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Financial Literacy for Kids Games & Websites

Updated on April 1, 2016
EdTecher profile image

Heidi Reina, M.S., Ed, is an educational technology integrator and former teacher, reviewing free educational websites and apps.

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10 Educational Games and Lessons to Help Kids Learn about Money

These 10 games and interactive lessons will help your kids and teens learn about money and improve critical skills in financial literacy, a topic most school do not emphasize in the classroom. Managing money - making, saving, investing, spending wisely, and donating it - is a skill you can teach your kids at an early age and encourage through their teen years.. These free websites offer games and role playing lessons to make learning money management easier and fun.

Do your children receive an allowance? My daughter does. She started receiving one when she was 7. Before that, I dreaded our shopping trips. Her constant chorus of, " Mommmyyyyy, pleeeeze buy me this ______ "(candy, toy, dress), had its usual exasperating effect.

Now with an allowance that includes a savings, charity and clothing budget, my daughter is free to make these decisions. And she gets better at it every day. She's learning invaluable lessons in financial literacy. And a weight has lifted from my shoulders as her money management responsibilities have shifted to her.

Many of these educational websites have helped guide me and my daughter. I hope they will help you and your children, too, with the five important aspects of money and finances:

$ Earning money and allowances

$ Saving and investing money

$ Sharing money (charitable giving)

$ Spending money

$ Taxes

Image courtesy of Timeout Kids

How to Teach Your Kids About Money
How to Teach Your Kids About Money

How to Teach Your Kids About Money

Strength: Videos on allowance, money management

Narrated by Janet Bodner of Kiplinger Magazine , this first site is actually for YOU. Bodner has advice on how you can help teach your kids key principles of money and finance. How to Teach Your Kids About Money is a series of 23 short videos, in which Janet Bodner talks to you about how to help your kids learn how money works and how to handle it responsibly.

She answers questions such as

  • Should allowance be tied to chores?
  • What is the right amount of allowance? and
  • How much should my children contribute to savings?

Bodner, a parent of three, has been writing about kids and money for more than 15 years. She's been on several TV shows, writes columns for Kiplinger and AOL, and... Her book, Raising Money-Smart Kids, elaborates on the themes in the videos. Both the videos and the book provide lots of common sense advise that helps you demystify money and finances for your kids. Many public libraries carry the book.

Banking Kids
Banking Kids

The Banking Kids Page

Strength: Educational interactives to help kids learn to use banking tools

Children can practice their banks skills and learn about budgeting on The Banking Kids Page. Designed by DGM Graphics, Inc., The Banking Kids Page has sections for Preschool, Elementary and Teens.

Interactives in the Elementary section show kids how fill out deposit slips and how to deposit checks and cash. Another interactive explains key financial planning terms, including budgeting, goals, interest, financial security, income, savings account, and deposits. Kids can watch how their savings account balance grows as they deposit a weekly allowance and it earns interest.

Interactives in the Teens section shows kids how to use an ATM, how to properly fill out a check, and how to balance a checkbook and reconcile it with the monthly bank statement.

There are also several money-themed crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, coloring and matching games for younger children to play. The section for parents explains each of the activities in more detail.

Rich Kid Smart Kid
Rich Kid Smart Kid

Rich Kid Smart Kid

Strength: Role-playing games for money making, saving and charitable giving

To help your kids learn about the basics of business, making a profit, assets and charitable giving, go to Rich Kid Smart Kid. Using cartoons to instruct, the Rich Dad Organization has put together interactive learning tools with age-appropriate lesson for kids from kindergarten through 12th grade.

On Big Cheese Island, children learn how to make a profit from a small business when Jesse starts an ice cream stand. Reno uses games to help kids understand working for money, borrowing money, and paying debts back with interest. Kids help Ima achieve her dream of charitable giving by earning and investmenting money, and donating a portion of it. And kids help Jesse make a big change from working to earn money from his ice cream stand to investing money in assets that will make money for him with less work. Older children learn how to calculate return on investment (ROI) in this activity. All of these lessons has different learning activities for your child, depending on their grade - K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.

For teachers, there are downloadable lesson plans that accompany each activity.

Money Game for Classroom or Home School

Learning Resources Money Bags Coin Value Game
Learning Resources Money Bags Coin Value Game

My kids enjoy this fast-moving money game so it's great for the classroom. They earn money by landing on earning squares for things like chores or a lemonade stand, bank withdrawals, and money exchanges. The game compels kids to think critically. For instance, they might need to provide 60 cents in change without using any dimes.

The game is a great gift for an early elementary school teacher.

 
Banking on Our Future
Banking on Our Future

Banking on Our Future

Strength: Financial education for kids of all ages

Operation HOPE is helping 5 million kids to understand that education and learning the language of money are two of the keys to success in life on their Banking on Our Future website.

Free registration is required to use the site. There are in-depth lessons for kids on banking, checking and savings accounts, ATM use, credit, budgeting, shopping, insurance, investing and preventing ID theft. Separate lesson tracks are geared to elementary, middle and high school students. The elementary and middle school tracks contain interactive lessons with cartoon figures. The high school and adult track consists of video lessons with periodic questions for review.

Operation HOPE has received numerous federal public grants to further its work in financial literacy. It has been recognized by national, state and local leaders and media for its work.

Sense & Dollars
Sense & Dollars

Sense & Dollars

Strength: Financial literacy role-playing for teens

Maryland Public Television offers a website targeted to the teen audience. Sense & Dollars, is all about earning and spending money -- sensibly.

Budgets, credit cards, interest rates are all explored in interactive games. Buy a pair of sneakers on your credit card, plug in what you can afford to pay each month, then see how much those sneakers actually cost when you finally finish paying for them.

Earn a paycheck and budget your expenses and savings so you don't go broke each month.

Plan for your dream prom. Budget for tickets, clothing, accessories, dinner and transportation.

Learn if you have what it takes to own your own business, or how much you'll make flipping burgers.

NEFE High School Financial Planning
NEFE High School Financial Planning

NEFE High School Financial Planning Program

Strength: Financial Literacy Curriculum for teens

NEFE's award-winning free program is designed for classroom use. The seven-unit student and teacher guide was designed by the National Endowment for Financial Education to give teenagers practical skills and practice to:

  • Create a financial plan
  • Create a budget
  • Develop a personal savings and investment plan
  • Create strategies for managing credit and handling debt
  • Demonstrate how to use financial services
  • Create a personal insurance plan
  • Explore the impact of their career and lifestyle on their financial plan

The planning isn't limited to your teens. The program calls for parent involvement, as well as classroom visits by financial planners.

If you are a teacher or parent who would like to start the program at your local school, you can order an information kit

Understanding Taxes
Understanding Taxes

Understanding Taxes

Strength: Authoritative IRS rules on tax withholding and payments for teens

An essential part of money management, particularly for teens, is budgeting for and paying taxes. Understanding Taxes is the IRS site designed for kids.

In comprehensive - and, at times, excruciatingly boring - IRS fashion, the federal government offers 38 lesson to students. They explain why we pay taxes and how we pay taxes. What I have found to be the most helpful and useful feature are the simulations that provide instructions for what to do in 20 different taxpayer scenarios.

There's a lot of info here that is helpful to adults as well as students.

EconEdlink
EconEdlink

EconEdlink

Strength: Money lesson plans for teachers and homeschooling parents and financial guides for parents

EconEdLink is for teachers and parents. It's my go-to site for lesson plans on money and economics. Compiled by the Council of Economic Education, it has more than 600 lessons for children at all grade levels.

The lesson database is searchable by grade level and standards. Another useful resource is the Current Events section, with economic stories in the news, and lessons that relate to them.

How's your financial literacy? - Click on the image below to take the FINRA Financial Literacy Quiz

Financial Literacy Quiz
Financial Literacy Quiz

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation conducts periodic studies of the financial IQ of American adults. Take the short - 5 question - financial literacy quiz to see how you rate. The national average is 2.8.

How did your score compare to the national average?

See results

These Kids Mean Busines$ - PBS movie on kids starting their own businesses

Kids + Money - by Lauren Greenfield

Teens in Los Angeles - rich, poor and in between - discuss money: getting it, spending it and learning to live without it. KIDS + MONEY is an original short film by award-winning filmmaker and photographer Lauren Greenfield.

How do you help your kids learn money management skills?

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    • profile image

      Alex 2 years ago

      I simply want to say I'm nbwiee to weblog and certainly loved your blog. Probably I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You surely have perfect articles. Many thanks for revealing your blog site.

    • profile image

      Vinnie2014 3 years ago

      This is a great topic! Teaching kids about money earlier on definitely has its benefits.

    • profile image

      cleansweeping 3 years ago

      Nice lens! I will use some of these ideas in my classroom!

    • profile image

      FreePathToWealth 3 years ago

      This is a great lens! Grabbing my 9 year old and having her check out your resources. She just built her own company. Check it out on my lens. Kids are so awesome. Thanks for the information.

    • fleecemeister profile image

      fleecemeister 4 years ago

      This is a great lens. So much useful information here.

    • constantinamuston profile image

      constantinamuston 4 years ago

      This is an awesome lens! As I have twins of a very young age, I found the comments here insightful. I want to help them become financially literate and these games seem to do the trick!

    • profile image

      shane-lewis-90475 4 years ago

      Years ago when i lost everything and looked back i noticed that some my friends managed their finance better than the others and that was because they learned from childhood how to manage their money.

    • RogerBonger profile image

      RogerBonger 4 years ago

      Start young. Leaving home is not the time you want to start learning about money management.

    • profile image

      FloridaCarTitleLoans 4 years ago

      I wish we had this growing up! Great resources for all parents to use. We are now living in an age where financial literacy much be taught from day 1! I appreciate this lens and the amazing links and videos.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      When I was a kid, we didn't get allowances. We had chores to do around the farm and through our 4-H projects we learned to earn money by raising rabbits and selling them.

    • RothIRACustodians profile image

      RothIRACustodians 5 years ago

      Whenever I wanted something as a kid, my mom made me pay for half of it. I had to earn the money by doing chores. Obviously, most of the stuff I wouldn't want anymore! The stuff I did get I would actually play with and cherish.

    • lionesspride profile image

      lionesspride 5 years ago

      PHENOMENAL lens!!!

    • profile image

      jarajelissa 5 years ago

      Good information :)

    • chinchilla-cages profile image

      chinchilla-cages 5 years ago

      Great lens. It's certainly very important to teach kids early on how to manage money.

    • J-Nevil LM profile image

      J-Nevil LM 5 years ago

      This lens is great. Kids really need to learn about finance!

    • HelpMarcProject profile image

      Forrest McKinnis 5 years ago from West Richland

      One of the things often forgotten in regards to a well-rounded education is the application of financial literacy. There is a lot of time spent on the hot 3 (math, science, and writing), but a failure in the application of finance. Great lens. Thanks

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      great lens:)

    • profile image

      sadashiva 5 years ago

      @williammdavis: Me too

    • profile image

      williammdavis 5 years ago

      Well this lens inspired me.

    • profile image

      therightequityrelease 5 years ago

      good information...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Outstanding lens. Great information.

    • profile image

      Dywaz 5 years ago

      Great lens. :) Very good info, thanks for sharring.

    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      Excellent lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Super important topic and a great lens. With all the mobile devices out there, you may want to consider using some age appropriate money apps in your family's education, also. I think there are like a billion of them, literally :) Anyway, so far we have been enjoying Jungle Coins, PennyMe and TuppenceBank. Different apps for different ages, and I look forward to finding more. Again, thanks for investigating tools to help get kids on track financially.

    • profile image

      candidaabrahamson 5 years ago

      Wow! What a fantastic lens, on an incredibly useful and important topic. I actually used it (in my "featured lenses" section at http://www.squidoo.com/protecting-yourself-financi... if you want to visit your work in action) in my lens on financialy infidelity, because these skills are ones all grownups should have, especially before joining financial forces in marriage. Thank you for sharing! Candida

    • DogWatchColumbus profile image

      DogWatchColumbus 5 years ago

      I'm just starting to think about trying...this is a great place to start! Thanks=0)!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I still want a Big Cheese Island.....returning with fresh angel dust...

    • profile image

      Tanami 5 years ago

      well done great lens you have put a lot of work into it. My lens is on living debt free and I enjoyed your con ten

    • profile image

      Buchamar 5 years ago

      This is a great share, thanks!

    • profile image

      OnlineAutoInsuranceQuotes 6 years ago

      Great resources here. When children learn financial literacy at a young age it can carry them for the rest of their lives.

    • wolfie10 profile image

      wolfie10 6 years ago

      i agree. you need to teach the kids how to manage money from an early age. If you wait until they are in there teen it is a lot harder as many of them have formed habits. bad ones are hard to break.

    • Lee Nitus profile image

      Lee Nitus 6 years ago

      Well, we don't have any kids yet, but I am sure we will come back to this page some day when we do. You have lots of good money content... and that curriculum is terrific! Thanks for sharing.

    • Natalie W Schorr profile image

      Natalie W Schorr 6 years ago

      Such an important topic!

    • profile image

      pounds2day 6 years ago

      Great book and program reviews, thanks for taking the time to lay all this out.

    • profile image

      redleafloans 6 years ago

      I teach my kids to not waste anything so they can learn how to value something.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      What a wonderful resource you have developed here! One Christmas, we gave each of the grandkids a share of stock in a company that we thought would have personal appeal to each (Wendy's for one, Disney for another, etc) You can get these through several websites, and can have the stock certificate sent to them framed with an engraved nameplate on the frame. We also gave them books about money and piggy banks that year.

    • sandyjunep lm profile image

      sandyjunep lm 6 years ago

      I really like your lens. IMy eldest child did not get pocket money until she was a teenager, but very true, shopping with her then became a pleasure. She started budgeting and even looking for cheaper items. I then started giving my younger child pocket money. Both children had to do chores to earn their pocket money

    • Fignewton37 profile image

      Fignewton37 6 years ago

      What a great lens! Every child should be taught this. When my step children were young teenagers we sat them down and talked to them about how much money they would need to live out on their own. We got the classified section of the newspaper and showed them what rent costs, a car payment (or save enough to buy a good used car with cash), medical bill, utilities, entertainment, food and so forth. I think it really opened their eyes that they needed a really good job and to be frugal, which they seem to be doing now that they are out on their own. Thanks for the lens.

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      richdadpoordadseminars 6 years ago

      Very useful lens, thank you! Children really will find useful such games in future and they will thank their parents.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What invaluable lessons on financial management to instill at a young age that will serve them well for a lifetime. I want to visit Big Cheese Island myself!

    • profile image

      Brownhub 6 years ago

      Teaching personal finance and raising money smart kids give our children the ability to recognize and capitalize on opportunities which will help them in pursuit of their own personal American Dream.

      Brown Hub

    • MyFairLadyah2 profile image

      MyFairLadyah2 6 years ago

      Absolutely right that kids need to learn

      Where the money comes from and where it goes

      They'll have a better appreciation of what they earn

      And be able to head off some financial woes

      Nice Lens!

    • Chris-H LM profile image

      Chris-H LM 6 years ago

      This is important stuff! Thank you for organizing these diverse pages.

      I've written extensively about the subject of money and hope to publish soon. So perhaps before long I'll have a page I could suggest you consider adding! :p

    • profile image

      fulcherben 6 years ago

      This is good to teach your children because the education system doesn't cover it. It will greatly improve the well being of your children

    • LTPParents profile image

      Tracy Gibb 6 years ago

      Awesome! I just started teaching my son about money using the cash flow for kids game. We will definitely be using these resources!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      It's a fantastic blog i have visited. I appreciate for spreading these information which are very necessary to teach the kids. By developing these habits, kids learn to earn and save the money and they pick very quickly any bad or good habit in childhood. These habits can be very beneficial for them for their future.

    • RetroMom profile image

      RetroMom 6 years ago

      It is always important to let your kids know how to handle their own money. This will teach them how to value and use them wisely. giving them allowances together with a piggy-bank will let them understand the concept of saving. Thanks so much for this very informative lens!

    • sara0129 profile image

      Shamim Rajabali 6 years ago from Texas

      Well written. Just talk to your kids. They have to know the difference between their needs and wants.

    • WilliamSimons profile image

      WilliamSimons 6 years ago

      Well written lens. Have you found information about the possibly benefits are requiring kids to save 10-15% of what ever they make or earn. This practice could just be carried over into their college years, etc.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      First, Great Lens and very important information for awareness about money and how to use it.

      One area we did was to have our sons make out checks for the bills we were paying out monthly. They were shocked at the amount of money it took to live.

      As young adults they wanted to leave home as all young people do.

      They quickly realized that these checks for our household would be checks for their household.

      Famous quote from one son was, "I thought everything came with the rent payment like electricity, water, telephone, and cable TV/internet service. I didn't realize you had to pay for them separately!"

      I asked about how they were going to wash and dry their clothes. Blank stare, then 'Mom will do it'. I said no, no Mom, you need to plan to do it yourself. Time and money to do your own laundry. And all those 'special' clothes that require 'special' care,.....enjoy!

      I could go on, but that's for another comment here.

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 6 years ago

      Favoriting this one. I have kids and we're working with them on allowance and how to save $

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      Teaching children how to handle money is such an important skill. This lens has been blessed by the maths angel and added to my best maths resources lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      its important for kids to learn how to manage money at an early age id start at around 4 years old.. blog rolling yours with business ideas for kids.favorite yours, I follow back on twitter - the idea girl :)

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      What a great list of resources. This is a skill that kids really need to learn and is lacking. Lensrolled to Lemonade Day.

    • brittanyshaf profile image

      brittanyshaf 6 years ago

      great lens! kids really need to learn about using their money correctly. it wouldn't hurt if us teens learned about it, too! (and then applied it to our lives!) . blessings!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      This is great! It's SO important for kids to start learning how to manage money at an early age. I wish this were taught more in school. I've met so many young adults--college students--who seem to have no idea how to manage their money at all.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 6 years ago

      Awesome collection of games.

      Lensrolled to Raising Financially Responsible Children

    • retro-gamer profile image

      Howard 6 years ago from Michigan

      Very nice lens. I do the allowance thing for doing their chores, homework, etc. Kids loving having their own money. I let them save up for something special with some of it and also have a savings account for each one that they can't touch. Current thing is letting them have loose change occasionally, they are all over that and its a blast seeing them roll it up, recounting, etc to deposit in the bank, lol.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Excellent lens, great content and I love the design too. It is important to teach kids about finance, especially if like most families, your money doesn't grow on trees!

    • charle lm profile image

      charle lm 6 years ago

      Nice lens , I also wrote a lens about prepaid credit cards and would like you to read it , thanks

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 6 years ago from US/TN

      Great lens, and such an important topic! Blessed!

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      SquidooEconomy 6 years ago

      there are loads of info here....but as parents we have to choose our teachings very wisely so instead of teaching them how to use properly money they will turned into spending machines or even worse wall street predators............and i found the use of the wall street video really wrong and unsuitable

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Lots of really good info here when you have kids as we see a lack in this area in our education systems.

    • khael profile image

      khael 6 years ago

      I'm writing something about finance for my kid and nephew. Thie resources are a great help! Many thanks and may you prosper always.

    • WritingforYourW profile image

      WritingforYourW 7 years ago

      Good information. They just don't teach kids what they need to know about finances in school.

    • profile image

      Fit_Over_40_Buzz 7 years ago

      Very nice lens. Thanks. I gave you a thumbs up, because it's a nice lens.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      Very well done and informative lens. And now, Angel Blessed*

    • profile image

      kcstein7 7 years ago

      Wow! What a complete lens. Favorited and lens-rolled!

      Full of resources! Thanks.

    • SafeCard LM profile image

      SafeCard LM 7 years ago

      Hi great lens!!

      You are so right we need to be teaching our kids the importants of saving our money.

      My dad was ver ygood at this. You shared some very good tips!!

      Thanks!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This topic is so important for every parent. Yes, my girls have an allowance and they have learned to save up for things - last year together they saved for a Wii and this year one of them is working very hard at the local stables to earn her own riding lessons and free riding.

      They are also learning to make choices as to what to spend their money on.

      (BTW - thank you for the lovely comments on my Keywords lens - I do indeed hope it helps you with your education lenses)

    • Shades-of-truth profile image

      Emily Tack 7 years ago from USA

      My offspring are all adults - I would have loved to have this information available to them. It can be passed on, to the grandkids, though! Excellent way to teach kids to manage their funds!

    • profile image

      djbritton 7 years ago

      Congratulations on a great lens - tons of good contect thanks

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 7 years ago from London, England

      Great lens. Thanks for telling me about it. I shall feature this in my Lens Promotion Group

    • profile image

      finance4kids 7 years ago

      You can check out my books "Finance for Kidz." Through the art of story telling, I have explained complex financial principles. Read the testimonials on my website first before considering buying any books. Thanks

      Prakash Dheeriya, PhD

      Father, Author & Professor of Finance

      Finance for Kidz series

      finance4kidz dot com

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      Candeece 7 years ago

      The value of money is so important. I'm so glad my parents educated me well about money because the school system certainly doesn't. Great Resource!!

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 7 years ago

      I have two kids. My oldest can't save a dime. My youngest can't spend a dime. lol!!! My youngest is saving up for a Game Boy DS, boy is his brother going to be jealous!!! lol!!! Blessed by a Squid Angel. :)

    • profile image

      Leanne Chesser 7 years ago

      It's so important for kids to learn how to handle money. This is a great collection of resources to teach kids of all ages. Blessed by an angel.

    • EdTecher profile image
      Author

      Heidi Reina 7 years ago from USA

      @KarenTBTEN: Your niece is doing better with her savings and charity allotments than my daughter. My daughter puts 10% in charity and 10% in savings. I'm curious to know how other kids allot savings and charity from allowances and earnings... or adults, for that matter :)

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 7 years ago

      I don't have kids, but my brother and his wife start their kids early. The older child, who is in kindergarten, sometimes receives money. 1/3 goes to charity, 1/3 to savings. She gets to spend that last 1/3.