepts when introducing them to strategy games. Start with age-appropriate and accessible games. Gradually progressing to more complex ones can help children develop their strategic thinking skills while having fun.