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Well, today I would like to share one game that kids enjoyed a lot during the last summer holiday. I don't know the exact name of the game, but in brief we call it as the business simulation game for children. As it is a simulation game, participants are pretending to operate the real market and business. The “business” we had most of the time is running a cake shop.
I don't create this game, but my mother and my sister did. Since we try to help children to live frugal life, we really love this game. Here are some steps that we did to run the game.
What is left out for our summer holiday? During the short summer holiday, we didn't go for any vacation. 6 children and 1 toddler played and had summer activities together. You should know that we live in a big family. We spent most of the days at home.
Before we start, I would like to share some books you can read to children about money lessons.
Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last SundayLittle Critter: Just Saving My Money (My First I Can Read)Curious George Saves His PenniesThe Berenstain Bears Piggy Bank Blessings (I Can Read!/Living Lights)
Business Simulation Game for Children
The more people are involved in the game, the more points can be learnt by participants.
- There are basically 2 minimal participant number to join the game. They pretend to be seller and customer.
- If there are more than 3 participants, who minimal one of them can calculate already, you might use the position of supplier or producer, seller, and end customers.
- You might expand the market or business with the growing number of people participate in the game.
Planning the Business
There are 2 kinds of planning here that you might do.
- Self Planning
You plan by yourself or with your team about the aim, the purpose, the plot and the resources of the game. The game might look similar, but it might have different purpose and target for any audience. So, the participant might have the same or different ages with different skill trained at one time.
For example, the business game might look like a common market game for kindergarten-aged children, but for older children, the business game will be the place for them to start a business. They will be able to know that a business doesn't just happen.
with some purpose:
- to get children socialize each other
- to introduce money (coins and notes), balance, strategy, etc.
- to teach them how to behave in the market
- Planning between participants or between teams
For younger kids that cannot sit longer, the planning night only be done by parents. For mixed aged participants, the planning time will be really useful. This game will train cooperative skills between participants. They need to plan:
- What they are going to sell
You might use real things or artificial ones. The planning can include how the participants will produce the items, sell the items, and give
- How the chain of market will run and who will be in charged
You might lead the discussion with the flowchart or any diagram to the whole group or section groups. Listen to the participants' ideas or opinion.
- How long the game will go on
You have some options whether you want to finish the game until all items are sold or the game can be finished after certain period of time.
- What they need to run the game
They might need artificial or made up money, booths to sell, made up invoice, etc.
- How to invite the customers
You might have enough folks of children to participate as both
- What they are going to sell
Preparing The Game
There are various ways and steps to prepare for the business simulation game. You might involve the elementary aged and older children in the preparation step. It will grow a responsibility for children to keep on tasks. However, the involvement of parents are still expected so that children can finish the preparation time well. Here are some things need to prepare:
- The products to sell.
You might choose service or concrete things. Other option can be food, clothes, tools, picture, etc. You can make it by yourself too.
- The equipments to prepare.
You might need to make a list of those equipments you need to prepare and where you can get it. If you need to borrow from others, don't forget to return them properly. You might need a calculator, some fake money, some shopping bags, cashier toy, blank invoice, etc.
- The strategy used for each department or section.
For elder or more mature children, some business strategies in marketing can be discussed during the preparation time. Younger children can think about how to save the money and how to get better items.
- Displaying and presenting the products
Making a poster, brochure, and preparing talk show to launch a product can be done in simple ways for children.
- The price for the products.
Help the children to determine the reasonable selling price in the market. There are some factors that children need to understand:
- The production price
- The real market price
- The value of the product
- The profit taken to pay expenses
- The responsibility and the risk in doing business
Running The Game
It is hardly possible to run the game without the involvement of parents. Parents need to watch out the process of the game to make sure that all things happen properly and fairly. There might be various plot of the game, but what we have done were:
- The Bank (parents) gave “credit” to all participants.
- All participants were involved in the production process.
- The supplier determined the price he wanted to sell to the sellers after the preparation finished.
- The seller purchased items from the supplier with credit and determine the selling price after he projected the profits he wanted to take. This is a quite difficult stage.
- The seller hired some people to employ and had a deal with the fee.
- The employees and the seller displayed the products in the booths.
- The shop was launched and the customers started to purchase for some purposes. The shopkeeper served the customers and the seller wrote some invoice for them.
- The items were sold and the seller counted the income, expense, and profits
- The seller paid the credit to the supplier.
- The supplier reproduced the products.
Evaluating The Game
The game needs some evaluation if you want to take more out of it. Here are some things that we discussed in the evaluation:
- Did everyone in the business get any profits? How? and Why?
- Did the time management run well?
- Did children learn something?
- How would we make more items to sell?
We really enjoyed the game. Although it took a lot of energy for kids and us to prepare and to run, we feel that it worthed a lot.
Looking for more money lessons for children tips you can use? Here are some books you might like to check out:
Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You're Not): A Parents' Guide for Kids 3 to 23Financial Peace Junior Kit: Teaching Kids How to Win With MoneyToday I Teach Financial Literacy: Family Money Management WorkbookThe No-Cash Allowance: A Practical Guide for Teaching Your Children How to Manage Money (Mom's Choice Award Recipient)Money Doesn't Grow On Trees: A Parent's Guide to Raising Financially Responsible ChildrenThe Art of Allowance: A Short, Practical Guide to Raising Money-Smart, Money-Empowered KidsLife with Bunky:Chores and Rewards
If you like this business simulation game, you might like to read:
Adelien Tan is a mother of three awesome boys and a wife of a great husband. They are a home education family who live in Surabaya, Indonesia, where home education is still very rare. English is her foreign language, but She tries to use it in blogging.