One of the greatest joys I have as a Nanni is watching my granddaughter learn each and every day. Aubree absolutely astounds me with the knowledge she already has in her 31-month-old brain. She knows all of her colors, counts to 20 with no problem, knows some of her shapes (we’re still working on those), and loves to build objects with her Legos.
I bought her a children’s tablet for Christmas, and we can download all types of games on it and play them together. On those days when I don’t feel like chasing her around the yard or pushing her on the swing for the 1,000,000th time … we pull out the tablet and have some snuggle time together on the couch.
Her tablet came loaded with shapes, counting, alphabet, animal games … you get the idea. Unfortunately, Ms. Smarty Pants gets bored with them very easily so I’ve been searching around for some new games that will challenge her a bit.
My little entrepreneur-in-training scours the house when she arrives looking for change and collects it all and puts it in her cup and she plays with it all weekend long. She sorts pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters then mixes them all up and sorts them out again! So, since she loves playing with money so much, I decided to check out ways to incorporate money into some play activities for her.
Teaching kids about money through games can be both educational and fun. Not all of these are age-appropriate for Aubree, but I wanted to share some others as well for your littles at whatever age they may be. Here are some effective ways to do so:
Monopoly or Money Management Board Games: Games like Monopoly, The Game of Life, or Payday can teach kids about financial transactions, budgeting, and decision-making. They involve buying, selling, and managing money to achieve goals.
Pretend Play and Store Setup: Create a pretend store at home where kids can “buy” and “sell” items using play money. This hands-on approach helps them understand the concept of currency, value, and transactions.
Online Financial Apps: There are various apps and online games designed to teach kids about money management. Some examples include “Bankaroo” and “iAllowance,” which simulate virtual banks and allow kids to manage their allowances, savings, and spending.
DIY Money Management Game: Design a simple game where kids earn play money for completing tasks or chores. They can then use this money to “purchase” rewards or save up for bigger items. This teaches them the concept of earning, saving, and spending.
Savings Jars: Get a set of clear jars and label them with categories like “Spending,” “Saving,” and “Donating.” When kids receive money, they can distribute it into these jars to visually see how money can be allocated for different purposes.
Counting Coins: For younger kids, use real coins to teach them about different coin values, counting, and basic addition. You can have them sort and count coins into different categories.
Grocery Store Challenge: When going to the grocery store, involve your kids in budgeting and decision-making. Give them a certain amount of money and have them choose items within that budget, comparing prices and making choices.
Online Simulations: Some websites offer online simulations where kids can manage virtual businesses, learn about supply and demand, and make financial decisions to earn profits. Examples include “Lemonade Stand” or “Farm Blitz.”
Role-Playing Activities: Role-playing scenarios like going to a restaurant, planning a party, or going on a vacation can help kids understand the value of money, budgeting, and making choices based on available funds.
Storytelling: Incorporate money lessons into bedtime stories or creative writing. For example, have them create a story where a character learns about the importance of saving money for a specific goal.
Financial Literacy Apps: There are educational apps designed specifically to teach kids about money and personal finance. Look for apps that cover topics like budgeting, saving, investing, and making smart financial decisions.
I also found this website that has a bunch of free online money games for kids.
There are SO many different games! There are real estate games, money games, cryptocurrency games, farming simulation games, grocery store games, restaurant simulation games, business simulation games, software development STEM games, office politics games, environmental games, and more!
Her favorites are Treze Coins (because she can buy candy lol), Tower Boom because she can blow up bridges (like knocking over her Legos), and The Amazing World of Gumball Tidy Up – which thrills her dad to no end because he watched their television show endlessly when he was a kid! In this game, she gets to move from room to room and clean up all the messes that they make. ‘Most’ of the time she loves to clean up her toys at the end of the day because we make a game out of it.
Me, personally? I am obsessed with Merge Blocks! I am a diehard Sims4 fan … and since I’ve found merge blocks I cannot tell you the last time I played the Sims!
So there are a few tips on how I’m focusing on teaching Aubree while making it fun for her – and me! If you’re looking for a great collection of games with literally something for everyone, I highly recommend you check them out.
Remembering to keep the games age-appropriate and adapt them to your child’s learning style and preferences is the key. The goal is to make learning about money engaging and relatable for them.
Let us know what your favorite game is in the comments on social media!