5 Games that Can Teach Kids About Money

Certain types of games centered around money can make 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 them to ask questions about money and become more comfortable with managing it.

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. You can have fun with your children and help them learn some valuable skills at the same time.

Board Games

Many kids still love board games because they allow the whole family to play together. Some of the best board games to teach your children about money management are Monopoly, the 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 check to be sure that the game you select is appropriate for your child's age and areas of interest. Perhaps learning about money can become a regular family fun activity.

Online Games

Many online educational games exist for kids. Five examples of great 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
  • 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, or Sim for short, games are those 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.

The game has a cost to build a road, a bridge, a castle, and many other necessary items for the player's in-game life. 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 bartering, 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

As kids get older, the types of money-related games they can play become more complex. 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. You can even make it an outdoor activity with your kids, by collecting and using pebbles for coins, and leaves for cash.