These money games for kids teach valuable lessons while still being fun.
When was the last time your kids saw you pay for something in cash?
Maybe it was at a local restaurant that doesn’t accept credit cards, or when you took out a few quarters to buy pretzels from a vending machine.
But chances are your kids rarely see bills and coins exchange hands. What they’re more likely to observe is a plastic rectangle being swiped on the side of a small digital box that somehow magically lets you leave the store with whatever you came to buy.
Living in a digital world, it’s difficult for kids to deduce what really happens when adults pay for things. For all they know, that plastic rectangle is only slightly different than the Go Fish cards used during your last family game night.
The Best Money Games for Kids
Sure we could start paying for everything in cash – just so our kids understand how physical money works. But let’s be honest – credit and debit cards are easy. Plus, they can be a net win of points and miles if the balance is paid off each month.
Besides, kids tend to learn better by doing things themselves. So playing money games that teach kids the different values of bills and coins, how to handle money, and even economics and entrepreneurship is a great way to introduce these concepts.
The following is a list of money games for kids our family has played and enjoyed. We’ll keep adding to this list as we try out new games and decide they’re a keeper.
To see Dr. Mike’s Math Games for Kids review of Monopoly Junior click here.
As players move their pieces along the board, they take out of the bank whatever amount they land on – but with a catch. The player can’t simply take that money out of the bank (a.k.a. the stash of all the leftover coins left in the box). Instead, they need to spin a dial to see if there is a particular coin they can’t use – a quarter, nickel or dime. So while taking 26 cents out of the bank seems easy enough (one quarter and one penny), if the player is banned from using quarters, more thought has to be taken about how to arrive at 26 cents without using a quarter (perhaps two dimes, one nickel, and a penny). Two other special spaces on the board mix things up a bit: The “$ Space” and the “Change It Up!” space. The game ends when the first player has moved through the spaces and reaches the last “End” space. The winner is the person who has the most money.
See the full review of Exact Change here.
The second game in Moneywise Kids is called “The Moneywise Bill Breaker”. Here, the objective is more complex. Although each player still has a bank and bill board, this time in addition to collecting $100 in savings, players also have to collect all six Moneywise Markers which include paying for medical expenses, transportation, housing, taxes, clothing, and food.
See the full review of Moneywise Kids here.
Once this step is done, the “stealing” part of the game begins. Money stacks can be stolen from another player if you have a card in your hand that adds up to $100 when added to the top card of the opponent’s stack. Money stacks can also be stolen with a thief card and stolen yet again with a jail card. Once a jail card is on top of a stack that stack can no longer be stolen.
Players have to move quickly to steal stacks before other players do. A round is complete when no more stealing can take place. All players then take a new card from the deck and start the stealing all over again. The object of Clumsy Thief is to collect as many 2-card combinations of 100 as you can before all the cards run out.
See the full review of the Clumsy Thief here.
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