Teaching your children about money is crucial for their development and prepares them for their teens when money becomes a bigger part of their lifestyle.
One of the best ways to educate your young ones is to play money games for kids around the kitchen table. While you might encounter the occasional tantrum, games for kids about money are usually fun, engaging, and instructive!
So, with that in mind, let's look at the best board and online games to turn to for your children's financial education.
The Importance of Teaching Kids About Money
Teaching your kids about money prepares them for the important role it plays later in their lives. Encouraging your kids to become familiar with money and educating them about the basics of currency, saving, and investing can be highly beneficial as they grow.
Playing money games can also normalise conversations about money and help you bridge more serious topics with them as they age.
While there's certainly more to life than money, ensuring that your kids are financially literate will make their lives much easier when money becomes a big part of their young adult lives.
The sooner you begin their education, the easier it will be for them to adapt to a world where money plays a central role. So, what are the best money games for kids? Here are ten to get started with.
Educational Money Games for Kids
The best money games for kids are both fun and educational. The good news for parents is that many board and online games involve money, making your life easier as you teach your kids about the value of money. Here are some games to get started with:
Monopoly (all ages)
Is there a more tantrum-inducing board game than Monopoly? We don't think so!
We've all experienced the frustration of heading directly to jail without passing go or landing on Mayfair, where your dad has a hotel.
Still, Monopoly is the perfect game for teaching your kids about the fundamentals of property pricing and basic banking.
Monopoly also gently introduces concepts like tax and fines through the Chance and Community Chest cards, providing you with ample teaching opportunities as you can explain to your kids their existence in real life.
The beauty of Monopoly is that there are so many variations of the game today, and you can get themed boards based on your kids' interests. This can make the game even more attractive.
Cashflow 101 (Ages 10+)
Cashflow 101 is a board game developed by Robert Kiyosaki, author of the legendary finance book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The game teaches your children the basics of saving and investing, with the ultimate goal of escaping the rat race in the future.
Your kids will learn a whole host of essential tips and tricks regarding budgeting, saving, and investing while trying to make it to the top.
Playing Cashflow 101 is a great way to introduce your kids to some of Kiyosaki's integral wealth creation principles in a fun and engaging way. When they reach their teens, you can then gift them Rich Dad, Poor Dad, helping them continue learning from Cashflow 101 as they make their way into the financial world.
Homemade money (Ages 4-7)
One of the best ways to get the creative juices flowing at home is to create homemade money for your kids to use.
When creating homemade money, you can stick closely to the established currency of your country or mix things up and create a currency exclusive to your family. You can get your kids to create the bills, and they might even feature your beloved pet dog as the Queen's replacement.
After creating the notes, you can create a simple economy within your home. Basic chores like tidying their bedrooms and helping with the dishes after dinner can be awarded with currency. You can even include additional rewards for acts of kindness or when your kids do something to help around the house.
Once your kids have accumulated a specific number of homemade notes, you can perhaps exchange them for a real-life gift or reward, highlighting the fact that earning money is rewarding.
Sorting and stacking (Ages 4-8)
One of the simplest money games for kids is sorting and stacking. Here, the objective is to place some money on the table – both notes and coins – before sorting them accordingly. Ask your children to sort and stack the coins according to value and round things off by adding them together.
This game teaches children the differences between coins and notes, helping them understand that not all money is the same and that each piece of currency comes with its own value.
Shopping, maths and money (Ages 5-10)
Heading to the supermarket might not be an activity that your kids relish, but you can turn it into a fun learning experience. Write a separate list for your children as you put together your shopping list.
Add specific items to their list (with prices included) and set them a total budget – perhaps £20. Then, when you head to the supermarket, task your children to find the items on their list.
Every time they pick an item from the shelf and add it to their basket or trolley, encourage them to calculate the amount they have spent. Once they've completed their shopping, check their sums and see if they've managed to stay within budget.
This game is a great way to show your kids that the food they eat at home needs to be purchased, and it also helps them polish their mental arithmetic away from the classroom!
Bank Teller (Ages 5-8)
Similar to Sorting and Stacking, the Bank Teller game encourages your children to take a hands-on approach to money. You can ask them to sort through coins and notes while explaining the various activities that bank tellers are responsible for. For instance, you can explain the process of cashing cheques and depositing and withdrawing funds.
Whether you use real money or homemade money in this game is entirely up to you, but it's a great way to educate your children about the important role that banks play in the financial world.
The Game of Life: Savings and Investments (Ages 5-12)
Like Monopoly, The Game of Life is a popular board game that helps you teach your children about some of the fundamentals of money management.
In the Game of Life, you work from childhood to retirement, work in jobs, navigate marriage, and save up for later life. Of all the games introduced here, The Game of Life provides the most comprehensive introduction to a range of financial terms and responsibilities throughout life.
It's also incredibly fun and, like Monopoly, can induce some temper tantrums when things don't go your way! There's a Junior version of The Game of Life from Hasbro, too, which is ideal for younger players of this legendary board game.
Money Games for Kids Online
Today, many kids prefer playing games online on their iPads and computers instead of classic board games. The good news is that there are several excellent money games for kids online, including:
Counting Money Game (Ages 5-8)
The Counting Money Game is a free online game from Math-Play that teaches your children the differences between notes and coins. The game invites them to count and total the different notes and coins circulating in the banking system, revealing that they all carry different values.
Again, this is an extremely important part of their financial education and helps your children realise that they need to be mindful of the different values of money when making purchases.
Money Metropolis (Ages 7-12)
One of the most attractive things about Money Metropolis is the graphics included in this free online game. That being said, the true worth lies in the game's educational value.
The game begins with your child selecting a savings goal, and they can explore a virtual town that allows them to perform chores, visit attractions, and buy sweets, games, and other goodies. The choices they make in Money Metropolis directly influence their savings target, and the more they spend, the less they save.
Of course, it's helpful for you to translate this into real-life, explaining that the more your children spend on items that provide short-term value, the less they will be able to save for their futures.
The key lesson is that reaching a savings goal takes time and effort, and sacrificing short-term purchases might be necessary to grow long-term wealth.
Coins Counting Game (Ages 4-10)
One of the best things about the Coins Counting Game is that it introduces your children to the fact that there are different currencies in the world. They can count British, US, and Australian coins, as well as sort them and order them according to their value.
Including a piggy bank in the game's interface reinforces the importance of saving to your children and helps them see the value of adding coins to their piggy bank to grow their wealth.
You can replicate the online Coins Counting Game in real life by encouraging your kids to count and sort their pocket money before depositing it into their piggy bank.
How Educational Money Games Help Children Learn About Money
Talking to children about money is something that many parents struggle with. After all, where do you start? The best thing about money games for children is that they enable you to bridge the conversation about finances in a fun and engaging way.
Money doesn't have to be the game's main focus; it's about having fun with your family.
When your kids are relaxed and having fun, you can interweave important financial lessons into the game, helping them improve their financial literacy in a way that isn't overbearing or difficult for them to follow.
The bottom line is that financial education is incredibly important for kids of all ages, and the sooner you start, the easier it will be for your kids later in life.
At HyperJar, we help parents teach their children about the importance of saving and spending, and our pre-paid kids card is an excellent tool for teaching your children about responsible saving and spending.