They already know how to spend money, but what about making the stuff? If you want to give the kids a little painless prep for the realities of business, your options aren’t limited to Monopoly. Try these BOARD GAMES for the 8-and-up set.
In BEAN TRADER, made by Mayfair Games, players work as bean traders and members of a storied medieval guild. They buy the beans, trade ’em, and sell ’em through several harvests. He who accumulates the most legumes wins. This is a good game for adults to play with kids. www.gamesurplus.com
Another Mayfair game, the big-selling SETTLERS OF CATAN, plunks players on the resource-rich, unspoiled island of Catan, where they exchange grain, timber, and other commodities for development cards used to build settlements. There’s a good deal of luck involved here — nothing like Wall Street, of course. www.gamesurplus.com
INDUSTRIAL WASTE is a game with contemporary flair. Not only do players have to fatten the bottom line, they’ve got to temper their drive for profits with concern about pollution and other ecological damage. Careless players are slapped with government penalties. www.gamesinabox.com