I’m excited to share ten fun and engaging money games for kids. Great for introducing money, hooking your kids into a new lesson, and practicing counting coins in the early elementary grades.
Forget the drill-and-kill, games are a better way to review and get your kids interested in new concepts. While your child is practicing counting coins, they’re also working on important social behaviors, practicing new ways of communicating, and expanding their vocabulary.
Here, I’ll round up ten fantastic and fun money games for kids. This list starts at the preschool level and continues through upper elementary (really by the time kids are about 10, they can play any game).
Money Games for Preschool & Kindergarten Kids
The best way to get started teaching money to preschoolers is to start with a good old-fashioned toy cash register. Your child will get hands-on experience with money. Be sure to talk to your child about money throughout your play: name the coins, point out the bill values, and model counting money or change.
2. Exact Change
Exact Change is a fun card game with rules similar to Uno. Kindergartners who are familiar with game play (taking turns, following rules, winning and losing) will pick this up quickly. Kids will practice matching color, value, and making exact change.
Monopoly Junior is a FANTASTIC beginner board game. Great for late preschool and kindergarten ages, this is not your mama’s classic Monopoly game. Monopoly Junior is easy-to-learn and play and doesn’t take nearly as long. Kids will love to buy familiar properties like the candy store and pet store! If you haven’t played many preschool board games, this is a fun one to start with.
Money Games for Early Elementary Aged Kids
Buy it Right Shopping Game by Learning Resources is a fun beginner board game that your kids will love. Practice coin and bill values, get familiar adding and subtracting with a calculator, and figure out how much you can afford. Younger children will need a little extra help figuring out what they can buy, but as your child gets familiar with the game they will pick up the pace quickly.
When your kids are familiar with coin values, the next step is using mental math to add coins and bills. These simple money puzzles are great for practice recognizing bills and coins and mentally counting money.
There are many kinds of matching games available, however I love these kind because they are self-check. Each puzzle fits together slightly differently, so kids can see whether or not they counted correctly. A great way to encourage “perfect” independent practice.
6. Money Bags
Money Bags Coin Value Game by Learning Resources is a fantastic way to practice counting money. This game goes pretty quick, so it’s great for kids who still have a bit of a short attention span for table games. I would recommend this game for first grade and up, though it does say 2nd on the box. Your child will practice counting money, identifying coin values, and exchanging coins for larger bills.
Moneywise Kids is, at its root, a game about spending money wisely. Each player starts with $100 and will make purchases, count change, and make decisions about how to spend their money. This game comes nicely with two levels of play, however it is a little harder to get started so I’d recommend it for 2nd grade and up. Any younger and you will be doing a little more hand-holding, but it can be done 😉
Money Games for Upper Elementary Kids
8. Pay Day
The classic board game, Pay Day, has been updated to match the bright and colorful board games of today. This is a great game for 3rd grade and up. This game is easy to learn and quick to play – great for kids who love games but don’t love to sit for an hour playing!
This is an incredible game to boost vocabulary and encourage conversations. You’ll be discussing: bills, insurance, getting paid, and taking out a loan – big concepts for little kids! However, this game presents new concepts in an east-to-digest way for kids.
I am including Life in this list because I know people love it. Personally, I find it mind-numbingly boring, and would recommend that you give this to your kids at an age when they can play against each other or a friend – that way you don’t have to actually play with them. Ha!
But seriously, Life is an interesting game for kids – perhaps because they haven’t experienced it yet? They will interact with money: earning money based on their career and losing money based on their expected and surprise expenses. The player with the most money at the end wins – which is a rather grim take on life, but that’s how the board game works anyway.
When your child is ready to sit and enjoy a long-haul board game, Monopoly will probably be at the top of your list. This money-based classic game will get your child buying and selling, counting money and making change, buying and selling property.