Product Type: Hasbro board games
Newest Review: ... particular square. Cost and stockist From what I can see Hasbro have changed Monopoly Junior to be based on a party, you can still get t... more
Learn the value of money.
Member Name: QueenElf
Advantages: Similar to the original but child-friendly.
Disadvantages: Needs to adapt to a child's attention span.
I've recently returned from my trip to see my grandson and as I always try to do, I buy a small present for him since he has come to expect it. But knowing I would be spending money over the week and treating him to other things I scoured the charity shops for a light board game that would fit my suitcase. I'd fancied buying the children's monopoly for some time but I know that Jack is often impatient and didn't know if he would play this or get bored and waste my money. After paying £3 for a game with every piece intact, I felt I had a bargain to go with my other presents. This actually turned out to be the favourite one.
The game is based on the adult version but instead of properties there is a board with a similar style as the adult one, but with a fairground theme instead. It's a rectangular shape board with a brightly colored background and each square has a similar value to the adult theme, so children who have heard or seen adult monopoly can relate to the children's one. The board is spaced out in this way.
One side will have a corner with a 'Go' square or a café, Bus Ride etc. The colored squares denote equivalent fairground rides such as Merry-go-round, haunted House, Pitch & Toss, and Roller- Coaster. These are broken up by the railway lines that come in four colours and every time you land on these you get a second go. Other squares have a chance card and these are either a free go at a ticket booth or other goes, either ones that make money or lose a little.
These include cars, which replace the boot, top hat etc of the adult version, much easier for a child to remember. Then there are sets of 'chalets', which look like houses. Along with this are a dice and the all-important factor, the loose money, in denominations of £1,2,3,4 and 5 notes. The only quibble I had with these is the similar colours with some of the notes looking almost identical. There is also a rulebook, which we perused and then put to one side. With all games I find that bending rules can lengthen or shorten games or make them more interesting to younger children.
**Game in Play***
The rules are basically similar to the adult one; the winner is the player with the most money left after several circuits of the board. Each player starts with a set amount of money with the bank retaining enough to pay the £2 pocket money every time a player passes Go. Landing on a fairground 'ride' that has an amount of money by it means the player can purchase that 'pitch'. Since there aren't any ownership cards then we chose the same colour chalet as our car to denote ownership. It also makes the board look quite interesting and a place to avoid if one player has plenty of properties. The more people that are playing will set the speed of the game; we found that a game never actually ended.
**A Child's Play**
I expected Jack to enjoy some of the game but was surprised by his attitude towards finishing the game. Since it was usually just him and me playing then we both still had a fair bit of money after a half hour and with Jack getting fidgety it was time to get out of the house. He was the one who asked if the game could be left in situ to show to Mummy and Daddy, so we left it there and picked up the game the next day and so on throughout my stay. He really enjoyed playing it and was fascinated by the idea of 'owning' a property and charging people to use it. Naturally his attitude to money isn't that developed at the moment but he did like owning it and adding the amounts up to see how much he owned.
While we were playing I discovered that Jack had little concept of money beyond knowing what coins were called. Since he's going to be seven in April I was a bit concerned since I knew far more about the prices of goods at that age, but Jack doesn't actually carry any money so I felt it was time he got a rough idea about values. The other thing I noticed was his surprise when I gave him a £2 note with a £1 note to make three pounds. This was because I had a huge pile on ones and this started a discussion on pockets full of change. Though it's not something every child would spot, I felt it led to a good discussion on money in general and therefore had more than a little educational value.
I feel you get what you want out of games and children respond differently, so my recommendation might not suit another. However, this does seem a popular game and appealed to Jack's interest in a positive way. On the one hand he isn't very fond of fairgrounds so I had to adapt the game a little, but counting money and owning it (even for a short time) made him feel a little more responsible and that's something I want to encourage in him.
I like the way the game hasn't altered very much and can see him moving on to a more grown up version soon.
The one I bought was a charity shop buy but I would now definitely buy a similar one since it's worth the money.
Thanks for reading.
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Summary: A good time-filler with some learning points.
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