Made for Trade: A Game of Early American Life is a board game
with four different play options. It consists of a game board,
60 coins, 2 dice, 48 Object Cards, 8 Playing Pieces, 8 shopping
lists, 30 Event I Cards, 30 Event II Cards, and instructions.
We played the "Tourist" game first and found it a little boring.
Next we played "Trader," and it was fun. The other two game options
were enjoyable as well. I found the game board somewhat confusing
and felt it could have been laid out a little better. I also felt
some of the game pieces could have been better quality, and a better
storage option could have been provided for them. Those two things
aside, this is a very enjoyable game that provides information
that is helpful in gaining a better understanding of early American
life. Many of the items in the shops provided fodder for some lively
Since my middle-schooler is taking American history in the fall,
we will be using this game to supplement our curriculum. I believe
it would benefit all homeschool families -- no matter the age of
the student -- and also just provide some family fun. This game
sells for $25 on Talicor's website, which is a reasonable price
for a game that will become part of your family's permanent collection
and become a family favorite.
I've heard about and wanted Made for Trade for
years, especially when we studied early American or Colonial history.
But it was one of those "extras" that I never seemed to end up
purchasing--even though I thought it would make a nice resource
to reinforce and enhance our studies. So when I had the opportunity
to review this game, I was thrilled!
Made for Trade (by Aristoplay) is a fun way to learn more about
everyday life during a fascinating period of our country's history.
Players get to choose which Colonial character they would like
to be; then they have the opportunity to step back in time. Whether
players are a tax collector or an indentured servant trying to
buy his freedom, they will learn a lot about the culture and world
of yesteryear and even how the barter system works.
From the Talicor website:
Like American settlers, players will need to visit different
shops to attain items they need by paying shillings or by trading.
They'll learn what everyday life was like for ordinary citizens
while practicing bartering and money management. A delightful
lesson in history and economics and great for all ages!
Made for Trade is actually four games in one:
- Shillings, a simple card game that plays like Spoons
- Tourist, which uses the board and gives players a glimpse of
Colonial life, the shops, and the monetary system. The first
player to collect four objects and four shillings wins.
- Trader, where players begin the game as indentured servants
and must buy or trade their way to freedom.
- Shopper, where players make their own inventory lists to buy
and trade at the stores. The first townsperson to collect all
the objects wins.
The boxed set comes with a game board depicting an early American
town, 60 shillings, 2 dice, 48 object cards, 8 character playing
pieces, 8 inventory (shopping) lists, 30 Historical Event 1 Cards
(easy), 30 Historical Event 2 Cards (more difficult), and an instruction
/information booklet that gives instructions for each game and
descriptions and uses of the objects found in the game.
It took a little while to figure out exactly how to play the games,
but I put my 14-year-old son in charge of reading and explaining
the directions and strategies, and he was able to do so quite easily.
As we played, I realized just how much the children learn by exposure.
Seeing pictures of shops, products, and fixtures from a Colonial
town and reading descriptions of each was a great way to introduce
them to the culture, lifestyle, and systems of this earlier period
in our history. Some things are similar to what we have today,
but many more are different.
As an educational game, Made for Trade is a great resource for
homeschooling families, especially those who are studying Colonial
history. There are options for children ranging in age from 8 on
up, and there can be from two to six players. The cost for the
game is $25.00 on the Talicor website, but this is a well-made
and sturdy resource. Therefore, I think the price is well-worth
what you get. Plus, it can be used for many years with many children
(and adults) for educational fun.