Smart Saver Bank from Dave Ramsey: Although not a traditional game, we love the tangible way for kids to split up their savings and spending. The accompanying literature is religious-based, but the financial information is generic and very easy to explain to small children. Little ones will love being able to see their dollars or coins in the clear, tri-sided bank. You can find the bank HERE, and buy the expansion pack HERE. The expansion pack includes an additional storybook set and more resources. The bank is perfect for ages 3-10.
Moneywise Kids: This is a fast-paced board game about making quick, wise financial decisions. There are two characters: Bill Breaker and Bill Maker, and includes realistic bills/money. It is great for teaching counting, decision making, and critical thinking to children aged 6-10. Keep in mind that only two children can play at a time, so it’s not great for crowds, but the skill building is excellent. You can purchase it HERE.
Checkbook and Check Register: While most purchases can be made with digital cards or online now, learning to balance a checkbook is still a great skill for young children since it shows deposits and withdrawals clearly. This little set comes with a calculator, a blank register to fill in purchases and a realistic set of checks with a holder. It’s under $10, and available HERE. It’s useful for children ages 5 and up, and can also be a fun addition to restaurant play or grocery store imagining!
Charge Large: This is a game for older children, and it does address the use of credit cards, which may be controversial for some families. The goal of the game is to earn your way to the “black label credit card”, but it does so by building your credit score, eliminating debt and increasing savings. This is a fun way for children to learn about what debt and assets are, and how to leverage both to achieve financial success. It is a great discussion starter for parents of children ages 12 and over, to talk about their family values surrounding debt and lines of credit. Purchase it HERE.
Pretend and Play Register: Ages 3 and up can learn the basic skills of “buying” and “paying” with this realistic register and play money. Since the money can be a choking hazard, parents should supervise very young children. This is another game that can be used alongside role-play such as owning a grocery store, shopping, or dining out. This version includes a calculator, and also is sized for real bills and coins for older children. Find it HERE.
Managing my Allowance: This board game is extremely versatile, which makes it perfect for discerning parents who want something that will last for years. It’s also ideal for large families or classrooms, where there are children of different ages and skill levels. There are two levels; Allowance and Managing my Allowance. This game focuses on the long-term effects of financial decisions, such as saving for college and waiting for items to go on sale. The winner is the player who makes the most sound choices, and accumulates the most in their savings account. Available HERE.
The Game of Life: The Hasbro classic… yes, the one you remember from your childhood! It’s stood the test of time because of it’s simple, easy to play format, and the way it teaches about financial skills in a subtle and fun way. Players see the impact of choices like college, and having a family, and it accommodates up to four players. It got a facelift after many years, and the modernized version is available for sale HERE.
Money Matching Skills: For the littlest children up to grade school ages, this is a portable and simple way to teach money recognition and counting. The cards are printed with bright, easy to read numbers and text, and the money pictures are photorealistic. Players match the printed amounts to the corresponding change or bill cards, and it’s ideal for the car. It comes with instructions and ideas, and up to six different ways to utilize the cards. Find it HERE.
Payday: Up to four players, ages 8 and up, can enjoy this quick board game. It can be played in about fifteen minutes, which will keep kids’ interest levels up, and engaged. It uses real-life situations to teach concepts about savings and loans, including charging players a whopping 20% interest fee when they borrow money. It also teaches about the increments between “pay days”, and how withdrawing money early can cause a penalty fee. Players also get “mail” which can be special offers, or even bills. It really covers most of the bases when it comes to teaching financial skills in a game, and you can buy it HERE.
Whether you are just beginning to teach financial skills to a toddler, or navigating teaching teens about debt and student loans, these resources will be a great way to do so in an engaging way. Games also can serve double duty: bonding your family together, and skipping more traditional screen time in favor of learning!