3 of the Best Business Simulation Games for Kids

Looking for business games ideas for kids? Here are 3 of the best business simulation games for kids, which means they're lots of fun + offer tons of play to prep your child for some real-world biz concepts. | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/best-business-simulation-games-kids/

Looking to start your budding kidpreneur off on the right foot? Here are the best business simulation games for kids (and they’re all free).

Do you have a budding kidpreneur, or titan of industry on your hands?

Perhaps your child doesn’t seem to have any real-world business sense at all and you’d like to gently introduce them to these concepts.

Doesn’t matter where your child falls on the biz-understanding spectrum; these 3 business simulation games will introduce them + hone their understanding of some key business concepts.

Did I mention they’re pretty fun to play, too?

Business Simulation Game #1: Zapitalism

Age Range: Middle + High School
Game Objective: Become the richest business owner on the island, which is the first person to make it to 5,000,000 zables.
Where to Play: http://www.Zapitalism.com

Zapitalism is a six-player game (any slots not taken by people are taken by computer players, so your child can play on their own). Your kid gets to choose a company to run after reading through its description.

This is a turn-based game, meaning each player must take a turn before the time advances by one week. You’re given 50,000 zables to start, and with this money you need to turn a profit by purchasing items from a wholesaler to stock your shelves with. You are in charge of setting the price to turn a profit, but watch out! If you become too greedy, then customers will not buy from you.

You can do other cool/not-so-cool money things like:

  • Take a loan out with interest up to your credit limit for your business to purchase better products as well.
  • Take a peek at the store shelves of competitors to see what they have. Each week the companies are ranked according to their net cash.
  • Compete for a building permit to enlarge your store size, thereby enlarging your shelf space.
  • Be audited if you fail to pay taxes every 10 weeks that passes.
  • Pay your employees.

Levels are from Tutorial all the way up to Master. I highly recommend going through the tutorial round first because it really helps with understanding how to play.

Bonus: here are some free worksheets to go along with this game!

Business Simulation Game #2: Gazillionaire

Age Range: Middle + High School
Game Objective: Start a small company and bring it all the way to trade tycoon status.
Where to Play: http://www.gazillionaire.com/index.php

This game is for up to 6 human players and 6 computer players. Your child will be running their own trading company where they’ll need to buy low and sell high in order to prosper.

Bonus: here are some free worksheets to go along with this game!

Business Simulation Game #3: Marty Raygun’s Fistful of Dollars

Age Range: Middle + High School
Game Objective: Keep your monthly business cash flow in check, while making the firm as valuable as possible. Don’t go into bankruptcy, and make sure you always keep money in your business bank account.
Where to Play: http://sims.myej.org/wcgame/

Your child is taking over the firm Galactic Zappers. You need to make sure you keep enough cash on hand, and order enough supplies to keep things moving. You need to pay fixed period costs to keep the factory running (things like rent and electricity). You can accept or reject orders from suppliers after reviewing their details. They can offer you cash, or credit of 30-60-90 day terms to purchase their raw materials, which you need to produce your products and get them to your customers. You can also accept or reject customers based on their details. There’s some shady characters in there! You also will need to decide if you’d accept cash, or credit on 30-60-90 day terms from customers (hint: you’ll need to have a firm grasp on your monthly cash flow in order to pay expenses. Valuable business lesson there!).

There are some handy-dandy buttons allowing you to collectively see your accounts receivables and your accounts payable at any time you’d like. That’s helpful in managing your monthly cash flow.

And each are connected to the “Bank”, so you can clearly see what your balance does throughout the game.

Again, it’s very helpful to have your child go through the “How to Play” video before diving in. Lots of terms to learn for this one!

Which one are you most excited to have your kid try out?

How to Make Money for Kids? Start with these 9 Kidpreneur Money Books

Entrepreneur kids...do you have any ideas where to start? If you're looking for how to make money for kids, I've got 9 books, broken down by age, to start teaching your child the lessons they need to learn the ropes. | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/how-to-make-money-for-kids-9-kidpreneur-books/

Wondering how to make money for kids? Or is your kid really into the subject? Read on for where to start.

Kidpreneurs (kid entrepreneurs) are popping up everywhere.

And the market appears to be highly ready to receive them, as many have “hit it big.”

Take Leanna, for example, who was constantly being complimented about her hair at around the age of 11. The secret sauce? She actually was making her own homemade hair products. She saw an opportunity for her homemade hair dressings, hair butters, and shampoos (all free of sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, and lots of other mainstream chemicals) and opened up her company, Leanna’s, Inc. In 2010, she raked in $100,000 in profits, and in 2011 that number was more like $300,000.

You know, in between math worksheets, first-time crushes, and whatnot.

Or Mikaila Ulmer, who, after being stung by two bees in one week, was sent her grandmother’s 1940s recipe book with a special lemonade recipe in it to help make her feel better. Mikaila became interested in bees and learned about their endangered plight + how important they are for the ecosystem. She created Me & the Bees Lemonade, which now is being sold in Whole Foods Market after her stint on Shark Tank. A percentage of all of her profits goes to organizations helping to save the bees.

These stories are kinda unreal, especially since most of us Mama Bears (and especially those of us who aren’t making even close to that amount…*ahem* myself included).

Have you ever thought about your child joining the ranks of these entrepreneur prodigies? Or perhaps your own kiddo has come to you and mentioned here and there how excited they are by other kids paving the kidpreneur way?

I mean the thing is, your safest place to start them with is books. It’s a relatively low-cost way for you + your kiddo to explore this new territory, and learn a few things in the process. Like whether or not they’re really serious about this, or if their idea will go the way of toddler-sized Elsa dolls in two weeks.

Follow along with the main characters below, broken down by suggested age range, as they traverse their own entrepreneurial journeys.

Hint: it’s not all roses. But if you’re a woman in a biz like I am, then you already knew that.

Kidpreneur Money Book #1: Lemonade in Winter, Emily Jenkins

Age Range: 3-7 years

What’s one of the first rules of creating a product? Give the people what they want. And really, when they want it. Timing is everything.

As in, who wants to buy a cup of icy lemonade in winter, when these two decide to open up their lemonade stand?

Another entrepreneur reality these two learn the hard way: you don’t make a profit if you spend as much money to make the product as you bring in selling the product.

Kidpreneur Money Book #2: Lulu Walks the Dogs, Judith Viorst

Age Range: 6-10 years

This book drives home the point that a (successful) entrepreneur’s journey is hardly ever walked alone. You need help. Even if it’s just from the pesky neighbor boy who seems to know an awful lot about things + is super polite.

Follow along as sassy Lulu learns the hard way about making money from a variety of sources.

Kidpreneur Money Book #3: Amelia Bedelia Means Business, Herman Parish

Age Range: 6-10

Amelia sets her green eye on the brand new bike Suzanne has…and she just has to get one, too. The only problem (aside from basing her wants on someone else’s)? Her parents will only pay for half of the new bike.

Amelia sets up a lemonade stand next to a car lot because she’s convinced there will be thirsty customers. Follow along while she thinks of creative ways to both win the bike, as well as to advertise her new business.

Kidpreneur Money Book #4: The Lemonade War, Jacqueline Davies

Age Range: 7-10 years

What an adorable book – I absolutely adored reading it.

And the reason why this is great for your kidpreneur-in-the-making to read? It breaks down these huge business concepts and makes them understandable through something your tween gets – a lemonade stand. We’re talking concepts like underselling, value-added, profit margins, franchises, etc.

A further lesson I love is the underlying idea that you’ve GOT to take action. Action in business is how you see results – both good and bad – and learn from them. Then tweak, and move on.

Kidpreneur Money Book #5: The Toothpaste Millionaire, Jean Merrill

Age Range: 10-12 years

Note: Originally published in 1972, this book takes place in an era when many authors, including this one, talked about things like race/age/sex discrimination. So just a heads up!

this line from the book pretty much sums up why I’m recommending it: “As I mentioned before, math isn’t my favorite subject. But I think everybody should take a course in toothpaste.”

This book gives an overall introduction to the manufacturing business, and makes the whole thing a very tangible subject. Not to mention, the main character essentially does what Leanna did with her hair products: he figures out how to make a homemade toothpaste recipe that is much cheaper than what’s on the market, and has no chemicals in it.

I love how this book shares the process of his wins and losses while trying to figure out a recipe, then figure out how to actually package it, etc.

Kidpreneur Money Book #6: Lawn Boy, Gary Paulsen

Age Range: 8-12 years

Note: Get this book for your kiddo for the business and entrepreneur lessons. However, warn your kid about the use of penny stocks and investing their money with random people, because Lawn Boy makes a small fortune when his stockbroker-neighbor-turned-business-manager invests his money into penny stocks.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: financial limits breed creativity. In this case, being a broke kid bred a whole business!

Lawn Boy chronicles a kid’s journey through starting a successful lawn-mowing business − complete with employees − all because his parents didn’t have enough money to help him buy a new bike inner tube (bikes seem to be a recurring motivational theme in these books, eh?).

Lots of economics here, but it makes entrepreneurship and the skills you’ll need for it (plus the hurdles you’ll be faced with) much more accessible.

Kidpreneur Money Book #7: Lunch Money, Andrew Clements

Age Range: 8-12 years

The main character, Greg Kenton, is obsessed with earning cash. Like, totally money-crazy. One day he figures out that all of his friends and schoolmates carry around extra quarters with them (market research at its best!) − for things like ice-cream sandwiches, cupcakes, neon pens, pencils, and other things to buy at school – he sets out to find a way to get all those quarters.

He bounces around from product ideas as first a middle man of sorts, and then an inventor of mini-comic books kids can read in school. Once he figures out how to mass produce them, someone else gets smart on the process (a competitor!) plus he gets into trouble with his principal (legal issues!).

Lots of entrepreneurial lessons in here introduced in a non-intimidating way, like marketing, figuring out your audience, gross earnings versus profits, trademark issues, etc.

Kidpreneur Money Book #8: Better than a Lemonade Stand!, Daryl Bernstein

Age Range: 9-13 years

This 15-year old gives your kiddo 55 different business ideas that go well beyond the lemonade stand. Originally written in 1992, there are examples included throughout of actual kids who took this kid’s advice and how they created a business from it.

There’s a lot of positivity in this book, and I’ll have to warn you that you may not agree with all the advice spouted off by the then-15-year-old in the beginning of the book. Examples include, “When you earn your own money, it’s yours to spend as you wish…[i]f you prefer to buy loads of candy, go ahead!” And you might want to reinforce the idea of charity against his statement of, “When I see a need, I charge a fee to fill it.”

Kidpreneur Money Book #9: Seventeen Against the Dealer, Cynthia Voigt

Age Range: 12+ years

Note: This is actually Book #7 in a series; however, I didn’t read the other ones before it and thought the story worked well on its own.

Dicey Tillerman sets her eyes on opening a boatyard business where she’ll craft boats for a living. However, she lacks business sense, boat-making experience, and wads of cash to start things off (capital).

Psst: Of course, business sense can be picked up as you go (*cough* not that I would know ANYTHING about that).

One of the most important lessons from this book is the need for contracts between you and the people you are working with in business. Not to mention the need for an extra-cushioned emergency fund if you’re just starting a business and don’t have another source of income coming in. There’s also a nice introduction to the idea of business insurance.

Your child may have thought about wanting to start a business, or shown some interest in running a lemonade stand. For me and my friend, it was starting a bean bag business (not much demand in them…nor supply, for that matter, as we slacked off on production). Bottom line? I would have loved to have read these books before and while going through that bean bag business (a total flop, by the way. But oh, the fun we had!).

So, get your kid reading! Who knows where it might lead them.

Ignite the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Your Child with this Lesson Plan

Kidpreneur ideas like this one will help you stomp-out allowance advances. Ignite that entrepreneurial spirit in your children! Super helpful skill whether your kid joins the kid entrepreneurs club OR works for someone else. | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/ignite-entrepreneurial-spirit-child-lesson-plan/

Your kid has much to gain when they ignite their entrepreneurial spirit. Use this system, and you might just gain from it as well!

Entrepreneurs, among other qualities, need to be able to recognize opportunities in the marketplace. This means finding a need, and figuring out how to solve that need in a profitable way.

This can be as simple as a kidpreneur (or kidpreneur-in-the-making) opening a lemonade stand on a smoldering July day near a construction site, and as complicated as creating a machine knob specifically for tea growers in Japan.

And having this ability doesn’t have to result in a person starting their own business; it works equally as well for your child if they work for someone else in the form of more merit raises, one-time bonuses for one-off projects, promotions, leverage in salary negotiations, etc.

In fact, the skill of recognizing an opportunity, and seizing it by writing my own job description resulted in me snagging my first job out of college (worth an awesome $40,000 + benefits to me at the time). More on that in a bit.

So no matter which path your child pursues as an adult, we want to ignite + foster this skill for them.

I’ve got a way for you to do just that.

A System for Your Child to Identify a Need in Your Home + Propose a Solution

We want to encourage your child to come to you with things they see that could use improvement, and ways they could add value or provide a solution for you.

Let’s go through how to do this.

Step #1: Discuss with your child the idea that people need things + services.

Here’s a conversation outline for you with a few blanks to fill in (where underlined):

“People need things and services in their lives. They need things to maintain their health, they need things to make life more enjoyable. They need parts to make repairs to their belongings. They need really cool items to buy as gifts for others. They need better systems or processes to make things work more efficiently, which just means taking less time and less money and getting the same (or better) results. All over the world, people need things. In my own life, three needs that I’ve satisfied through purchasing something include X, Y, and Z. By purchasing them, they made my life easier because <<FILL IN SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR EACH EXAMPLE YOU GAVE>>. Generally when people need something, they are willing to pay money for the solution. That’s why there are so many companies, all which provide products + solutions for people’s needs.”

Pssst: Man I wish I could go back 17 years and give myself this talk! Would’ve saved me several adult years of banging my head against the wall trying to understand how to make money.

Step #2: Task your child with identifying a need around the house/property/car.

What could this look like?

A Few Examples for you + your kiddo:

  • Find a more efficient way to organize the “command center” in your home.
  • Use Google Maps or another program to find a more efficient route for your commute.
  • Organize the wood pile + create newspaper logs that are fireplace-ready.
  • Find a better way to organize/clean/maintain the video game center in your home.
  • Clean out your car (I used to do this for my parents!) + add a car trash can to the back area so that in the future the kids can just use that instead of throwing things on the ground.
  • Introduce a better laundry system for the family’s clothes so that they actually all end up in the laundry room, sorted, and ready to be washed.

The possibilities are endless, and specific to what needs your child sees in your family life.

Step #3: Once they’ve identified a need and come to you with it, you must decide if it’s worth it to you to move forward. Don’t be afraid if, after they’ve told you a need they think you have but that you don’t actually have, to tell them that it isn’t a current need of yours. Hey, the road to success is paved with failed products! This is excellent feedback so that they start to understand their “customer” and dig deeper. Perhaps they’ll even start to ask YOU what you want from them!

Step #4: What are both of your expectations for this job so that you know when the job is completed correctly?

Let them tell you what they propose to accomplish and what that would look like.

Then you share what you, as a paying customer, expect in results. Hash this out if need be (just like a real negotiation between a biz and their potential client).

This includes a deadline.

Step #5: Now you need to ask them for a price.

I know, I know. You might be wondering, “why on earth am I going to let my child choose how much I’m willing to pay them for something they want to do around the house? Isn’t it MY money?”

I totally get that. But remember that the nature of this lesson is to ignite that entrepreneurial spirit in them. Instead of you offering what you’re willing to pay, have them go through the exercise of pricing their efforts. Then the negotiations start.

This sets them up for good negotiation + valuation skills in the future.

Determine the market price you’ll pay, which is where their price (the supplier) and your price (based on how much you need what they’re offering + a dash of several other things) meets. $__________.

Step #6: Your child completes the work + notifies you.

Step #7: Using the checklist you both created, provide oversight and see if everything is as it was supposed to be.

Step #8: Pay the agreed upon rate once everything is up to par. And if they don’t quite complete the project + deliver what they promised, it’s up to you whether you want to make a partial payment, or not pay at all (satisfaction guaranteed could be added to this lesson as well).

If your child makes it through this process, then they will have successfully figured out a “market” need, fulfilled it, and gotten paid from their initiative. This is something that will no doubt shape their futures.

And if they don’t quite succeed? Well the lessons are vast for all entrepreneurs as they traverse through the mistakes, failures, and successes.

It’s really a win-win situation.

Let me show you what I mean, with an example in my own life.

How I Used this Skill Set to Write My Own First Job Offer Worth $40,000 + Benefits

While some of my dorm mates were floundering around trying to find employment, I was busy enjoying my last two months of college before entering the “real world”.

Why is that? Because I had a job waiting for me. And the only reason why I had that job was I spotted a need in a local company, and wrote my way into it.

I had interned for an organization in my small college town, and they ended up building a start-up company set to open its doors sometime around when I was due to graduate. One day I asked them if I could have a full-time job there come June. The director looked at me, and said, “go ahead and write up a job description of what you propose you would do here. Then we’ll see.”

So I went back to my college dorm and worked on a job description. I thought about what the company was trying to achieve, and tied this into what I wanted to do with my life (at least what I thought I wanted to do at the time).

I wish I had saved a copy of the actual job description, but my sharp memory tells me it went something like this:

“Amanda L. Grossman will be the International Marketing & Sales contact at Chesapeake Fields. The International Marketing & Sales Person is responsible for researching new markets around the world where Chesapeake Fields’ products would be well received. Primary responsibilities include understanding these markets, making contact with potential wholesalers and distributors, sending samples, and being the brand ambassador for Chesapeake Fields within these markets.”

With one minor change − they put sales in front of marketing in my job title − I got an offer from them for $40,000 + benefits to do just that. Within the one year I worked there, I ended up negotiating an initial container load of $27,000 worth of our product to a major food retailer in Taiwan.

Unfortunately, my job AND that company went under not long after my first and only year there. But writing my way into a company right out of college based on a need I saw that I could fill? Well that was enough to impress future employers who then hired me.

See how lucrative learning this skill could be for your child? I’d love to hear below what needs (perceived or actual ones) your child comes up with to fulfill.