Monopoly Junior, from Hasbro‘s Gaming division, is designed for kids ages 5 and up. This game is really successful in taking the full Monopoly experience and scaling it down for younger kids in a meaningful way. Much of the strategizing (Should I buy this property; should I build a hotel?) is now left to chance. If you land on a property, you must buy it. If someone already owns it, you pay rent. If they own two of that color property, you must pay them double. This process also speeds up the game play, which is great for kids’ attention spans and parents’ limited available time.
I played this game with Lena, who won’t be 5 for a few more months, and she loved it, as you can tell from her commentary in the video above. It’s so interesting to play a game you (and everyone else on the planet) knows so well, and introduce it to a child who has never seen it before. Lena was thrilled to collect $2 (this version only uses $1 bills, and no property costs more than $5) every time she passed Go (she literally sighed in relief when her bank account was dwindling and she received the $2!). At one point, I landed on the Go to Jail space—which I was thrilled to see used the traditional Monopoly artwork—and she was genuinely concerned. Did I do something bad? How do I get out? (You get out on your next turn by paying $1). Also, she really wanted to know who Mr. Monopoly is and why he is on the box (I told her it’s his game).
Monopoly Junior is also great for practicing counting and math skills. I’m sure most kids will want to be the banker, as I always did!
Overall, we had a blast playing this game. It took us about 20 minutes before I went bankrupt, couldn’t pay rent, and the game ended.
This product and more from Hasbro will be on display at The Big Toy Book’s Sweet Suite 14 event in New York City on July 17. Part of Blogger Bash, a two-day conference connecting bloggers and brands nationwide, Sweet Suite will feature the hottest toys and games for the upcoming holiday season. Visit thebigtoybook.com for more info, and follow the conversation on Twitter!