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Business Simulation Games for Teaching Kids About Economics

moneyThere are many children's games online that teach all sorts of lessons, like alphabet games, math games or science games. However, free business simulation games offer a unique approach to teaching young children about the simple principles of running a business, and even about simple personal economics. Many schools don't offer children lessons in business or economics at a young age, so business simulation games can fill in the gap and teach kids the general rules about how businesses work.

Each of the three business games below are offered in a simple and fun format that children love, but they also present business lessons in a way that is easy to understand and fun to practice. As children develop their own simulated business and increase net worth, they learn important lessons about keeping customers happy, maintaining a healthy positive cash flow and other valuable lessons.

Coffee Shop is one of the best business games, because it is a well written and high quality game that will hold a child's interest while they learn how to make their own personal coffee shop grow. All you have to do is name your cafe, and you're in business!

business simulation games
Setting Up Your Coffee Shop

The Coffee Shop business game is very easy to learn. Kids start out with "seed money" to launch their business. From the first screen, you can set your price, redesign the coffee recipe, and of course buy supplies. Once you've set everything up, it's time to start your business day and see how well you do.

business simulation games
Selling Coffee

As the business day progresses, you can watch what your customers are thinking as they walk past your coffee cafe. Some may think your price is too high, or that your coffee doesn't have enough milk. By paying attention to customers, managing your supplies and pricing your coffee right, you can encourage customers to keep coming back for more.

business simulation games
The Daily Business Report

At the end of each day, you receive feedback about how many cups of coffee you sold as well as customer feedback. This game teaches children the value of paying close attention to what people expect in order to give them what they want so that they value what you have to offer above your competition. This is an important core principle of any business, and the earlier kids learn such an important lesson, the better entrepreneurs they will be as adults.

Lemonade Stand is another fun business simulation game for kids. While the graphics aren't quite as high quality as the Coffee Shop, the principles are the same and the action is just as fun. Just like the Coffee Shop, the first step of this game is to organize what you will spend your initial investment money on.

business games
The Lemonade Stand

Choose how much you'll spend on advertising, how you'll price the lemonade and how many glasses you are going to make for the next day. This step also teaches kids how to work with money, because you must multiply how much you'll charge per glass by the number of glasses you plan to make, and then subtract the cost of making each glass so that you can estimate profits.

business games
Your Lemonade Sales

Unlike the Coffee Shop, you won't see any animated selling taking place. Instead, the next screen goes instantly to the results of day one. It's up to you to carefully look at how many glasses sold and whether you made profit or not. The trick is to analyze what worked and what didn't, take a look at the expected weather for the next day, and then tweak things to increase your profit. Obviously, this is a basic principle of any business, and a very important lesson for any child to learn at a young age.

Cookie Tycoon is another fun game that will let kids practice running their own business in the form of a free online business simulation game. This one is just a little more complex, so it's probably better for slightly older kids.

business games
Cookie Tycoon - Making Cookies

In this simulation, you buy ingredients to make the cookies that you're going to sell, but you also hire and fire employees - adding a whole new level to the business experience. The game walks you through the process with a convenient wizard, so learning how to play the game is very simple and fast.

business computer games
A Day in the Cookie Store

Just like in the Coffee Shop game, you can watch as your customers enter the store, buy cookies and then leave. Keep a close eye on their thoughts as they leave the store, because the customers will let you know whether or not your cookies are any good.

business computer games
End of Day Sales

At the end of every day, you receive a full report of the cost of making the cookies and all of your overhead (like employees), the total sales that you made and then your overall profits. This game is also fun because as each day goes by your shop will improve. The chef and employees gain experience, and you can upgrade the appearance of your shop, which also increases sales.

All three of these online business simulation games can be used to show kids of all ages what it's like to start, run and maintain a successful business. Once children can comprehend concepts like customer satisfaction and positive net profits, they can incorporate those economic ideas into their own jobs and careers as they get older. Even if your child never uses the lessons that they learn from these online games, they are very fun and entertaining to play.

Written May 14, 2010 by Ryan Dube

Social Studies

User Reviews & Comments

02/01/2016 agario
Thanks for all your information, Website is very nice and informative content. agario: http://agariofull.com

01/07/2016 Ahmed
Hello!!! My name is Ahmed. I live in Warszawa. I have read this blog post about Business Simulation Games for Teaching Kids About EconomicsBusiness Simulation Games for Teaching Kids About Economics and want to thank you for such an informative article.

08/11/2010 Admin
Another interesting business game is Disney's Hot Shot Business: http://disney.go.com/hotshot/hsb2/index.html

08/11/2010 Admin
Another interesting business game is Disney's Hot Shot Business: http://disney.go.com/hotshot/hsb2/index.html

07/07/2010 Admin
Here is one more game, similar to the lemonade stand game, but on the subject of rock music: Rags To Riches http://www.fordpas.org/RagsToRiches/index.html

07/07/2010 Admin
Here is one more game, similar to the lemonade stand game, but on the subject of rock music: Rags To Riches http://www.fordpas.org/RagsToRiches/index.html

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