Today's game sites for young entrepreneurs combine fun and learning. The topic was inspired by my nine-year old daughter's success at selling her already-read-them-don't-want-to-keep-them paperback books on eBay. After making $24 on her first batch of auctions, she wants to start buying used books so she'll have more inventory to sell. Suddenly, she's in business!
Lemonade Stand is an engaging and addictive web game that teaches basic business math (sales minus expenses equals profits). The object of the game is to make as much money as possible in twenty-five rounds. Before each round starts, you review the weather forecast. Then you decide how many cups of lemonade to make and how much to spend on advertising. At the end of each round, you receive a summary of how many cups sold and how much profit was made.
Gazillionaire is a terrific find! It is a Windows-based science-fiction fantasy game to download and play. Each player runs a trading company in outer space, racing from planet to planet, buying and selling a variety of commodities (such as jelly beans and lava lamps.) Along the way you'll learn about overhead costs, profit margins, capitalization and other business concepts. This free version is yours to enjoy, but if you get hooked, you can buy the Deluxe CD-ROM version with even more features. Be sure to start with the excellent tutorial. The difficulty level can be adjusted for students from elementary age to college.
Online Monopoly is a marvelous implementation of a classic that has endured to captivate another generation of players. Before you join a game, take a moment to watch an existing game. Online Monopoly moves much faster than the board game because the computer moves your pieces and handles the bank. All you need to do is click on the dice to roll, and decide which properties to buy or trade. Since these realtime games allow chatting, parent supervision is recommended. Other games to play include Scrabble, Backgammon, Checkers and Chess.