Children are never too young to start learning about money. Most children can understand the concept of money at the age of two. These conversations don't have to be dreaded talks but can be made fun by incorporating real-life discussions and games into the mix. Here are four money games that you can start playing today.
Yes! The number one game is Monopoly. Monopoly can show children ways to strategize purchases when it comes to real estate. Monopoly allows you to purchase property, add houses to that property, and ultimately upgrade it into a hotel. Owning real estate and upgrading property can be advantageous in Monopoly because you get to collect rent from those who land on what you own. However, purchasing property can be expensive, and if you don't manage purchases correctly, you may go bankrupt before you can reap the rewards. Try this competitive game and collect $200 when you pass Go.
The Game of Life gives you two choices, start a career or go to college. If you choose to start a career, you would also need to pick a salary at the beginning of the game. If you decided to go to college, you would need to get a student loan for $40,000. You will eventually choose a job and a salary. The Game of Life will take you through life choices, and you will need to manage your finances through your career, home purchase, family planning, and retirement. The person who retires at the end of the game with the most money wins!
CASHFLOW for Kids takes the conversation a little further by incorporating real-world skills and discussions into the mix. CASHFLOW is not a fast game, so set aside time to have meaningful financial discussions with your children. These conversations will allow you and your child to learn and grow together. What could be better than that?
The Learning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register is another fun resource for children. My daughter requested one of these for Christmas when she was younger. She would create price tags for everything in our home and even charge us at mealtimes. Using a cash register can teach children how to make change, determine what change they should get back, and return change in different coin combinations. This realistic cash register, which includes a debit card, is perfect for today's youth.
The Allowance Game teaches children how to spend their allowance. It's the perfect game for any age, but more specifically for those in elementary and middle school. It helps develop priorities regarding needs and wants and other childhood responsibilities. Do you really need that gum, and do you have the money required to afford it? This game also teaches children to earn money by doing chores and how to make change. Children can understand needs and wants by playing because the game is over once the money's gone.
The end result is that having constant money conversations with children can break the 'shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations' curse. Teach child(ren) positive money habits to help them build a solid financial future.
What other games can be used to make learning about money fun? Leave a comment below.