What’s Your Favorite Online Financial Literacy Game?

Why Games?
“Teach me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand” – Chinese Proverb.

Kids (and adults!) love games. Games help us practice what we can’t (or won’t) do in reality. We learn from games.

Games can help us learn about money, investing, running a business, and other financial concepts. In my youth, we had only board games, such as monopoly or Pit or Life. Today we have a myrid of board and online games to help us learn about and help us teach our kids about money.

Free Online Games
PBS Kids offers several different online games,  two are money related: Be your own boss    and Mad Money

Dough main offers several different online games such as Fishdom, Exact Change and others.

Another free to play online game is Celebrity Calamity
(http://financialentertainment.org/play/celebritycalamity.html), from Doorway 2 Dreams is, according to the Financial Entertainment website, “our first financial entertainment product, is a video game that’s fun to play and gives players valuable financial information they can use in daily life. In this game, players become the Business Manager for three up-and-coming celebrities—Alice Albudget, Buster Buyin, and Missy Moolah—who spend beyond their means. Players must effectively use a bank account, debit card, and credit card to be successful”.  Other financial online games are also available at https://financialentertainment.org/.

A site with free games and more is TheMint (http://www.themint.org/index.html) a site developed by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation to help teach kids and teens (6th – 12th graders) about personal finance. It has a number of categories of learning (such as earning, spending, giving, tracking, investing and etc. These are divided by age group into a ‘for kids’ and a ‘for teens’ area. Each category has activities, games and information. There is even a section for parents – to check up on how well they are doing training their kids!

At Practical Money Skills for Life (http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/games/)– the Visa outreach program provides a variety of free games (which by the way they let you embed on your website), such as Cash Puzzler, Countdown to Retirement and Money Metropolis which allows kids ages 7–12 to navigate a multi-dimensional world, making life decisions that will affect whether their virtual bank account shrinks or grows. They have additional games, including Peter Pig’s Money Counter where kids ages 4–7 can practice sorting and counting coins with the help of wise Peter Pig.

Yet another online game is Money$Island which was created by a former Teacher of the Year (Felix Brandon Lloyd) and is offered by BancVue to community financial institutions to brand and put on their websites. Kids are on a quest to save a broke kid. They learn saving, spending, investing and giving concepts along the way.  First National Bank and Trust has it on their website.

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