Mobile Navigation

Close Mobile MenuOpen Site Search

Creative Ways To Teach Children About Money: Interactive Games and Activities

Main Blog Article Content


Early financial education prepares children for adulthood, but the content should be engaging and age-appropriate to get the most out of financial literacy resources.

As a parent, you can teach core financial concepts like saving, budgeting, and investing through games, activities, and interactive digital resources. We’ll help you get started here.

The Foundations of Kids Financial Literacy

Because only 18 states have a financial education curriculum in school, it's often up to the parents to find creative ways of introducing important financial literacy concepts.

Luckily, it's never too early to start, but remember to consider a child's age and maturity level. You should cover these basic financial education concepts for the most impact:
  • Saving. Children can learn about saving by putting money aside for a specific item they want. It sets a foundation for sound financial habits that will help them achieve stability in the future.
  • Budgeting. Rewarding your child for performing chores with a weekly allowance will teach them to manage an income. They will learn about prioritizing and thinking about wants and needs.
  • Financial goals. Introduce the idea of working toward specific goals by encouraging your child to save for something or discussing milestones like opening a youth bank account.
  • Investing. Your child can start trading with a custodial account, but simply researching stocks or investing in a side hustle can be an excellent way to introduce investing if you have a teen.
The Power of Play: Incorporating Games Into Financial Learning

Financial literacy games for kids make learning fun. They also help children apply abstract concepts to situations that feel tangible. Plus, studies show that game-based learning often leads to better outcomes.

While children can learn through mistakes, look for age-appropriate games. Their activities should use concepts your child can grasp quickly and reflect a level of responsibility appropriate for their age.

Creative Money Challenges and Real-Life Simulations

Children might not understand the concept of prices and value before the age of six. However, you can introduce the idea of money through pretend play. Role-playing as a cashier and ringing up items on a toy cash register will help your child develop essential math skills. Keeping change in a piggy bank can also be fun.

Once your child turns six, you can foster budgeting and decision-making skills by handing them $5 or $10 and letting them pick a few snacks or small toys.

You can later expand this hands-on approach to budgeting and get your child involved in grocery shopping. They can play an active role in picking items and comparing prices. You can build their confidence in money management by gradually increasing the size of their budget, for instance, by letting them plan a day trip for the family.

Teens can handle more challenging financial literacy activities. You can show your teen how you manage the household's budget or create a hypothetical budget with them and research things like average income and expenses.

Your teen is also mature enough to start exploring investing. A great way to start is to ask them to research and pick five stocks. You can then track the stocks' performance and discuss the events that led to price changes.

Digital Tools and Apps for Financial Learning

You can make the most out of the many digital learning resources available by picking age-appropriate activities and helping your child navigate these tools, apps, and games:
  • The U.S. Mint offers online games adapted to young children. Counting with Coins is a fun introduction to counting change.
  • The Savings Spree app is another fun game for young children. The goal is to build the largest nest egg possible.
  • Financial Football is a trivia game where children must answer questions about important financial concepts.
  • If you have a teenager, Jumpstart's Reality Check is an engaging activity that asks questions about future career choices and lifestyle. After answering, your teen will access a detailed report about supporting the lifestyle they have envisioned for their future.
  • Many video games like Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, and The Sims use in-game currency and require players to buy, sell, and save money as game mechanisms.
  • The Stock Market game is a challenging but fun introduction to investing. This investment simulator has three levels of difficulty for grades 4 through 12. How the Market Works has a similar focus.
  • Greenlight is the loved, trusted financial education app and debit card for kids and teens that allows parents to instantly send their kids money, set up chores and allowance, create savings goals and more. More than 6 million parents and kids use Greenlight today. As a benefit to Power Financial Credit Union members, a Greenlight subscription is free for up to five kids. 
Next Milestone: Open a Youth Bank Account

Learning about crucial financial concepts early will prepare your children for the future, help them become independent, and grow into successful adults.

At Power Financial Credit Union, we make financial education for kids and the milestone of opening a first youth bank account a fun and memorable experience with our Rocky Raccoon Youth Savings Account. Your child can earn money for their report cards and get prizes for making deposits.

For teens, our Cha-Ching! Teen Checking Account is a great tool for fostering independence with a Visa debit card with parental limits. Contact us to learn more about our youth bank accounts.