Board game teaches children money, life lessons

Norman Fredericks, 85, says his board game, Millionaire in the Making, teaches children the value of money as well as important life lessons.

An 85-year-old man from Retreat has created a board game to teach children important life lessons and how to work with money.

Millionaire in the Making also encourages parents to spend time bonding with their children, says Norman Fredericks.

He launched the game in 2019, but the pandemic made it hard to distribute it and get word out about it, he says.

“Our community struggles and many experience being poor,” he says. “This has become an accepted part of a culture. Unless we come up with solutions, it won’t change. This game is my solution to eradicating drug abuse, raising and creating conscious money-users and also to help parents and children bond again.”

Mr Fredericks was a teacher for five years in the 1960s at the Independent Congregation Mission School in Athlone and he worked as an insurance sales manager for more than 20 years before his retirement.

He remembers during his working years meeting a mother and her son, who was 9 at the time. The child was very protective of his mother, and, with her permission, he gave the boy a sweet and gained his trust. Several years, later he learnt the child had grown up to become a drug addict and had since died.

“This sparked something inside of me,” he says. “It was so sad to learn that the boy has passed on because of a drug addiction. His future was bright. I created a solution to help prevent drug addiction and poverty with this game.”

Mr Fredericks believes constant affirmation is important for a child’s growth, and his game, he says, gives children that sense of achievement in a fun way while teaching them how to work with money.

“Children learn more from educational play and games. This will help them in the workplace.”

The game has two parts. On the right side, are 12 affirmation cards. Each month, the child takes one card, and reads it daily in the small mirror on the board. On the left side, are earnings and job charts, stickers and five dice.

The game is based on a chore-and-reward system that teaches the value of money, how to earn it, how to save it, how to spend it wisely and, ultimately, how to invest it.

Professor Eric Atmore, the director of the Centre for Early Childhood Development in Claremont, says the game is suitable to teach young children how money works in society.

“Children learn more from play and games. We’d recommend this board game to every child to participate and play this game. This will help them in the world they enter into as adults.”

Caitlyn Rensburg, 13, from Steenberg, says the game taught her to be responsible and think before acting. “Discipline was always one of my principles even at school. It also taught me the value and importance of money.”

The affirmation cards boosted her character to become more social and helped with choosing friends, she says.

“As I grew older, I always said that I want to excel in my academics. That motivated me to do exceptionally well. I received three full scholarships to attend prestigious schools such as Westerford High School. I think for myself personally as a young girl, that I made the best decision for my future to attend Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Gauteng. This board game was a catalyst for my future.”

Colin Keyster, 43, of Steenberg, played the game with his son, 16, and daughter, 15, when they were younger and they still remember its lessons, he says.

“It is a very interesting game and does have an impact on children especially in our community. They got a better understanding with money, and the affirmations helped them grow. I can definitely see the difference between my children and those in our communities. The word became a part of their heart and it goes hand in hand with understanding money. We are grateful to Mr Fredericks and his game.”

Mr Fredericks is prepared to explain and demonstrate the game. For more information, contact him at normanfredericks@gmail.com or 083 772 5437.

The game has two parts. On the right side, are 12 affirmation cards. Each month, the child takes one card, and reads it daily in the small mirror on the board. On the left side, are earnings and job charts, stickers and five dice.