This is the second article in our series, “Teaching Children About Money.” In this article, we give parents a list of age-appropriate games to teach children valuable money skills to use throughout their life.
Family game nights are a great opportunity for parents and kids to bond and engage with each other. In addition to the entertainment component, you can also use this time teach valuable skills to your children. If you’re looking for ways to teach children money skills, there are several games that introduce the concept and make it more relatable to them. The best part, they’ll be having so much fun they won’t even realize they’re learning anything.
Every child loves the idea of having their own money so they can buy whatever they want whenever they want it. It’s important to establish a foundation relating to money skills early in a child’s life so they’ll have the tools and understanding they need to gain financial independence.
One of the best ways to make anything relatable to children is through play, and teaching money skills is one of the easiest because there are so many games out there that center on this topic.
The Allowance Game – created by Lakeshore Learning, this game is geared towards ages 5-10 and teaches children about counting, earning, and spending money. The game gives kids an opportunity to earn money through an allowance or activities like washing the car or walking the dog. It also stresses the importance of responsibility with actions like losing a turn because you forgot to do your homework. The object is to earn money through an allowance and doing chores, and players can then either save their money or use it to buy things they want.
Payday – this is a great game to teach children 8 years and older the concept of making money, budgeting, saving, and spending money on expenses every month. Set up like a calendar, players are challenged with loan payments, bills, and other financial issues that pop up on any given month. The key lesson of this game is just because you make money doesn’t mean you can spend it on anything you want because you never know what you’ll need it for.
Monopoly Junior – just like the classic game you grew up on, this version is just right for kids age 5 and up. The concept is the same: buying and selling real estate, earning money from rent – and paying rent. But instead of Boardwalk and Park Place, kids can buy cool properties such as a pet store, candy store, or video game arcade. No matter which version you choose, the lesson is simple: you can only win if you invest right, budget and spend smart.
The Game of Life – this game keeps it real for children as they are introduced to the concept of going to college, choosing a career, making money, getting married, having children, and paying expenses and loans – otherwise known as life. The key lesson is you can retire one day with a nice nest egg if you get a good education and invest wisely. This will go a long way, especially if you land on triplets.
No matter which game or concept you choose, the earlier you teach children valuable money skills the faster they’ll put it into practice and the smarter their choices will be later in life.
Lemonade Day is a non-profit dedicated to teaching every child across North America the business and financial skills that are the key ingredients of entrepreneurship. By learning these skills early in life, children will be better prepared to be successful, financially healthy adults. Through our fun, hands-on program Kids K-5 are empowered to start their very own business—a lemonade stand—and experience the feeling of earning real money, using 100% of their profit to spend, save and share based on their own goals.
Lemonade Day is in 62 cities throughout the United States. Over the past 10 years, we have served more than 1 million kids in our kid entrepreneur programs and in 2016 alone, 101,000 kids participated in Lemonade Day.
Visit LemonadeDay.org to learn how to participate in Lemonade Day in your city.