There’s no right age for having a money talk with your kids. If he or she can spend or borrow, they sure can learn to save and invest. It’s important to start early, because your child’s money habits are already forming by the time they reach high school.
The buck stops with the parents. Having a money talk can be difficult, but there are many websites out there that make the process easier. Use these websites to impart financial literacy in a fun way.
The Mint believes in educating American children about money, because early lessons on saving and debt set kids up for success. The site has sections tailor-made for kids, teens, parents, and teachers. The tools consist of games that are built around earning, saving, spending, and giving. Lessons on how money moves are also imparted in easy-to-grasp language. Quizzes and calculator games like the Be Your Own Boss Challenge help kids learn the basics of finance.
This financial literacy website covers children of all ages with personal finance articles, games, and lesson plans. Interactive financial games teach financial basics through fun. Financial Football, for example, lets kids answer money-related questions and score touchdowns. Financial Soccer, Road Trip, Ed’s Bank, and other quizzes and calculators on the roster are equally engaging. You can also check out What’s My Score to understand the nitty-gritty of credit.
Future entrepreneurs have this website for free lessons on finance and wealth creation. Four financial games, led by mice Toki and Reno, teach kids of all ages a variety of financial lessons. For instance, Jesse’s Ice Cream Stand teaches kids how to make a profit. Other games like Ima’s Pay Yourself First teach about using your money wisely.
The U.S Mint website for kids is a great place to learn all about money, thanks to a long lineup of games, art activities, puzzles, facts, and trivia. Then you have cartoons and a bit of history thrown in for good measure. If you are interested in understanding how it all begins, check out the ‘toon that shows the birth of a coin.
There are several fun money games on this interactive website for kids. The one to play for all those yearning to escape home is Check It Out, which gives you a job and one month’s worth of income with one month’s worth of bills. Think you can cope? Play it to find out.
Here, kids do all the explaining as they talk money and business. The financial education show is for preteens and uses skits and comedy to teach the basics of finance. There is also a section for teachers and parents with downloadable lesson plans based on the episodes. The site offers three cute money games, like Break the Bank, where kids learn to build their savings and manage debt.
This mission-oriented game teaches middle and high school kids personal finance skills. The goal is to help others who are in financial trouble due to a worldwide infestation of evil. Kids use strategy with their team of operatives to complete each of the 16 missions and earn points. By answering financial questions, acquiring economic knowledge, and figuring out monetary solutions, kids can take the world back.
From PBS Kids comes a fun way for young children to learn about a real-world scenario. In Mad Money, kids choose an item they would like to save for and have 30 days to obtain it. Players must find objects on a shopping list and choose between purchase options for the best deal. They will also have to earn money and decide how to spend it along the way while still saving enough for their item.
With Hands on Banking, kids follow a jovial alien on his trip to Earth. This colorful story will teach your children about the cycle of money and where it comes from, how to budget it, and what checking, savings, and credit accounts are. There is a glossary of terms and handy tools such as a calculator, math formulas, and ATM usage details.
The Financial Entertainment website offers cool money games for kids in English and Spanish. Players can run a successful vampire nightclub, help celebrities save money as their manager, and maintain a farm to earn money. In addition, Refund Rush assists children with saving and spending a tax return, and Con ‘Em If You Can teaches them about spotting fraud.
Are Your Kids Ready for Their Financial Journey?
These websites are full of articles and fun games to bring back the fun into saving money. From pocket money to the first pay check, it’s a long financial journey. Make sure your kids have the right tools to make every buck count along the way.
How do you teach your kids about money? Have you used any of these website? Do you have more financial games to add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Originally written by Saikat Basu on January 21, 2011.