Searching for activities and games that teach your kids about money?
Firstly, I applaud you for taking the action to introduce such an important life lesson for your children.
In fact, many of us (myself included) had very little knowledge on money management through our upbringings before we find ourselves overwhelmed by mortgages, savings, pensions, not to mention budgeting and investment…
Just like other life skills on math, reading and swimming, wouldn’t it be nice for our children to learn about money at a younger age, so they know exactly what to do when they get their first paycheques?
Do you know…
We want to teach our children about money, and they just want to have fun.
… which is why, these 15 fun games and activities will help them learn about money through playing.
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5 Important Lessons to Teach Kids About Money:
There are really 5 main lessons we need to teach our children about money:
- Work hard for what you earn
- Save for bigger things
- Plan for what you buy (incl. shop around)
- Borrowing costs, saving earns
- The power of giving
Lesson #1: Work Hard for What you Earn
Nowadays we use bank cards or phones to buy everything, kids rarely see the actual MONEY, making less real.
If you never talked to your kids about money, start the conversation by asking them where do they think money comes from? You will be surprised by their creative answers.
Teach your kids money doesn’t come from an endless supply, instead we have to work hard for it. This is a great life lesson on the value of money, and work ethic.
Next time when they see you clocking extra hours working at night or the weekend, take the opportunity to explain to them the money from your job pays for the house, cars, food, clothes and family holidays…
To help them understand you can also give them small chores to complete to earn money by working.
Lesson #2: Save for Bigger Things
As Benjamin Franklin put it “a penny saved is actually more than a penny earned”, especially if you are taking the hefty tax deduction in the UK =)
Rather than spend money every time they receive it on birthdays and Christmas, teach them to save for bigger things that they really really want.
Lesson #3: Budgeting / Planning
Budgeting, in simple terms is to plan before you spend.
The key lesson about budgeting is to teach your kids that money is not limitless. With a set amount of money, it is important to make plans for things they want to buy.
And if they can’t fit everything they want to buy within the given budget, they will need to shop around for cheaper options, or wait until next time.
Lesson #4: Borrowing Costs, Saving Earns
I know this might be a bit more of a complicated lesson especially if you have younger children. But trust me, it is an important one that will serve them well in the long run.
The lesson here is to teach your children, do not spend the money you don’t have. On the contrary, if you save money, the money grows.
Use the bank as a simple example, if you borrow £10 from the bank, they will ask you to pay £15 back in the future. However, if you save £10 in the bank, in a few years, it will be £12 (I shall leave how crapy the interest rates are for a different post).
Lesson #5: The Power of Giving
The final lesson here is to teach your children to be generous with their money to people who are in need.
Helping them raise money for a good cause and teaching them how money can do amazing things in the world, is a rewarding lesson of its own.
With these 5 key lessons in mind, here are 15 activities and games you can do with your kids, so they can learn while they play.
Fun & Free Activities to Teach Kids About Money:
1. Playing with Money/Coins
This activity is suitable for kids age 2-8. For younger children, they can start by grouping coins, then move on to teach them the value of different types of coin. Once they are able to do addition, you can turn this into a math game by counting how much money they have.
2. Grocery Shopping
A simple activity that you do on a regular basis is a great opportunity to get kids involved to learn about money.
Having them help you make a grocery list before your shopping trip will teach them to plan before you shop.
You can also set them a challenge by giving them a budget to make a cake. So they need to shop for the ingredients for the cake while staying within the budget. This will teach them the art of shopping around as well.
3. Start a Piggy Bank
Start a piggy bank for each child, and he/she can start saving money to the piggy bank. They can save the money they get from birthdays and holidays. In addition, encourage them to make money by volunteering to do small chores in the house.
To teach them about interest, you can give them an additional £1 for every £10 they save.
4. Play Shop
Why not take the “play shop” game as a chance to teach them about money? Have them first come up with how much each item costs in the shop. Then one can play the shop keeper and other can play the customer.
Board Games to Teach Children About Money:
5. Magnetic Money (Age: 4-9, UK)
This Magnetic Money game comes with a board, an easy wipe marker, and 45 coins and notes to play. A fantastic way to teach children recognising the money, and how to buy and give change.
6. Money Match Me Cards (Age: 6-8, US)
This is a similar game to the Magnetic money but the US version. Although it doesn’t have a board and marker, kids can still learn the different combination of coins and bills.
7. Money Match Cafe (Age: 5-8)
If your children enjoy playing shop and cafe, they will love this game.
By putting a value to the item they buy from the cafe, they are learning about money through creative role play.
8. Monopoly Junior (Age: 5+)
We can’t talk about money board games without mentioning Monopoly. The Junior version is a faster and simpler game for kids with familiar characters and places.
This is a great way to introduce children to buying and selling properties, toying with real estate.
9. Buy it Right (Age: 5-12)
This is a perfect game for children to get hands-on with their money skills. The game includes plastic coins and paper bills, it even comes with a calculator.
There are 3 levels of the game depending on your child’s ability. They will be learning to buy things, finding money, donating to charity etc. all through playing.
This comes in both a US and UK version.
10. Payday (Age: 8+)
This classic children friendly money management board game teaches children where money goes.
Learning how to get from a Payday to the end of the month through budgeting, saving, investing and how loans work.
Online Games and Apps to Teach Kids About Money:
11. Piggy bank (Age: 7-8)
This is a quick and easy game that teaches them adding and subtracting, coin identification.
12. Coins Game (Age: 4-10)
This online game teaches kids about the different coins (getting a grasp of coins is recommended before introducing notes).
There are 3 game categories, to help your kids get familiar with the different coins and their values by sorting, putting them in order and counting.
You can even choose from 4 currencies, British Pound, Australian Dollar, US Dollar and the Euro.
13. The change Game (Age: 5-8)
Moneysense is a website offered by the UK bank Natwest. It includes 4 games for free access .
The games include ‘The Change Game’ teaching your child about making a purchase and how much change they should get back.
‘Coincruncher’ for making a total and addition, you can even add a timer to make it more difficult.
‘Memorycards’ the classic game you would expect, so not really teaching about money but uses money-related objects.
‘Coincollect’ probably the most enjoyable game, the easiest way to describe it is, ‘Fruit Ninja’ but with coins, where special coins occasionally pop up that can be good or bad for you coin collection, which you have to maximise until the counter finishes.
14. Toyshop Money Game (Age: 4-11)
Another FREE option from Topmarks. Here you can select various games, that increase in complexity either by the number of coins or values used. These game help teach your child about making a purchase, so the number and value of coins needed. This can be followed by a game where they then work out the change they should get back.
15. Pocket Money Apps (Age: 8 to 18)
After grasping the concept of money, its really important to give children some financial responsibility.
This one is not a game, but allows you to transfer pocket money or birthday money to your children electronically, for a fee per child (between £25-36 per year).
The apps then allow you to add chores for money, track allowances, add saving goals and spending limits.
A debit card is included in the fee that allows your child to make their own purchases, all under supervision in person or via the app. Popular apps are RoosterMoney, Gohenry and Osper.
Final Thoughts on 15 Fun Games to Teach Kids About Money
I hope you find the 15 fun games to teach children about money helpful.
Remember, learning about money is a life skill. The best way is to start early, and teach them through playing and everyday activities.
They will thank you later in life, and who knows, you might be raising a future entrepreneur…