Kids and Finance Toys

Kids and Finance Toys

There are a ton of toys out there that claim to teach kids any number of skills, from simple computers for your future techie to board games that encourage budding writers. For the future banker (or just a child who understands money basics), finance toys are available. But do they work? Let's take a look at a few.

Cash Registers and Play Money

One of the first finance toys many children learn to play with is play money. This can be accomplished rather simply with a set of cheap paper dollars and plastic coins, or play money can include extravagant set ups complete with grocery counters, registers, fruits and vegetables.

Encouraging children to play with fake cash can be successful. Or it could be a flop. While the idea of play money is quite good, the actual implementation of learning is a little trickier. No matter if you employ the use of dollar-store funny money or of fancy department store sets, the key to using these tools to actually teach your child money principles is to play with them. This play allows you to impart knowledge and to encourage children to use money in real-life ways.

Real Money

Discussing play money brings us to another option: encouraging play with real cash. Children know instinctively, just by watching you, that money is valued. They will automatically want to collect coins and bills at a young age. So encourage them! Giving children real money to plug their piggy banks and spend on small items can be just as effective as – and maybe more effective than – the play stuff. Just help them make their choices and encourage healthy habits to ensure money is also treated with the respect it deserves.

Board Games

Of course, the classic money toy is Monopoly. Almost everyone has tried their hand at this board game at one time in their youths because it is a wonderful tool from which children can learn both money basics, like making change, and advanced money skills, like budget planning. (They can also learn to cruelly crush their opponents and laugh evilly...wait, that may just be my experience).

Other board games also exist that can help children learn about finance. Cash Flow, Billionaire Tycoon, Wheedle and Finance Board Game are just a few games that can help older children (and adults) learn more about the advanced world of finance.

Again, just as we found in the cash register and play money toys, the key to successfully teaching your children about finance principles through toys is to play with them. This allows you the opportunity to explain money, debt, credit and other principles in a fun way that could connect well with your children.

Financial toys can be a great way to introduce finance principles to your young 'uns, if they are used properly and explained. Playing the games with your child can help you both connect to each other and to finance ideas. So pick up a game and play!

Photo Source

Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter's picture

Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter wrote:

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 16:11 Comment #: 1

I definitely learned a lot from games like this when I was growing up and I plan to use them with my children. Great idea on using the real money. I will have to remember that.

Julie @ The Family CEO's picture

Julie @ The Family CEO wrote:

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 02:01 Comment #: 2

This isn't exactly a toy, but my kids had those plastic banks with separate compartments for saving, spending, and giving. I loved them!

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:07 Comment #: 3

Miss T, same for me: I grew up on these games as well.

Julie, I'll have to find those plastic banks -- they sound great!

MoneyCone's picture

MoneyCone wrote:

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:54 Comment #: 4

Good ideas Christa! My kid is 2 and he thinks money is the toy! :)

Don's picture

Don wrote:

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:21 Comment #: 5

I'm raising my kids on "Cash Flow for Kids" and Monopoly.

We also provide our kids with a lot of fake cash and demo credit cards. They have cash registers and shopping carts and the like and pretend to make purchases.

Toys can be educational :)

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Wed, 02/22/2012 - 18:45 Comment #: 6

MoneyCone, my niece and nephew are the same way; real cash is more fun to them and more of a toy than the fake stuff :-)

Don, great toy-usage! I definitely think there are some great educational toys. I'll have to check out "Cash Flow for Kids"!