I was lucky enough to be invited to an event today with other KS2 and secondary teachers to play the logistics board game entitled "Business on the Move". The purpose of the game is to develop business skills in children (and adults too). The game challenges players to run a business that must respond to customers’ orders, moving different products around the world as profitably as possible.
This educational board game was designed by two ex-teachers to excite and inspire (young) players about global supply chains. It teaches many business skills and has lots of cross curricular links built into it.
How to play
The idea behind the game is that you have been given a loan of £100,000 to set up a global logistics business. You need to transport goods by air, sea, rail and road from China and deliver orders to customers in the UK. The aim is to be the first to complete deliveries and to make the largest profit. There are lots of business decisions to be made along the way such as how much cargo to buy, which form of transport to use, whether to trade in assets for cash or whetherto try and barter with other players (which is great fun!) There are operating costs that need to be paid too. It is interesting to see how you need to adapt your strategy to cope with unforeseen events as these crop up all the time. Carbon emissions are also part of the game which makes for added environmental interest.
Response from teachers
The game is much more fun than Monopoly although it follows a similar, allbeit more complicated format. The concepts behind the game were explained slowly to us as we progressed through the game so that we didn't get confused by too much information all at once. Someone played as the banker and four other people played the game. We saw this working in a classroom by the teacher being the banker and eight children playing (in pairs). These children could then become experts in the game and take over the banking role and pass their knowledge onto new players. The game ended when the first person completed their deliveries. At this point we added up everyones assets, deducted the initial loan and declared a second winner - the one with the most money.
Business and curriculum skills taught
As well as teaching business skills such as cash management, asset management, logistics and decision making, the game also covers a number of national curriculum objectives for literacy, maths, geography and PSHE skills. There are also opportunities to extend learning beyond the game too, for example, finding out more about carbon footprints and supply chains for household products. In addition to the game, the website has many other learning opportunities created by the sponsors of the game (including many high street brands).
We were very fortunate to be given three sets of the games by the Humber Education Business Partnership and I can't wait to get them into the classroom and develop our children's business acumen.