Most parents are spending more time with their children recently due to the coronavirus-related school closures. This may last for a few weeks or a few months. We just don’t know. Why not leverage this opportunity to teach your children about money? And if you do this right, they won’t even realize you are playing teacher. They will just think they are having fun! Below are financial literacy activities and resources to make the experience fun for kids.
Homework for the Parents
While your children are occupied binge-watching Disney+, find a secluded spot and prepare for your first day on the job as your children’s financial educator. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has some awesome tools that address Youth Financial Education. Utilize “The Journey to Financial Well-Being,” to look at when, where, and how youth learn and develop the building blocks of financial capability. Explore the vast resources available for parents and educators. You can even access free printed copies of the educational materials to aid you in your lessons. After exploring the CFBP site, you’ll want to head over to MyMoney.Gov for even more great resources.
Fun Money Education Resources for Children
While on the MyMoney.Gov site, you will want to pay special attention to the “Resources for Youth,” section. Use this area of MyMoney.gov to find games, fun activities, websites, video games, and information about money for kids and youth. You will find links to information on how to save money, what to think about when shopping and buying, and how to budget so you’ll have enough money when you need it.
There is a link to the United States Mint – H.I.P. Pocket Change Kids Site. You’ll find a lot of fun money education ideas for your children. There is information on the U.S. Mint, how coins are made, tips for coin collecting and many interesting videos.
Fun Money Education Board Games for Children
If you are in search of a fun money education idea involving the entire family, nothing beats a board game. You can use a classic board game as a way of introducing the topic of money and financial management. You may even have a few of these games in your home already.
The Game of Life, for example, teaches kids about the various expenses they’ll encounter from college to retirement. Another favorite is the Allowance Game, in which kids go around the board doing chores and collecting an allowance, then spend their earnings on the things they want.
Monopoly teaches kids about investments, emphasizing how investments earn income. In order to win, players must spend money on a property. As the game progresses, they witness that property generates income, allowing them to continue purchasing more properties. It also forces them to plan. They can’t spend all their money on properties, because they can easily land on a spot that requires they pay taxes or some other expense. It’s a great way to start instilling in your kids the importance of an emergency fund.
For older children, ages 14 and older, Cashflow 101 teaches players how to take charge of their personal finances, understand cash flow and learn about the importance of investing. Cashflow 101 delves into some of finance’s more complicated topics. There is another version called Cashflow for Kids that may be appropriate for children as young as six years old.
Fun Money Education Video Games for Children
You know it is going to be a battle to keep them off screen time! If they are going to be on the screen, anyway, why not make it educational? There are some great free video games available online.
Financial Football Visa and the National Football League have teamed up to create Financial Football, a fast-paced, interactive game that engages students while teaching them personal finance skills. The latest release features 3D graphics and game-changing opportunities with audibles, blitzes and long yardage plays. The game is available to play for free through iOS and Android apps and online.
Gen I Revolution Developed for middle school and high school students, this online game gives your students the chance to learn important personal finance skills as they play and compete against fellow classmates. The game includes sixteen missions in which students attempt to help people in financial trouble. Students join the Gen i Revolution, strategically select their operatives, and begin to explore and earn points as they work to complete each mission.
The Stock Market Game The SIFMA Foundation is offering this very educational game. The Stock Market Game will help kids do better in school. When kids participate in The Stock Market Game, they are in a real-world situation where they practice the content and skills they’re taught in math, English Language Arts, economics, social studies, and other school subjects. Most importantly, The Stock Market Game will help your child develop positive money habits and prepare them for their future
It Falls on You to Teach Your Children About Finances
The state of financial education in many institutions of learning today is embarrassingly weak. According to statistics, only 21 US states now require a personal finance class to be taken by high school students before they graduate. Students who take a personal finance class are more likely to save money, have a budget and invest. If your children’s school does not offer a personal finance course, the only way they will learn is from you. Can you think of a better time to start utilizing fun financial literacy activities?
For other financial literacy activities you can do with your kids, check out our Money Minute blog: