5 Ways to Use Games to Teach Kids About Money

Money games for kids are great teaching tools for parents who want to teach their children what money is, how it's used and its value. Playing these types of games with your kids makes learning fun and encourages children to ask questions about money and hopefully probe a little deeper.

Parents can play money games with their kids online or as board games, or better yet, they can create their own homemade games that encourage learning. Your children will have fun and learn some valuable money management skills.

Board Games

Among these board games that will teach your children about money management are Monopoly, Game of Life, Payday, Moneywise Kids, Money Bags, Easy Money, Exact Change, and Careers. Each of these games has a slightly different emphasis, and some are more complex than others -- so do check to be sure that the game you select is appropriate for your child's age and areas of interest. Learning about money can be part of a family fun night!

Online Games

Five fun online games that your children can play to learn about money, what it's worth and how to use spend and use it wisely are Piggy Bank, Money Word Games, Change Maker, Counting Coins and Money Flash Cards. These particular games focus on counting and making change, but there are plenty of other such games on the internet. All you have to do is find them and try them.

Online Sim Games for Kids and Adults

Simulation games are games that allow you to "build" your own world (or, in some cases, your own army) often using various forms of money to purchase needed elements. What will it cost you to build a road? A bridge? A castle? Though these types of games are not strictly speaking "money games," they do require kids (and adults) to make wise choices for today and for the future. Also, popular games like Minecraft build kids' understanding of barter, along with the dangers inherent in carrying valuables around (you can be robbed!).

One added element to these games is the option of using real money to purchase fantasy items -- something that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Kids will have to weigh the benefits of fantasy goods versus the real thing.

Role-Playing Games

If your kids are into role-playing, then games like Dungeons and Dragons can be a great way to introduce the idea of earning, saving, and spending -- though, of course, you'll be working with gold and silver pieces rather than with dollars and cents. Sure, you could blow all your gold on that fabulous suit of armor, but then you'll have nothing left over when you need an antidote to the Evil Queen's poison arrows. In role-playing games, managing money can be a matter of life and death.

Homemade Games

Great games don't always have to be purchased. You can make lots of games to encourage learning with the materials around your house. Get creative by pretending to be a bank or practice making change for purchases.