Summer is a time of leisure, travel, fun and sometimes boredom for kids. You can use this time when their brains are free from school work to instill some financial skills. The following financial literacy games are fun and adaptable for a variety of ages and can help your kids with financial responsibility.
Financial Literacy Games for Summertime
Play the Stock Market
Fortunately, you don’t have to actually play the stock market and get into too much debt to try this financial literacy game. Investing probably sounds super cool and grown-up to kids. In my seventh-grade social studies class, we worked as teams to pick stocks and follow their progress over time. It was a great hands-on learning experience without costing us anything. Your kids can research companies and get really into it, or pick based on things they like! Give them a certain amount of purchasing power and a timeline. See what stocks fall and rise through online tracking or even the newspaper. Encourage them to buy or sell as needed.
Create a Business
This is America, land of entrepreneurs and dreamers. Teaching kids personal finance can also be introduced as a business venture. Get the kids to use their imagination and think through a business idea or two. You can create a business plan, have a meeting with the “bank” (aka you), make marketing projects, videos and maybe even the actual product! There are many facets to a business that offer valuable lessons regarding money, including the importance of avoiding debt and setting goals. The beauty of this game is that you can pick the idea based on their interest. For instance, if your child loves baking, the business idea can revolve around baked goods!
Teaching kids personal finance can also get things done, like buying groceries for the week! There are a few different games you can play at the grocery store. One game is to split the kids up into teams. See who can get the best deals on a few specific items. Each person can guess how much the total bill will be at the end of the shopping trip. There are also plenty of opportunities for math along the way, like calculating savings from coupons or sales.
Sharing the amount of money you intend to spend on food is another important lesson for kids to learn. If they see you sticking to the budget, they will know how to shop for themselves later on. Putting a few items back or saying no to extras not on the list, models how to be a responsible shopper. A grocery list and budget are also great ways to eliminate debt in a tricky spending category.
With these financial literacy games, teaching kids personal finance will be a unique and fun experience. They probably won’t even realize they’re learning!
For more information on teaching kids about money, visit ACCC’s Youth & Money resource page.