My counseling kiddos have pointed out that the jobs and houses provided by the Game of Life are rather lacking. Some of them enjoy the options, but many do not. I have noticed that several kids have a plan in mind of what they want their life to be like when they grow older and want to play it out through the game. They want a specific job, a certain number of kids, and some even know what kind of house they want to have.
I figured the best solution would be to allow them to create their own future. I made cards for college careers, non-college careers, and houses that are blank on the back to allow the kids to draw in their own ideas. One of the issues I had with the game-provided cards was that there was a huge discrepancy between college jobs and regular jobs. This might be true in many cases, but there are some jobs that pay very well without a college degree. And, as a counselor, I can attest that some college graduate jobs have crappy pay.
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I did make it so that most college jobs will have higher pay than non-college jobs. I created more of a variation in pay. It may be more work for the banker but will be more realistic. I love that the kids will be able to get involved by putting their dreams and aspirations on paper and then playing it out in the game.
As a reminder, there is no need to “play by the rules” with this game. I’m always blown away by the creativity and variations I see when I allow kids to make their own choices. For instance, I will allow them to decide whether or not to get married. Maybe they land on a baby spot. They may choose to get a baby, or maybe they will decline. They might land on a girl baby but they want a boy. I let them choose, but I may follow up with a question, such as what will you do if you have a girl in real life?
At the end, they get to choose between the mansion and the farm. I will often ask what their dream home would be. Some will point to the board, but others will describe something completely different. There are many ways to play. I just wanted to offer some creative ideas to open up discussion and dialogue with your kids.