6 Board Games To Teach Kids About Money (That Are Actually Fun)
Teaching kids about money management, budgeting, and spending wisely is an important part of every parent's job. And plenty of parents grasp this fact. A recent survey conducted by Chase found that more than 70 percent of parents in the U.S. are regularly discussing the basics of personal finances with their children, including talking about saving and spending with them and how to use a bank account.
The survey, which polled parents of kids ages 17 and under, found that 62 percent of parents talk about their family's own financial situation with kids, including delving into the family's ability to purchase certain things, take a family trip, or participate in extracurricular activities.
This is all great news, but often, these lessons can be a less-than-exciting experience for the children involved. Luckily there are plenty of board games designed to deliver a hefty dose of fun while also imparting helpful, real-life money principles. (Monopoly, anyone?)
For parents who may be in search of a few additional gifts to put under the Christmas tree this year, or who are simply seeking a better way to teach kids about money, here are six board games to put on your shopping list.
1. Cover Your Assets
Life is full of financial risks and rewards. And as it turns out, there's a children's board game designed to cover this important money-related concept. The game in question is Cover Your Assets, ($17, Amazon) and it's a personal favorite of certified financial planner and author of the children's book Money A to Z, Scott Alan Turner, of Rock Star Financial Planning.
"It's fun, quick to learn, easy to understand, and helps kids grasp simple money concepts," Turner tells Parents. "Things like protecting what you own, the value of different assets—homes, cars, baseball cards— and how to build wealth using strategy."
As an added bonus, the game helps children count large sums of money.
"We also play it with just adults, and it's equally as fun," says Turner.
2. Cash Flow for Kids
Who better to teach kids about money than Robert Kiyosaki, author of The New York Times best-selling book, Rich Dad Poor Dad?
Kiyosaki's offering on the kids' game front is Cashflow ($70, Amazon) an award-winning personal finance game that uses components of stock-investing games, business-building games, and real estate-investing games to challenge players' perceptions of how to generate and sustain wealth.
The object of the game is to increase each player's financial IQ so that they can maximize earning potential, build passive income through investments, stop working so hard, and find ways to make their money work for them. Sounds amazing, right? (Not to mention these are lessons nearly all of us could benefit from.)
Ultimately, players learn how to get out of the rat race and onto the fast track.
"He understands that people should be taught about finance as early as possible," Jeremy Hulls tells Parents. Hulls is senior editor of Family Destinations Guide and is a parent whose own children have used the game. "So, he created a board game suited for kids," Hulls continues. "They can learn the principles of cash flow, capital gains, assets, and liabilities in a way that is kid-friendly."
3. Buy it Right Shopping Game
Money can easily pass right through your hands if you're not careful. The Buy It Right Shopping Game ($29, Amazon) is all about this fact, emphasizing how fast money comes and goes, says Susan Melony, editor-in-chief of a blog that provides educational resources and guides.
"This game includes simple real-life activities like purchasing, selling, giving gifts, and other actions that affect the flow of money and personal finances," says Melony. "The two- to four-player board game teaches young people how to count, transact, and make wise decisions in terms of spending money."
Michelle Keldgord, California-based mother of a six-year-old and nine-year-old and co-founder of the website BakingHow, says she emphasizes learning through play in her household. One of Keldgord's favorite games to accomplish this (at least when it comes to money management) is the age-old classic Monopoly ($25. Amazon).
"Monopoly is a great way to learn about money and a few other things, such as real estate, building your empire, and being smart about investing," says Keldgord. "It is a classic that brings the whole family together. We like to play on holidays."
Keldgord says her children started playing original version of Monopoly at around six years old, and before that, they played Monopoly Junior ($9, Target), an option that is slightly less challenging for younger children.
5. The Allowance Game
In addition to providing your children with money lessons through real allowance, you can bring this concept to life via a board game aptly named The Allowance Game ($29, Amazon).
"This board game is pretty easy and fun, and kids are able to learn about making and spending money in a way that doesn't feel like a strict lesson," says Jake Hill, CEO of DebtHammer. "They get to count, save, and exchange money, and can do chores to make money, which can help introduce the idea of actually doing household chores for an allowance."
Kids also learn social money skills by playing The Allowance Game, including making necessary payments and interacting with others on the topic of money, says Hill.
Another classic in the world of board games, Pay Day ($12, Amazon), offers young players the opportunity to learn about being responsible with money, says attorney Jordan Peagler, owner of the California-based law firm MKP Law Group.
"Being responsible with money helped me get through law school and have enough security to open my own firm," Peagler tells Parents. "Being responsible with money may someday help your child reach their dreams, so it's a lesson that's important to teach."
Peagler recommends the game since it teaches kids about "responsibly handling their money, and the dangers of taking on too much debt. Kids learn about taking out loans and the high interest rates they'll pay for them. Avoiding unnecessary debt is one of the best lessons in finance a child can learn, and they'll be having so much fun playing this, it won't feel like a typical boring finance lesson."