As you have probably noticed, I have been doing a lot of exploration of online learning games lately. There are a number of reasons for this. First, I have always believed everyone, children and adults, learns more effectively through play or creative engagement. Secondly, the reality of my post-pandemic world means I am having to take on more responsibilities, both for my business and personally. I have a lot of learning to catch up on.
On my search I found mortgagecalculator.org. They, like many financial/calculator sites, have a section dedicated to "Free Money Games for Kids". Of course I couldn't resist checking it out. Well, let me tell you, this is not your ordinary financial website game page.
The site starts off like most others, with a series of simple games that teach kids monetary values, how to make change, etc. The games are fun and can get challenging as you move through the levels. There are a number I have seen on other sites. In these days of debit cards and Apple Pay the art of making change may be becoming a lost skill. But I imagine there are still quite a few teenagers who begin their working life as a cashier at the Supermarket, or at 7-11 or McDonalds. There is still plenty of change to be made if one wants to be successful. This is a great way to learn and/or hone your skills. My favorite among the group is the "cash-back" game, which certainly challenged me as it got more and more difficult.
I played some of the familiar games and then scrolled down to see what was next. Here is where this site really gets interesting. This site goes way beyond the ordinary when it comes to money games. The first thing that caught my eye was a bitcoin game. Really, bitcoin! I mean, I know what it is (I think). It is certainly in the news quite a bit. But I don't think I really understand what it is or how it works. Sure enough the "Bitcoin Tap Tap Mine" is a simple click game with very common action, but without realizing it you are starting to understand the notions of mining bitcoin, algorhythms and cryptocurrency in general.
While this site says Money Games for Kids it is significantly more than that. I found a Stock Market game where you track a theoretical stock through its ups and downs in the market - and watch your portfolio rise and fall. Click on the moving chart and try to buy low and sell high. Again, the action of the game is simple. this is not some crazy video game where you need 15 fingers to move your player through a virtual world. But it is challenging and fascinating. And again, what I love, without realizing it the player is learning about fluctuations in the stock market and investing in general.
What is truly incredible is how far this site takes the idea of financial literacy. This is about so much more than learning currency and its values. There are games that help you understand the realities of starting your own business, and buying and selling real estate.
Most impressive is the section they have included on software development games. Anyone who has anything to do with teaching these days knows all about STEM education. Here again, the site provides a number of games that help explain coding and software development. This is something I know absolutely nothing about, but I am aware that it is the future of learning and it is vital that children, particularly young girls, understand it and have a place in the field. I absolutely love that they have included this section. I also loved playing Code Panda (probably because it was the simplest of the games)! I ultimately caught on and learned how my building blocks of code moved the panda to his bamboo prize. And in doing so started to understand the basics of writing code.
After seeing so many similar sites and playing so many other games I have found the ultimate here at mortgagecalculator.org. Superlatives like "this is so much more than your ordinary game site" really just don't cut it. These are fabulous games for kids, for teens and tweens, for adults, for lifelong learners. This site succeeds in doing what i am always striving to do. It makes learning fun. It encourages you to want to learn more. Money is just the platform here. These games and this site go well beyond that. No matter the age, if you know of someone with an inquisitive mind send them this link.
Who knows what playing these simple games will inspire.