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Ten Games that Teach Financial Principles to Kids

As parents in today’s day and age, it can feel like every moment is already filled before the day even starts. Between schoolwork, daycare, work, or family events, it can be incredibly hard to schedule out intentional play time. Educational games can be a way to incorporate that rare and precious family time, as well as being a way to impart life skills and education in a fun and unique way. In fact, Bruner’s theory has shown that children who learn while playing games have enhanced problem-solving skills and demonstrated increased motivation! So, let’s dive into ten resources that will jump-start your child’s financial learning AND help your family bond.

Unleash the Loot: This one is a digital app that can be played on tablets or phones, and is aimed at ages 5-7. Kids can virtually save, spend, and donate money to their mission of protecting endangered species in the fictional town of “Greenstreets”. It’s fun, simple to navigate, and children will learn skills like budgeting, as well as see the ways donations can affect positive change. You can download it HERE.

Monopoly (Digital Edition): Not the Monopoly game of old, now it’s been spruced up with bank cards and modern costs such as “rent”. Prices can fluctuate in this new edition, and the “banking unit” can scan and swipe the physical cards that are included. It’s best for older players, since it’s still a lengthy process, and filled with lots of details. Purchase it HERE.

Supermarket Shopping: This game works great on tablets, and can be played by young toddlers (ages 2 and up, with adult assistance). It shows how shopping at the supermarket works, and allows children to learn basic budgeting skills by buying and selecting items based on price. It is currently available for Amazon Fire HERE, and features bright and cheery graphics.

Real World Math: This game was created by teachers and is amazing for teachers in the classroom as well as for families with children ages 8 and up. Each player is given their own individual budget, then they draw cards from a deck filled with real-life financial scenarios (like a vet bill or receiving birthday money) that can add or detract from their accounts. Players move through the board, drawing cards, and try to hold onto their $100 budgets. Whoever has the most money left at the end, wins! Find it HERE.

Rich Kid, Smart Kid: This is a web-based activity for kids who are ages 5-8. There are four individual games on the site, but we love the “Pay Yourself First” game, which centers around a little animal named Ima and her dream to earn money. There is also “Reno’s Debt Dilemma” about the pitfalls of owing more money than you have. All four games require a flash player, and have great graphics and likable characters. You can check out the website and all four games, HERE.

Moneywise Kids: This physical board game only be played by two people at a time, but it comes with some great pieces, including realistic looking bills. There are two ways to play the game: Bill Maker and Bill Breaker, and both are fast-paced and entertaining. Because of the two levels, it can be enjoyed by kids who are ages 6-12, and once they get the hang of playing, siblings could play with each other easily. It’s affordable for parents, too, coming in at under $15, and it all stores nicely in the box. You can purchase it HERE.

Exact Change: Exact Change is a game similar to Uno; it moves quickly, and can be enjoyed by up to 6 players. Each card has “loose change” with a variety of coin values, withdrawal amounts, or dollar values. Players progress by matching the money amount with a variety of the seven cards in their hands. It takes quick critical thinking and math skills, but kids as young as 1st grade can play with help from an adult or older child. The colorful cards are appealing, and it’s a lot of fun! Purchase HERE.

Kid’s Cash Register Grocery: This is another tablet based game on the Google store that young children will love. They get to play cashier in their very own grocery store, by scanning and entering prices of the many different products on the register, which promoted hand-eye coordination, and demonstrates how things cost money (which is a key concept for the youngest players). It’s really colorful, and although you have to pay to access the premium features, the free version has plenty to do. There is no age specified, though we would recommend it for ages 4 and up, with assistance. Find it in the Google Store HERE.

PayDay: This game is colorful, and similar to Monopoly. It accommodates up to four players and unlike Monopoly, it moves much more quickly. It is filled with realistic rules as players progress through the game, adding interest to cash advances, and giving players salaries and bills at specific times in the game. It comes with a savings and loan paper pad that players can track their earnings on, and promotes multiple math and financial skills. Ages 8 and up will best benefit from this fast and awesome resource! You can find it HERE.

Money Bingo: Another web-based game that is simple but extremely effective! Kindergartners through grade school aged children can play bingo by correctly adding up sums of money that correspond to the amounts on the screen. By choosing “all bills and coins”, students will be asked to count large sums, and by selecting a lower level like “pennies”, smaller sums will be presented. It is very fun, and has realistic money graphics to help sight math skills. Find it online HERE.

Learning can be fun, and with a fresh approach, your kids will be excited about gaining new skills! Best of all, you will be spending time together, and yes, having a great time!

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