Looking for new ways to boost your child’s financial education? For many parents, teaching their children about finances can be challenging. However, it’s also important to give them a head start on the financial skills they will need throughout their lives.
The good news is, teaching your children about money doesn’t have to be difficult. There are lots of ways to make financial literacy fun and engaging. Don’t believe us? Check out these five fun money activities for kids you can try out today.
Why making it fun and still being serious matters
Children can have short attention spans and tend to favor activities that keep them entertained. This is especially true when you are dealing with younger children. When you are trying to teach them about money, you may struggle to keep them interested for very long. That isn’t to say you can’t teach them about money. It just means you need to up your game.
Making financial education fun will not only keep your children interested, but it will also help them to better absorb what they are learning. Think about it—you retain more knowledge about the things you enjoy. So, making money fun is a great way to improve your kids' financial literacy.
Quick list of our fun activities to teach your child about money
1. Grocery store field trip
2. Meal planning and cooking
3. Play online money games
4. Play financial board games
5. Pretend spending spree
6. Online pretend house hunting
7. Bartering practice
8. Goods/services game
9. Needs/wants game
10. Maths word problems
Complete list of fun activities to teach your child about money
Need inspiration for fun money activities? Check out these 18 fun activities that will teach your child about money…
1. Money Missions
Our in-app Money Missions can be accessed as part of your GoHenry membership. Missions cover money basics, investing, saving, compound interest, borrowing, giving, and more.
Money Missions follow financial education guidelines, and they are suitable for all ages. They will help your child grow in confidence while providing them with crucial financial education.
2. Let’s budget!
Teach your child about budgeting with real-life examples. One fun activity you can try is pizza budgeting. You get to teach your child about budgeting while eating pizza—a win/win for both of you. So, how does it work?
Explain to your child that the pizza represents monthly income. Each slice of pizza relates to different expenses that need to be paid, such as water, electricity, and rent/mortgage. This is a fun way to show them how monthly finances work and the importance of budgeting for multiple expenses.
Related: Budgeting games for kids
3. Did someone say second-hand clothes?
Investing in second-hand clothes is a great way to teach your children about being thrifty with their money. Start by going into a clothes store and pointing out the prices for new clothing. Then, head to a second-hand shop and compare the prices. Give them a budget they can spend on second-hand clothes and watch as they try and get as much for their money as they can.
4. Back to the past
Over time, money typically changes in value. Teach your kids this with a fun ‘Back to the Past’ money lesson. In a fun way, teach them about the old coins people used and their values. Compare old currency to today’s currency to see how things have changed. Kids love to discover things from the past, so teaching them about old currency is sure to pique their interest.
5. Toss a coin to help a charity
Teaching your children about giving is an important life lesson. Why not turn giving into a game with this toss a coin idea? Choose two different charities for you and your child to support. Then, toss a coin to see which one you are going to give to first. You can donate to the other charity next time.
Explain why giving to charity and helping those in need is important. Don’t forget to teach them that it isn’t just monetary donations that can help – donating toys and clothes, or volunteering is important, too.
6. Sibling-rivalry saving game
If more than one child is learning about money, you can create a competition to see who can save more. A savings game can be a great way to challenge kids and encourage them to learn more. Create a challenge to save toward a specific item or amount of money with a fun reward at the end.
7. Coin caterpillars
Lay different coins out in wiggly lines on paper, then draw on antennae and legs to make “coin caterpillars” for kids. The fun visual makes a great educational tool, and you can use it to help teach kids different types of coins by pointing them out on paper. Older kids can practice adding coins to see how much the coin caterpillar is worth in total.
8. Grocery store field trip
The grocery store always feels like a fun place for kids, with many different items to choose from. Use a grocery store field trip to show kids how to compare grocery items by price, amount, and value. Buying groceries is also an excellent opportunity to show kids how to pay for goods and start a conversation about cash and cards.
9. Meal planning and cooking to reinforce budgeting
In addition to grocery shopping, you can use engaging money activities for kids in the kitchen. Have kids help plan meals for the week and make a game of keeping the grocery list under budget. Reinforce the ideas of money and value by getting kids involved in cooking meals for the family according to your plan.
10. Run a lemonade stand
Kids can build confidence, resilience, and management skills when they have opportunities to learn about money early. A lemonade stand is among the classic money activities for children. Running a lemonade stand can teach kids about earning income and entrepreneurship and is a favorite on the list of fun ways to learn about money.
11. Play online money games
You might be surprised to find out your child can have a great time learning about all sorts of money topics by playing video games. Online money games can teach kids important lessons about making money, saving, investing, and debt.
12. Play financial board games
Classic board games like Monopoly or Payday can also be great money activities for children. Plan a family game night and use the fun environment to start talking about different money topics. Ask your kid questions and make up scenarios for fun ways to learn about money.
13. Pretend spending spree
Many children love playing with mail and looking through ads from stores. Setting up pretend shopping sprees using flyers or mail advertisements as inspiration can make fun money activities for kids and require little setup for parents. Give kids a budget and let them pretend-shop to see how well they can plan their spending.
14. Online pretend house hunting
Another fun money game to play with older children is pretend house hunting. Talk to kids and teens about how much it really costs to buy a house and how interest will impact their payments. Help kids understand how much they’ll need for a down payment and how much mortgage they can afford, then let them shop for the best houses in their budget.
15. Bartering practice
Siblings may fight and argue, but bartering might be a more constructive practice. Have kids negotiate between themselves on different items and learn how to work with each other so they can both get what they really want.
16. Goods/services game
Most children don’t understand the cost of items or the value of different services. A fun way to learn about money and how much things cost is to create a game of guessing different prices. Create cards with pictures of various goods and services or set up your own quiz game to play in the car or at home.
17. Needs/wants game
Teaching kids the difference between needs and wants is a difficult but essential lesson. Creating a budget and making good money choices will require your kid to know how to save for what they need. Consider creating a game showing kids cards of items that are needs vs. those that are wants to start the discussion.
18. Math word problems
Your child may love learning how money works using math puzzles or word problems. Create your own puzzles or search for word problems centered on money transactions to teach kids basic math skills like addition and subtraction while building their financial education.
How GoHenry can teach your kids about money
At GoHenry, we’re passionate about supporting kids’ financial education in a fun, engaging way.
In the GoHenry app you’ll find everything you need to accelerate your child’s financial education and teach them the basics of earning, saving, spending – and budgeting. You’ll receive notifications whenever your child uses their kids' debit card, so you have oversight of their spending while giving them the independence to learn how to manage their money.