Teaching kids money management is so much easier using games. What kid wouldn’t rather learn by playing a fun game? There are many different types of games to teach Financial Literacy. Some of them are traditional board games such as Monopoly and The Game of Life. These are tried and true games that the whole family has enjoyed for many years. I remember growing up playing these games 40+ years ago. One of my all time favorite games to teach money skills is Pit. We use this game to teach kids about the barter system, which was the first means of exchanging goods and services.
In addition to board games, parents and teachers can also play the shopping game. Have the child create a “Store” to sell items. This is a great activity for young children and they LOVE it! There are three ways to play and you’ll have to make the judgement depending on the maturity level of the child.
Set up a Store. Gather stickers to use as price tags. Set up an area for the shopping to take place. This can consist of a kitchen table or bookshelf. Be creative and let your little store owners help! Print off play money here. You’ll want to print enough for each of the children playing. Prepare a sheet of paper with 2 columns: Item Sold and Price.
Gather items to put in the store. This is where the game changes depending on the child.
- Option One: Have the child gather old toys and items that he/she no longer wants. Help the child to determine a fair price for the items. Be sure to let the child help with this. Some children have no problem selling their toys and things, other children have a hard time parting with their things.
- Option Two: Gather items that the child can sell from around the house. This can be a box of macaroni and cheese, old wallet, necklace, etc. The idea is to allow the child to experience shopping and selling.
- Option Three: Take a trip to the dollar store and purchase several items to put into the store.
Play Store: Allow the child to take turns being the customer and the retailer. Be sure he/she uses the record sheet you prepared. Calculate a total at the end of the activity.
Another fun way to teach money skills are online games. There are many games for differing ages. A popular online game is this Lemonade Stand Game. Create your own virtual lemonade stand and see how much money you can make. For younger children, they can play this Counting Game from ABCya.com. It is a great game teaching kids to count coins.