USING GAMES TO TEACH MONEY MANAGEMENT
It’s not easy to teach kids what they need to know to handle money. This is an important skill that will last a lifetime. Often, the skills and habits they develop in the early years will be the same skills and habits they will practice in their real lives. You can tell kids to save, that “a penny saved is a penny earned,” and model such behavior with your own actions in the way you handle your household money. But to really teach, let them do it. Here are 5 cool games, all located on one site you can find online to show kids how to handle money:
1) Financial Football- In this game, you answer financial questions in order to advance in the football game. This tests kids knowledge in basic financial skills and helps them learn the basics. Since it is based on the popular football sport, many boys really take to this game easily. Lots of fun to play for all ages, even adults!
2) Financial Soccer- Like Financial Football, this game uses a popular sport, soccer, to teach kids important financial and money-management skills. The game has several levels and even offers teaching materials for educations, if schools want to use it as part of their consumer science curriculum.
3) Ed’s Bank- This is a simple but interactive fun arcade style game which allows kids to learn the value of coins, shows them the computation of the coins in the piggy bank, and allows them to then save up and go “buy items” from the online store. This is one of the best games on the site since it teaches so many skills in managing money. And it’s fun! Kids will want to play this game over and over to see what else they can “buy.”
4) Money Metropolis- This is a cool game that allows you to “save up” for different things you want, which are of a long-range nature. For example, you can save for a vacation, a plan trip, or a trip to the zoo. This teaches the valuable lesson that good things are worth waiting for, and that you can have bigger things you want if you save your money over time. Through the process of “working for the money” with the use of various arcade games you must play to win it, it creates a sense of earning money and teaches valuable management lessons.
5) Countdown to Retirement- This is a fun interactive arcade game that allows you to make choices (much like the Game of Life), in which you can save for various things as you go, and decide how much you want to live on, how much to save, and how much to contribute to retirement. This is a good game because of the lessons it teaches in how important it is to plan ahead, and gives a sense of how much extra money it takes to feel secure.
There are other games on this site, which you can check out, at: Practical Money Skills, which kids can learn from and enjoy. Look on other sites too, such as FUNBRAIN.com which features many money skill games as well. Technology and interactive games appeal to kids. Try these and other kid-friendly games to instill a sense of responsibility and planning in their money management knowledge and watch how much fun they’ll have doing it. While you’re there, check out the videos, online calculator, and more.
Editor’s Note: Lindsay Truman is a professional blogger that provides personal finance advice. She writes for PureChecks, a leading personal and business checks retailer.