My son, Zach, is five and a half. He has recently become obsessed with playing Monopoly (the real game, not just the kid’s version). He absolutely loves numbers, so Monopoly is perfect for him.
Only five, he’s already very comfortable with numbers in the thousands or even higher. It’s so awesome to hear him talk excitedly about how I’ll have to pay him “One Thousand, One Hundred Dollars” if I land on such-and-such a property. “That’s the same as “Eleven Hundred Dollars, Dad,” he tells me.
And he loves making change. In all sorts of creative ways. If he wants to buy a property for $110, he’ll give me (designated Banker, at least for a few more weeks until he takes this role over) a $100 bill and a $20 bill, asking to get a $10 bill back. He’ll do this even if he has a $10 bill clearly in sight. Often, he’ll just ask to get change for his larger bills just for the heck of it.
One time, he bought a property for $210 and gave me $300. When I gave him his $90 back, I attempted to confirm his understanding of things. “Here’s your $90 in change,” I said. “Does that make sense?”
“Of course, Dad. 300 minus 210 is 90. Ha HAH!” was his response.
Yesterday, for some reason, Zach decided he wanted to play with three die rather than just two. Sure, I said. Why not?
He excitedly pointed out that from Go, I couldn’t possibly land on Mediterranean Avenue or Community Chest (the first two squares past Go on the board). Amazingly, he understood that with three die, the smallest number I could roll would be a three. Proud parent to genius son: keep it up, kid!
Later, during our game, he asked if we could play with 100 die. He stretched out the “hundred” as he said it, being the silly, joyous boy he is.
“Well, I suppose we could if we had that many die,” I said. “But, we’d go around the board really, really fast.”
“What if I rolled a hundred sixes, Dad?”
I thought about it for a moment and replied, “Well, you’d go around the board fifteen times!”
He laughed his marvelous laugh.
But after a moment, he stopped, became still. A moment later he asked, “And how much money would I get?”
“What do you mean,” I asked, not seeing what he was getting at.
“For passing ‘Go’ all those times. How much money would I get?”
Told ya. Smart kid.
I did the math in my head and told him. “Three thousand dollars.”
“Three thousand dollars!” he repeated. “Wow! I’d be so rich, Dad.”
Yes, son, you would be. Just like I am because of having you in my life. Love you, buddy.