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7 Interactive Video Games That Teach Kids Real-World Money Skills

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Hey parents and educators! Are you looking for fun ways to teach your kids about money? You're in the right place. In today's digital age, what better way to engage children in learning about personal finance than through video games? That's right - video games! Not only are they entertaining, but they also offer practical lessons in money management, investment, and economic principles. Let’s dive into the world of financial games for kids that combine learning with fun!


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Kids learning about finance through video games!

Understanding Game-Based Learning: More Than Just Fun and Games

In exploring why video games are excellent tools for learning, especially in financial education, we see that game-based learning is not only engaging but also highly effective. Games like "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" may appear to be simple simulations, yet they offer complex lessons in financial management, including budgeting, saving, and investing. This element of engagement is crucial for retaining interest in what could otherwise be seen as dry or complex topics.

What's particularly fascinating is how games that don't initially seem finance-related can provide deep financial insights. For instance, "Minecraft: Education Edition" teaches resource management and strategic decision-making, key components of financial literacy. By actively discussing these elements, parents and educators can transform a regular gaming experience into a meaningful financial lesson. This risk-free environment allows kids to experiment with financial decisions and understand their outcomes, thereby preparing them for real-world financial challenges.

Here's our roundup of the top 7 financial games for kids:

Monopoly plus teaches kids about money through video games

  • A Digital Take on the Classic: Monopoly Plus brings the timeless board game to the digital world. It’s a fantastic way for kids to learn about the basics of real estate, taxes, and banking. The game encourages strategic thinking as players buy, trade, and manage properties.

  • Why It’s Great for Financial Learning:

    • Teaches the concept of asset accumulation and management.

    • Highlights the importance of cash flow and liquidity.

    • Suitable for kids aged 8 and above.

  • Find Monopoly Plus on Amazon: Monopoly Plus

For a quick history of how financial games have developed, check out our article "From Monopoly to Mobile Apps: The Evolution of Financial Games for Kids"!

Roblox Tycoon Games teach kids about entrepreneurship through video games

  • Innovative Learning Through Creation: Within the vast universe of Roblox, 'Tycoon' games stand out as a unique genre. These games allow players to build and manage their own businesses, from theme parks to restaurants and beyond. They offer a dynamic way to learn about running a business, managing resources, and optimizing profits.

  • Why It’s Great for Financial Learning:

    • Encourages understanding of business management and entrepreneurship.

    • Teaches the balance between investment, expenses, and revenue.

    • Suitable for a wide range of ages, generally from 7 and up, depending on the specific Tycoon game.

  • Search the Roblox Store for Tycoon Games!: Roblox Store

The Sims 4 is a great tool for teaching real life money applications to kids!

  • Life Simulation at its Best: The Sims 4 is more than a life simulation; it's a playground for financial literacy. Players manage their Sims’ lives, including jobs, bills, and home improvements, mirroring real-world financial responsibilities.

  • Financial Skills Gained:

    • Offers a practical understanding of budgeting and living within means.

    • Simulates the impact of career and education choices on finances.

    • Ideal for teenagers.

  • Get The Sims 4 on Amazon: The Sims 4

Animal Crossing teaches kids about budgeting and money

  • A Charming World of Financial Basics: This game teaches financial responsibility as players design and develop their island. The in-game economy involves earning and spending 'bells', the local currency, and managing loans.

  • What Kids Learn:

    • Illustrates concepts of earning, saving, and investing money.

    • Introduces basic banking and loan repayment.

    • Suitable for ages 6 and up.

  • Find Animal Crossing on Amazon: Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Rollercoaster tycoon teaches kids about finance

  • Become a Theme Park Mogul: This simulation game allows players to design, build, and manage their theme park. It's an excellent introduction to business finances, dealing with cash flow, investment, and customer satisfaction.

  • Business Skills Developed:

    • Emphasizes the importance of strategic investment and resource allocation.

    • Teaches profit and loss management.

    • Recommended for ages 10 and above.

  • RollerCoaster Tycoon on Amazon: RollerCoaster Tycoon

Minecraft education is a tool to help kids learn about finance

  • Learning Economics in a Creative World: Beyond building and exploring, Minecraft: Education Edition introduces children to concepts of trade, resource management, and economic sustainability in its immersive world.

  • Educational Takeaways:

    • Demonstrates supply and demand, trading, and resource management.

    • Encourages creative problem-solving and financial planning.

    • Suitable for ages 7 and above.

  • Minecraft: Education Edition website: Minecraft: Education Edition Link

Stardew valley teaches kids about money and money management

  • Farm, Manage, Prosper: In Stardew Valley, players run a farm, where they must budget for seeds, manage resources, and sell produce. It's a compelling introduction to agricultural economics and small business management.

  • Skills Acquired:

    • Focuses on budgeting, investment, and cost-benefit analysis.

    • Teaches about market fluctuations and seasonal planning.

    • Best for ages 10 and up.

  • Stardew Valley on Amazon: Stardew Valley

Conclusion: Wrapping Up Financial Games for Kids

As we wrap up our list of financial games for kids, remember that these games are more than just entertainment. They're powerful tools for teaching real-world money skills in a format that resonates with children. By integrating these games into your financial literacy lessons, you’re setting the stage for your kids to become savvy with money management, investing, and making smart financial decisions.

To learn more about why playtime is important for financial literacy, check out our article "The Power of Play: How Games Can Teach Kids About Finance"!

Encouraging Exploration and Learning

We encourage you to explore these games with your kids. Join them in their virtual adventures and take the opportunity to discuss the financial lessons they’re learning. It’s a great way to bond and educate at the same time!

Final Thoughts

Financial literacy is a crucial skill for success in life, and it's never too early to start teaching our kids. Using video games as an educational tool can make learning about money fun and memorable. So, let’s get gaming and learning!


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