Understanding what dollar bills are, what they are for, and how to make change, can be a challenging concept for kids to wrap their heads around – but this game can help.
To find additional reviews of money games, see: The Best Money Games for Kids.
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Money can be such a mystery to little kids.
Once when I was in need of a few singles, I asked my daughter if I could trade five of her $1 bills for my $5.
She wouldn’t have it.
I could see her little mind thinking: “Why in the world would I give you five separate pieces of paper for just one?”
It can take time for little kids to understand the concept of bills and coins having value, and while having an allowance or access to their own money can help solidify concepts, kids rarely get the chance to deal with bills greater than a $5.
That’s where a game like Moneywise Kids can help – the objective of the game (it’s actually two games in one) is to let kids experience what it’s like to handle money, make change, and even experience what it’s like to cover everyday expenses while at the same time putting money in savings.
In the first game, two people set up a “bank” and bill board which is really just a piece of cardboard that organizes piles of one, five, ten, twenty, fifty and one hundred dollar bills.
The first player rolls the dice and based on the numbers on the dice, moves money from their bank onto their bill board. The winner is the first to reach $100. As the game moves along, it’s often necessary to exchange smaller bills for larger ones, which helps little kids learn how exchanges are made and the different denominations of bills.
What I really like about Moneywise Kids is that the play money, while smaller than real bills, looks just like real American money.
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.
When it’s time for a player to take a turn, they can either roll dice to see how much money they collect, or turn over one of the Markers to see if they have covered an expense. Two twists in the game are markers that instead of covering an expense, makes the player pay $10 to cover the cost of damage to a car or an unexpected medical expense.
Both games are quick and straightforward enough that little kids will get it and stick with it.
And in addition to teaching kids about large bills and basics of handling money, playing Moneywise Kids may also mean that your young child might be more willing to help you break a $5.