Starting Early

My family exposed me to money at an early age. As a four-year-old, my older brother Linsey, introduced me to counting money. Linsey is eleven years my senior, so he was my mentor along with being my sibling.

After learning how to write in cursive, my mother gave me the task of filling out checks to pay our household utility bills. After completing the task, my mom would sign the check.

This taught me valuable lessons. As a nine-year-old, I was familiar with how much my family paid for water, electricity, telephone, and cable services. As a result, I was conscious of turning off lights when I left a room and how much water I used when taking a bath. Once I started paying bills on my own, it was second nature to pay them in a timely manner.

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Lessons Continued

During the summers of my middle and high school years, Linsey and his wife, Michelle, invited me to stay with them for two to three weeks. During these times, they exposed me to money topics such as the stock market, interest rates, and credit through games and role plays. They also owned and operated a business and it was my job to assist and learn what it took to be an entrepreneur.

Passing It On

When my son, Cory, was fifteen months, he saw a quarter on the table and tossed it in the air. He was amazed at the sound it made once it hit the floor. He seemed interested in the quarter and I decided it was time to show him a piggy bank.

My purpose was to let him touch, feel, and play with coins. Because Cory was fifteen months at this time, I stayed close to him. I did not want him to put the money in his mouth. He carefully took pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters out of the plastic bag and put them in the piggy bank. He was pleased with the clanging sound made as the coins hit the bottom of the piggy bank.

This was the beginning of his exposure to financial literacy. I took it a step further once he became a preschooler by playing simple financial literacy games with him.

My son as a one-year-old putting coins in a piggy bank.

More Exposure

Cory and I have explored various financial literacy topics since his first encounter with the quarter as a fifteen month old. These topics range from money recognition and saving to real estate investing and business. He has been exposed to this topic through games and playful activities. For example, we discussed real estate investing by using Play-Doh, paper, and pencil.

We have also discussed the purpose of car insurance by using his toy cars. My son and I spend a lot of time in the car going to the grocery store, playdates, church, library, etc. Cory was curious about what happens if I hit a car. This led to a discussion about car accidents, police officers, and car insurance while we had a treat at Dunkin Donuts. We went home and defined terms such as liability and collision insurance by playing and crashing toy cars.

Watch the video below to learn how to teach children the financial literacy words, Assets, Liabilities, and Transactions by simply playing Monopoly.

Below are questions many parents have about teaching kids financial literacy…

How do you teach kids about finances?

Exposing children to lessons in finance does not have to be dry and boring. In fact, as adults we deal with money almost on a daily basis. You can include your child in some of those real world experiences, like my parents did, by having them pay for their own item at the store or helping you pay bills.

Another idea is to use your child’s toys to explain financial concepts similar to how we used toy cars to explain car insurance.

My son and I set up a play Car Wash business. This activity introduced him to entrepreneurship and customer service.
I am paying my son with play money for the car wash service he provided.

With over 30 years of combined experience in teaching financial literacy, Linsey and I have written a book called, Teach Your Child About Money Through Play. There are over 110 games/activities, tips, and resources on how to teach kids financial literacy at an early age. The activities include materials and toys that you already have in your home. They also include fun field trips that create a hands-on approach and a supplement to your child’s learning.

It will help you take the guessing game out of how to expose kids to money topics and concepts.

What is taught in financial literacy?

In the book, Teach Your Child About Money Through Play, we address money topics such as the history of money, various ways people earn it, and how it is used. You will learn fun ways to teach your child about budgeting, basic banking, the difference between liabilities and assets, and debt.

We also teach you how to use items in your home, such as toys and clothing, to introduce your child to real estate investing, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Learn to use household items to create fun scenarios and role plays so your child will have an understanding of these subjects.

If you have a child who has a lot of ideas or has a desire to earn money, starting a business may be appealing to them. You will receive a step-by-step guide on how your child can be an entrepreneur. Even if your child is not interested in business, it is great to expose them to this subject to encourage them to act on their ideas.

How did you decide on these financial literacy topics?

It was important for Linsey and I to teach children the history of money, how it is used, how to earn it, and making it grow. The purpose of this book is for children to have a basic understanding of money since they will manage it in their future. We included games and activities so you will know how to present the information in a relaxed and fun manner.

These financial literacy topics were based on Linsey’s and my teaching experience. I have experience in creating curricula and hiring over 25 teachers to expose kids to real estate investing, the stock market, budgeting, saving, etc. In previous jobs, I helped kids start businesses where they made money.

Linsey is the financial expert in our family and has 27 years experience in financial services and teaching kids about money. He and my parents were my first teachers on financial topics. Linsey is a former bank manager, stock broker, tax strategist, health insurance specialist, licensed in life property and casualty insurance, investor, and recipient of the US Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year.

This why I asked him to co-write the book with me. I trust his judgement especially when it comes to financial topics. He approved the topics and content in the book.

Why is financial literacy important for youth?

Once a child becomes an adult, handling money becomes inevitable. They will need money for shelter, food, clothing, transportation, etc. People who are good managers of money will receive more of it and have a better chance of building wealth for their family now and in the future generations. Furthermore, they can be generous givers to others in need.

Good money managers who encounter a financial burden like a big medical bill or car repair view these situations as inconveniences instead of emergencies. They have the money in place to pay for these things.

It is best to make the process of learning financial literacy easier for children by exposing them to money topics while they are young. Teach Your Child About Money Through Play shows parents and teachers how to accomplish this with resources they use daily.

Let’s get our children a financial head start and strive to reduce the number one stress in our society today, money.

The Book’s Mission

Linsey and I have made it our mission to expose children to money topics in a fun way. With over 30 years of combined experience in teaching youth financial literacy, we give you a first-hand view of how to make money a conversation that is fun, natural, and interesting!

This is a great tool for parents and educators of children ages 4-10!

This book provides the following and so much more…

  • How to use real-world experiences to expose kids to financial literacy
  • Fun activities to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to money recognition.
  • How money is used in our society now and in the past.
  • Various ways that people earn money
  • Important lessons in budgeting money
  • The basics of banking
  • The difference between a liability and asset
  • Various types of debt and how it is used
  • How people invest in Real Estate
  • How people invest in the stock market, bonds, and mutual funds
  • Starting and operating a business
  • Kid Business Ideas
  • The purpose of having insurance

Here is What Others are Saying About the Book

I love that this book gives children an understanding of money and finances. Not only does it delve into ideas that make money, but it teaches the facts of money; its purpose, how to use money as a tool to grow in all areas of our lives and other vehicles that help accumulate financial growth.

-Elliott Eddie, Inventor-

This book is a fantastic resource for parents and educators alike who want to teach kids real money skills in a way they can understand and enjoy. The activities are unique, fun, and engaging.

—Stacey K., Editor

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Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write, and “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.


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23 thoughts on “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play – 110+ Games/Activities & Tips

  1. Great post! It is very Important to teach children about money in their own ways.

    1. Thank you! Yes it is very important. We like to do it through play. Thank you for your comment.

  2. Great ideas! I strongly believe that the most important things we can teach our kids can be done through either play or just normal conversation.

  3. I love this so much! My daughter received a cash register for Christmas, I’ve tried explaining basics of working with it but for now she just likes banging on the keys (2yo). I’m excited to actually start working with her in a productive way, I will look into these books thank you!

    1. A cash register is a wonderful Christmas gift. I am glad you found this helpful! Thank you for your comment!

  4. I love this post on teaching your kids about money through play. I love the paying for a car wash idea I will have to do this with my boys. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This sound so great! I am a huge fan of teaching children useful life skills as soon as possible. My toddler too gets a coin to pay for his toy in a shop and he always enjoys counting his coins in the piggy bank (he barely counts to three, but it doesn’t matter).

    1. I love the story about your toddler. Your child is well on their way. Thank you for your comment.

  6. Great advice! Thank you for sharing. Teaching kids about finances at an early age does so much good! When kids are comfortable with money, they grow up and are comfortable with learning more about their own personal finances. Things like investing and 401Ks don’t seem scary and overwhelming when they’re older.

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