10 Activities to Teach Your Kids Financial Literacy

Many young adults struggle with finances due to student loans, poor financial decisions, and credit card debt. According to a recent survey, only 2 in 5 adults maintain a budget. Here at Black Hills Parent, we understand the importance of financial literacy. If you teach your kids financial literacy you prepare them for a successful, financially savvy future. Check out the games and activities below to get started.

Elementary and Middle School

Elementary and middle school are the perfect time to introduce your kids to the concepts of spending, saving, and giving. Be sure to teach them practical, math-based skills like making transactions, budgeting, and planning a meal. Check out the suggested activities below to improve your children’s financial literacy.

PLAY SHOP (6-8 years old)

Play “shop” by placing small items throughout your living room, including snacks, candy, and small toys. Price each item between 5 cents and $3. Give your child a small purse or wallet filled with coins and dollar bills, instructing them to individually “purchase” 4-5 desired items using the money in their coin purse. 

MEAL PREP (8+)

Teach your child how to make their favorite meal, as well as the cost of groceries. Encourage them to create a budget, including how much they think each ingredient will cost. During your shopping trip, compare their predictions to the actual cost of each item. How accurate were they? Did they include tax?

SCAVENGER HUNT (6+)

Fill Easter eggs with coins and dollar bills, and hide them in your backyard. After the hunt, encourage your child to count up their findings. 

FAMILY GAME NIGHT (6+)

Invest in fun, educational games that teach the basics of counting and money management. Mancala, one of the world’s oldest games, teaches children to count quickly and accurately. The Game of Life reinforces concepts such as spending, saving, and investing. 

GREENLIGHT (8+)

Greenlight is a debit card for kids, designed to teach them the basics of money management. A basic Greenlight debit card costs $4.99 a month, and allows parents to set controls, manage chores through the Greenlight app, and receive alerts about their kids’ purchases. Parents can upgrade to the Greenlight + Invest plan for $7.98 a month, which allows their kids to invest in real stocks.

High School

Money management is a crucial skill for teenagers to master, especially as they near adulthood. Big financial decisions loom in their future, including attending college, getting a credit card, and choosing a career. Prepare your kids for the future by teaching them the importance of budgeting, investing, and minimizing debt. 

PAYBACK 

Payback, an interactive, online game designed by Next Gen Personal Finance, reveals the reality of college debt. Students learn how to balance academics, extracurricular commitments, social life, and finances. 

STAX 

In Stax, players must make 20 years of investment decisions in 20 minutes. Students learn about stocks, bonds, and index funds in this fun, fast-paced simulation. 

THE UBER GAME 

The Uber Game gives players an inside look at the gig economy, including valuable lessons about making ends meet. 

CREDIT CLASH

In Credit Clash, players battle their way to a perfect credit score. 

MONEY MAGIC

Money Magic teaches students the basics of budgeting. Players must help Enzo create a budget, grow his savings, and put on a magic show in Vegas. 

There’s an app for everything these days, and teaching your kids basic financial literacy skills are no different. For more ways to teach your children about finances and money management, check out this article about the best money apps for kids.

WORDS: AVERY THOMAS