Parenting & Money

4 great games to teach children about money

May 28, 2018

Children learn through play so what better way to learn about money than through board games and role play. Here is my round up of four of the best games to teach children about money whilst having a lot of fun.

Pop to the shops

Aimed at 5-9 years. RRP £9.99.

We have always been great fans of Orchard Toys in our house; Pop to the shops is fast becoming a new favourite. I can totally see why this has been one of Orchard Toys’ top 10 bestselling board games every year for the past 15 years.

Every player owns a shop with various items for sale and corresponding prices. Players take turns to pick a card showing a product to go and buy from someone else’s shop using their kitty made up of play money. A player receives money from others when items are bought from their shop.

It’s great for teaching children how to:

  • handle coins of different denominations
  • work out combinations of coins to match the price of an item
  • work out change to give the customer.

My 6 year old has been learning about coins at schools recently. They have been learning how to add them together to make different combinations so this game provides a real world setting to practice this skill. My 4 year old loves being the banker and handing over the coins to the other players when they pass the centre square.

There are so many ways to start talking about money concepts with this game; why certain items cost more than others, what options you have when you don’t have enough money to buy something, how change is calculated.

TIP: You can swap the play money for real money if you want to make it more ‘real’ for them, especially if you want to add in smaller coins as well. 

Magnetic Money

Aimed at age 4-9 years. RRP £12.99.

When my daughter came home from school during Global Money Week, she was so excited to be learning about money. When I pulled out Magnetic Money, her eyes lit up. There were not just coins but notes as well to play with!

The child selects from a variety of items to buy (or makes up their own) and use the wipeable marker to write down its value. Then they can either:

  • Use the magnetic coins to calculate the exact cost of the item; or
  • Use a larger denomination note to pay for the item, and calculate the change required from the note which is owed to them

Adults need to be on hand to check whether they have done the sums correctly. If not, they can just keep moving the magnetic coins around until they have.

4 great games to teach children about money

My daughter really likes the activities on the reverse of the board as well. You can select a note and then work out how to make the same value in smaller coins. At 6 years old, this is probably her favourite part of the game right now.

TIP: Keep the small coins safe. Although they are magnetic, they do tend to end up everywhere!

Money Match Café

Aimed at 5-8 year olds. RRP £12.50.

If you have children who enjoy creating elaborate tea and cake from their make-believe restaurants, they will love Money Match Cafe.

Creating a café with their own teddies and dolls as customers, children can use role play to add up the coins to match the price of a meal and serve it to the correct customer. The player to serve all their meals first wins!

My girls get total absorbed in playing this game – they don’t even realise that they are learning about money handling which is fabulous. Plus they love having their dolls as their ‘real’ customers.With two levels of difficulty for progressive play (the harder version has smaller denominations of coins), it suits both older and younger children within the 5-8 year age range. We are still on the easiest level so there is lots of life in this game. My 4 year old does need some assistance with adding up the coins but enjoys playing and counting the coins.

TIP: Orchard Toys have a free activity sheet all about coins – see here to download.


Taking the role play theme one step further is the immersive learning experience that is Kidzania.

KidZania London is an experience for children 4-14 years old where kids can choose from more than 60 real-life role-play adventures.

The idea at Kidzania is that just as in the real world, children can earn and spend money when taking part in various activities. The Kidzania currency – kidZos – can be used in all the KidZania cities around the world.

When you check in, children each get 50 ‘kidZos’ from the Bank of KIdzania. They then go off and independently explore the real-life activities – they can become a dentist, work at a TV studio or in the pit lane as an engineer, earning and spending on leisure pursuits as they go.

What a fantastic place – we can’t wait to visit this summer. See here to get your reduced tickets in advance.

If you want to learn more about teaching children about money through pocket money, check out my post on RoosterMoney, a digital pocket money tracker.

I’m taking part in the Monday Money linky with Lynn from Mrs Mummy PennyFaith from Much More With Less and Emma from EmmaDrew.Info

4 great games to teach children about money #financialliteracy #moneygames #childrenandmoney #learningaboutmoney

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  • Reply Sara @ Debt Camel May 28, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Two old PC games that are for slightly older kids are excellent for learning about money and the kids will never realise they are at all educational…

    Rollercoast Tycoon – build a theme park and spend your budget wisely. A good park needs loos as well as great rides. Some things are a one off expense, some (people to pick up litter and the sick!) are a regular one. The “classic” version is much easier for little ones than the later ones which were harder to manipulate to build good coasters. Mine two kids loved it from aged about 6 and would still play it 10 years later.

    Caesar – learn macro economics without realising it. The unemployment rate and taxes matter. Export or die. But also lots of fun building pretty cities and fighting the barbarians. Aged 8+.

    • Reply Emma May 29, 2018 at 8:22 am

      Both of these sound great Sara – thank you for sharing. Just had a look and Rollercoast Tycoon is now available from the AppleStore so will give it a go for my eldest on the iPad!

  • Reply Tuppenny May 28, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Have bookmarked this for Christmas present list for younger ones. Great ideas to introduce money sensibly and in a fun way.

  • Reply Ellen June 1, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    I love these games. I would have used them with my boys. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Lisa June 1, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Some fantastic ideas here. Why they don’t do more of this in school is beyond me!

  • Reply Emma Drew June 1, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    What great suggestions. I totally agree that kids should be learning about money early. Thanks for linking up to #MondayMoney. Hope to see you again next week.

  • Reply Karen June 9, 2018 at 11:22 am

    C loved Pop to the Shops when he was younger and we plan to visit Kidzania this Summer as it looks like something he’d really enjoy (he’s 8 now). The other thing we do with him is that he earns points rather than money for good habits, good deeds, good efforts etc. at the end of each week we add up his points and he has to decide whether to spend them or save them – the rewards for various levels of points are intended to encourage him to save. He has a rewards “bank book” where we keep a record of deposits, spends and balance – so we’re teaching the concepts without actually using money.

  • Reply Emma McCarthy June 9, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    I’ll bookmark these for my eldest, I absolutely love Orchard toys!

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