Sometime between giving them their first allowance and sending them off on their own, we need to teach our kids about money: saving, spending, earning, managing. Where do you start? These five web sites are a great beginning.
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 from jelly beans to 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 CDROM version with even more features. Be sure to start with the excellent tutorial. The difficulty level can be adjusted for students from middle school up through college.
Should you buy a new pair of sneakers or a share of Nike stock? Well, adjusted for two stock splits, a share of Nike sold for $18 in April 1995. Nineteen months later, the same share is worth over $55. How much is that pair of worn sneakers worth? This is the site to learn about making money with money. The tutorials (click on the buttons that run down the left margin) are excellent. For even more depth, click on Beginner. Adults can take the Financial Quiz, and then enter through either the Intermediate or Advanced buttons. If you are looking for a project for your classroom or your family, don't miss the Stock Portfolio Game which allows you to track an imaginary portfolio over the Internet. This site earns every one of its five stars.
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.