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Playing With Money (and Your Kids)

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Money and kids. It's a BIG topic. And we aren't experts on money or finances, are we? Trying to explain how much tomatoes cost or how your paycheck goes to pay for food or clothes or gas or why she can't have everything she sees on TV when we ourselves struggle with financial issues (or get a rapid heart rate when we open the bills or look at the bank account) could make us want to avoid discussing anything at all to do with money with our little ones.

But, getting your kids used to how money works and practicing making wise purchasing choices, fostering that healthy relationship with money and savings can actually help you on your quest for a strong family piggy bank. Going over the basics and foundations of finances will help you tune into what's important - and it can be a little fun too. An easy way to engage your kids on money matters is to play some games. Really. Check it out. Bet you've never had this much fun with money before. 

-- Break out the board games. The new version of Life, now called The Game of Life Twists and Turns, is a fantastic way to get your kids thinking about how everyday living and events are impacted by money (or the lack of it).

-- Play "store." A good one for little and big kids. Set up a store in your home. Switch off roles of being the shopper or the shopkeeper. Have them make tags for how much things cost, pretend money, and the like. Practicing using money to purchase something, maybe not having enough for everything they want, it all illuminates the "want versus need" element to spending moolah. It is a fun roleplaying lesson for little ones, while a great math lesson and introduction to the world of finances for the big kids.

-- The Estimation Game. We use estimation every time we shop, figuring out totals to see if we will stay within budget or go over, how much a discount may result in, and so on. Just estimate things around the house: how many stuffed animals are in that cubby, how much did you spent on the groceries, how many pickles are in the jar.

-- Get a cool money game app. The Count Money app is a great introduction to money. You learn what each coin is worth and practice counting the amount of change on the screen. A fun and easy tool for you to teach kids who just starting to be aware of money's worth.

How you teach money lessons to your kids? Share your best tips here!


by on Jul. 23, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on Jul. 24, 2012 at 9:23 AM

these are great ideas. Life is one of my favorite games, may have to get the new version. We also do store a lot, on DD's own iniative...

by Bronze Member on Jul. 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

They get money from their chores.  Also if they make choices about what to buy with their money.  If they choose something that doesn't last we don't replace it.

by on Jul. 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

I teach him through actual experience.

by Amy on Jul. 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM

 Great article! We play monopoly all the time.

by on Jul. 24, 2012 at 10:20 AM
My ds works and we give him money for offering. He saves it and gives every Sunday
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by Bronze Member on Jul. 24, 2012 at 11:28 AM

We teach them to save, talk to them about getting the best deal, quality items, checking prices, buying what you can afford, making change, ect

by Bronze Member on Jul. 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM

we usually give them the basic concepts, things cost money etc. we also let them pay for their own things and hand the cashiers money. when they get older and understand how much things cost we let them take matters into their own hands.

by Member on Jul. 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM

My oldest two boys are ages 6 and 5.  We just started this summer giving them allowance to teach them about money.  They each get two dollars a week.  One dollar they can put in their wallet and spend however they want.  The other doller they must put in their piggy bank to save for a big item they want.  They both said they want to save it all winter to get new bikes next summer. 

by on Jul. 24, 2012 at 12:54 PM

The new version of Life, now called The Game of Life Twists and Turns, - We own this game & love playing it as a family! 

by Bronze Member on Jul. 24, 2012 at 1:20 PM

thanks we do have a savings account  with DD

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