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7 Fun and Educational Money Games for Elementary Students


Teaching kids about money is crucial, but let's face it, discussing financial concepts with young minds can sometimes feel like talking to a wall. However, when you mix learning with play, you've got a recipe for success that even the wiggliest of elementary schoolers can get behind. That's why I've rounded up a list of seven incredibly fun and educational money games that are perfect for elementary students. These games are not just entertaining; they're designed to teach kids about financial literacy in a way that sticks. We’ve got a good mix of phone-games/apps and in-house creative games, so there should be something for everybody here!  So, let's dive into the world of coins, budgets, and savings - all through play!


 

Table of Contents

 

Counting with coins teaches kids personal finance


1. Counting with Coins



A Fun Start to Financial Literacy for Elementary Schoolers


Counting with Coins is your go-to game for introducing kids to the basics of money. This game is all about helping kids recognize different coins and understand their values through a series of engaging levels.


  • What Makes It Great:

  • Interactive Learning: Kids love the colorful graphics and challenges, making learning about money enjoyable.

  • Builds Foundation: It's perfect for teaching the basics, like identifying coins and simple addition.


Kids navigate through levels, each presenting a fun challenge of identifying and adding different coin values. It’s a blast for kids because they get to play and learn without even realizing they're absorbing essential financial concepts.


You can find the game here!





adventures help kids learn financial literacy

2. The Budgeting Quest: Adventure Meets Budgeting


Create a fun “budget quest” with your kids and bring adventure into your kids financial education!


Creating the Adventure


The Budgeting Quest is more than just a game; it's a journey through fictional lands, with each step teaching your child the essentials of budgeting and financial planning. Here's how to get started:


  1. Map Out the Quest: Create a simple map or storyline that involves going on a quest. This could be anything from a quest to save a magical kingdom to a journey across distant lands in search of hidden treasures. Use colorful paper, draw on a board, or even create a digital map if you're tech-savvy.

  2. Assign Tasks and Challenges: Each stop on the map involves a financial decision, such as spending money to cross a troll bridge, buying supplies for the journey, or saving enough coins to hire a guide. These tasks mimic real-life budgeting decisions, like spending wisely, saving for future needs, and dealing with unexpected expenses.

  3. Use Play Money: To make the experience tangible, use play money or create your own currency. This will help your child learn to manage physical money, make change, and understand the value of different denominations.

  4. Decision Points: Introduce scenarios where your child must decide how to spend their budget. For example, "Do you buy the sturdy boots that cost more but will last longer, or the cheaper ones that might wear out before our journey ends?" These decisions teach the importance of weighing short-term desires against long-term needs.



What Makes It Great


  • Engages Imagination: The storyline captivates children's attention, making them more receptive to learning. They're not just learning about numbers; they're saving kingdoms, exploring new worlds, and becoming heroes of their own stories.

  • Real-World Skills: By making financial decisions for their adventure, children learn to budget, save, and spend wisely. They'll face the consequences of their choices, helping them understand the importance of planning and foresight.

  • Family Bonding: This game is a collaborative effort, allowing you to spend quality time with your child while imparting valuable life skills. It's a win-win situation where you can bond over tales of adventure and lessons in finance.



Playing The Game


  1. Start with a Budget: Give your child a set amount of play money at the beginning of the game. This represents their budget for the entire quest.

  2. Navigate the Map: Move through the map, encountering different scenarios at each stop. With each decision, your child will learn to manage their budget, prioritize spending, and save for bigger challenges ahead.

  3. Unexpected Expenses: Introduce surprise elements, such as a storm that requires buying shelter or a lost item that must be replaced. These teach the value of having an emergency fund.

  4. Celebrate Achievements: Whenever your child makes a smart financial decision, celebrate it. This could be as simple as a high five or a small reward at the end of the quest. Recognition encourages positive behavior and reinforces the lessons learned.

  5. Reflect on the Journey: After completing the quest, discuss the decisions made along the way. Talk about what worked well, what could have been done differently, and how these lessons apply to real life.





understanding money and financial literacy for elementary kids

3. Market Madness: Learn Commerce Through Play


This game is perfect for introducing elementary aged kids to the fun world of commerce, negotiation, and the value of goods and services.   It’s a great game for teaching overall financial literacy, but also entrepreneurship as well!



Setting Up Your Marketplace


Creating your own marketplace is simpler than it sounds. Here's how to get started:


  1. Create Stalls: Use tables, chairs, or even cardboard boxes to set up various 'stalls' around the play area. Each stall can sell different items or services. Get creative! You can have a food stall, a book stall, an art corner, or a services booth like a 'shoe shine' station.

  2. Use Play Money: Provide each child with a wallet filled with play money. This will be their budget for buying items at the market. If you're feeling ambitious, create your own currency to add an extra layer of fun to the game.

  3. Price Tags: Together with your kids, decide on the prices for the items or services. This is a great opportunity to discuss the value of different goods and how pricing works.

  4. Roles: Assign roles to each participant. Kids can take turns being the seller and the buyer, giving them a perspective from both sides of the market.



What Makes It Great


  • Engages in Social Interaction: This game is inherently social, requiring kids to interact with each other as buyers and sellers. It's a fantastic way to develop communication skills and understand the dynamics of a marketplace.

  • Provides Hands-on Experience: By simulating buying and selling transactions, kids learn through direct experience. This immersive approach helps them grasp concepts like supply and demand, the importance of pricing, and the basics of negotiation.

  • Encourages Entrepreneurship: Kids learn to think like entrepreneurs, understanding what it takes to run a stall, attract customers, and make profitable decisions.



Playing the Game


  1. Open for Business: Once everything is set up, open the market! Allow kids to visit stalls, make purchases, or sell their goods. Encourage them to negotiate prices and make deals.

  2. Budgeting Practice: As kids buy and sell, they'll have to manage their money, deciding what to spend on and what to save. This introduces basic budgeting skills in a very practical way.

  3. Introduce Challenges: To add excitement, introduce market challenges or events, such as a sudden demand for a particular item, teaching kids to adapt to market changes.

  4. Special Offers and Discounts: Encourage kids to think about marketing strategies by creating special offers or discounts. This can lead to discussions about competition and business strategies.

  5. Reflection Time: After the market closes, discuss what happened. Which stalls were most popular and why? Did anyone run out of money too quickly? What strategies worked best for making money?







saving spree teaches kids about finance

4. Savings Spree



Making Saving Fun


Savings Spree is an app-based game that shows kids how their choices can affect their savings. Through various scenarios, players learn the impact of spending versus saving and the joy of watching their savings grow.


What Makes It Great:


  • Decision-Making Skills: Teaches kids the consequences of their financial decisions.

  • Goal Setting: Encourages setting and reaching savings goals.

  • Easy Access:  Since this is a phone/tablet app, this one is super easy to set up!


Kids adore this game because it puts them in the driver's seat of their finances, making it a powerful tool for teaching the importance of saving and how everyday decisions can impact financial goals.


Get it here on the apple app store!






cash crunch jr teaches financial literacy to elementary kids

5. Cash Crunch Junior


Fun with Financial Learning


Cash Crunch Junior is a fun game that brings financial concepts to life, covering earning, spending, saving, and giving. It's a comprehensive approach to financial literacy for elementary schoolers, wrapped up in a fun, competitive game.



What Makes It Great:


  • Engaging Physical Play: The tactile experience of handling game pieces and money adds an exciting layer to learning.

  • Comprehensive Financial Lessons: Covers a wide range of financial topics in a single game.



This game is fantastic because it introduces kids to the concept of money management in a fun and interactive setting, making it easier for them to grasp and retain the information.


Learn more about Cash Crunch Junior here!






bankaroo teaches the basics of personal finance to kids

6. Bankaroo



Virtual Banking for Budding Economists


Bankaroo is a virtual bank designed to teach kids about managing a budget, saving for goals, and tracking spending. It's like a financial literacy boot camp for elementary schoolers, but way more fun.


What Makes It Great:

  • Real-Life Application: Kids get to manage a budget as if they were adults, giving them a taste of real-world financial management.

  • Interactive and Personal: The ability to set personal financial goals makes it engaging and relevant to each child.



Kids love Bankaroo because it makes them feel grown-up and in control of their money. It's an excellent tool for teaching the basics of banking and budget management.


You can create your free account here and get learning!





financial football teaches kids about money


7. Financial Football



Where Sports and Financial Literacy Meet


Financial Football combines the excitement of football with the world of financial questions. To advance in the game, players answer questions about money, making it a super fun way for the kids to stay engaged while learning.  The game is created by a partnership between Visa and the NFL so it stays up to date with the kids' favorite players and teams!  


What Makes It Great:

  • Sports Theme: Appeals to kids who might not be as interested in traditional financial games.

  • Challenging and Educational: The game's difficulty increases, keeping kids engaged and learning.


This game is a touchdown for financial literacy because it appeals to sports fans and learners alike, making financial education fun and competitive.


Play it on the website here!






Wrapping It Up


Introducing financial literacy to elementary schoolers doesn't have to be a daunting task. With these seven fun and educational money games, you can teach your kids about money, budgeting, saving, and spending in a way that's engaging and memorable. Whether your child loves adventures, sports, or interactive play, there's something on this list for every young learner.


Remember, it's never too early to start teaching financial literacy. These games are not just about having fun; they're about building a foundation of knowledge that will serve your kids for a lifetime. So, pick a game, sit down with your child, and start them on their journey to becoming financially savvy. Who knows, you might just learn something new yourself!





 

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