6 fun money games for kids

Teaching kids how to count money doesn't have to be a snooze fest. These games are an easy way to keep them engaged and excited to learn!

By Bonnie Schiedel

6 fun money games for kids

Photo: iStockphoto

Money games for kids

Count with cupcake liners

This is a cute and simple way to help kids understand how to combine coins to come up with an amount. Just write amounts in the bottom of the liners, then toss a pom pom into a liner on your turn. The object is to create the amount using the fewest coins possible. “To switch it up, award points for coming up with different combinations,” says Vanessa Vakharia, founder of The Math Guru in Toronto. “Kids may not realize that while two quarters to makes 50 cents, so does 10 dimes or 20 nickels.” Bonus points for a quarter, two dimes and a nickel. To up the difficulty, use odd numbers like 47 cents to teach the concept of rounding up or down. Get the instructions here: Life Over C’s

6 fun money games for kidsPhoto: Life Over C's via Pinterest

Go grocery shopping

Put those grocery store flyers to good use and cut out some of the specials. Then ask your child to figure out the amount needed to buy each item, using bills and coins. “This is my favourite, because it’s a fun, real-life thing to do that makes kids feel like grownups,” says Vakharia. You can take it a step further for older kids by getting them to set up a pretend store where one or more kids can “shop” with real or play money and pay the kid cashier, who makes change (another good money skill).

6 fun money games for kidsPhoto: iStockphoto

Make coin critters

Get out some change and challenge your kiddo to make a caterpillar, giraffe, dino and more by lining up coins on a flat surface to make fun shapes. Then, get her to add up the total. “This is a really good way to learn how to associate the value of the coin with the coin itself,” says Vakharia. Get the instructions here: Miss Kindergarten

6 fun money games for kidsPhoto: Miss Kindergarten via Pinterest

Roll ‘em up

Don't tell the kids, but this "game" is actually a task to check off your to-do list! If you (or the grandparents) have a coin jar kicking around, dump it out and have your child sort each denomination, then figure out how many to put into each paper coin wrapper. “Sorting and counting coins like this helps kids understand how many coins make up a dollar, and reinforces the names, like the idea that a nickel is five cents,” says Vakharia.

6 fun money games for kidsPhoto: iStockphoto

Play “Money War”

This is an easy variation of the card game War that you can play with your kid while you’re waiting for your meal to arrive in a restaurant. Both players get the same number of coins in a cup, one cup for each player. Without looking, each picks a coin and puts it on the table. Whoever has the highest valued coin gets to keep both coins. If there’s a tie, both players pick another coin. Keep refilling your cup with the coins you collect. Whoever collects all the coins wins. A game like this teaches the basics of the value of each coin to younger kids, who sometimes get mixed up that a dime is smaller than a nickel but worth more, says Vakharia. Get the instructions here: The Activity Mom

6 fun money games for kidsPhoto: iStockphoto

Clean up

Is this a game? Or just a genius way to tidy up? If you pay your kids for chores around the house, make it tangible with a chore board, suggests Vakharia. Write each standard chore, like clearing the table, on a card with the money attached with a clip or in a baggie. Then, pin the card and money to the chore board. For bigger tasks, like cleaning out the car, set up a “for hire” board. This helps kids learn how to add up how much they’re going to make by the end of their chore cycle, she says. Get the instructions here: Homemade By Carmona

6 fun money games for kidsPhoto: Homemade By Carmona via Pinterest

Read more: 5 fun summer math games 6 ways to make your kid a money genius 13 math workbooks for kids

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