If you’re reading this, then chances are you’ve learned about coins and money and how big a role they play in day-to-day life. But, you want to learn more, use them more, and gain an overall stronger understanding of how they work. And trust us when we say that your curiosity about money will take you far.
We’ve compiled a few of the best money games you can play with your friends or parents that can help you get an even better grasp of all things currency. They say practice makes perfect, and that’s especially true when it comes to money math. Consider this your chance to get better with money and math in general and impress your parents and teachers while you do it. Let’s get started!
Write down different totals and put them in a jar. Then pick one out at random and make a coin caterpillar that equals that total. For example, if your total is $0.80, you can use three quarters and a nickel. Try to see who can add up their caterpillar first for an added challenge!
- Great for learning coins.
- Easy to play.
- It can be played in a variety of ways.
- Works best in small totals.
Coin cleaner is a relatively simple game that revolves more around becoming familiar with coin values, the look and feel of coins, and the history of coins. The game is played by gathering old coins, cleaning them, and arranging them according to their values. To clean the coins, get a bucket, fill it mostly with water, and add a little vinegar and salt. Then watch as the rust and grime falls away, leaving incredibly shiny coins in their wake.
You can even separate the coins, not just by value, but also by the year and mint they were made. Unsure how to tell where a coin was made? Look at the bottom right of the head of the coin. There will be a D, S, P, or W representing the state it was made. If there is no letter, you can safely assume it was made in Philadelphia.
- Great for memorizing coin values.
- Helps coins stay in circulation longer.
- Helps you learn the history of a coin.
- It’s less about money math and more about memorization.
- Not great if you don’t like cleaning or at least getting your hands a little dirty.
- Requires a large amount of coin.
You’ll need a pocket full of change and a set of dice to play this classic game. Gather your parents or friends, and then roll the dice. (Fun fact: Die is the singular form of dice.) Whatever number the dice land on, it’s your job to arrange coins totaling the equal value of the dice. For example, if you roll a seven, add up 7 cents. The person that does it the quickest and with the least amount of coins wins!
- The game is great for helping add up coins quicker.
- Perfect for kids with a competitive spirit.
- It can be played anywhere – just keep your eye on the dice.
- You’ll need a wide assortment of all the common coins.
U.S. Mint is less a game and more a reliable resource for money games. The website is run and owned by the actual U.S. Mint department. There are about 10+ games on the site at any given time, all designed around easy but important money math lessons. You can check them out whenever you need them!
- Plenty of options.
- Strong lessons.
- Entertaining Visual.
- Requires an internet connection.
- Doesn’t load correctly on mobile devices.
Storefront has had numerous names over the years, but the basic idea remains the same. You play a business owner at the register, and your parents and friends play customers. From there, you’ll sell them items using fake or real money and give them change. The game ends when all the customers have been helped or when you run out of money. If you have enough players for an extra challenge, have someone role-play as an employee that you have to pay!
- Time-tested and effective method.
- Teaches real-life applications for money.
- Requires multiple pieces to represent items, the register, and money.
Money Bags is a nifty little board game where players move squares based on their finances. You’ll be able to practice investing, paying bills, and general money math. Plus, it’s based partially on random chance, so every game is different!
- Comes with fake money that you can use to practice other money activities.
- Perfect for family game nights or passing the time on a long trip.
- Teaches super relevant money lessons in an entertaining way.
- Has great Amazon reviews!
- Requires at least two players.
- Small pieces.
Life is a classic board game that teaches you money math in a simple and easy-to-understand way. You’ll pick a character and then go through life, aging, spending money, putting away for retirement, taking out loans, and more heavy-duty money math stuff.
- A time-tested and effective way to learn all things money.
- Has a focus on adult-level money math stuff like investing that is hard to come by in other games.
- Gives you the chance to try out different strategies.
- Requires at least two players.
- Small pieces.
Auction House is an oldie but a goodie where you bid on items. Once your bid is accepted, you’ll have to pay that amount. Or, you can be the auctioneer and sell the items to the highest bidder!
- Teaches the concept of overspending and money management.
- It can be played practically anywhere.
- Great for future entrepreneurs.
- It requires a heavy level of organizing.
- Players need to assign roles, find items to bid on, provide fake money, and keep track of bids.
Cash 4 Coins
Cash 4 Coins is one of those games you can play all the time without worrying too much about winning or losing. All you’ll have to do is collect coins you find or are given over time. Once your coins equal a dollar, trade them with your parents to receive a paper bill. Every coin counts towards the goal, and as a bonus, you can keep track of how much you turned in every week.
- Teaches saving methods.
- Increases overall familiarity with coins and bills.
- Helps reinforce the idea of change, I.E., giving too little or too much money at a register.
- You’ll need a place to store the coins until you reach your total.
- Requires a low level of exploring to find coins.
We know, we know – who wants to do chores? The answer is you, if you’re getting paid, that is. If you already get paid for your chores, then congrats, you’re on the right track. If you’re not getting paid for your work around the house, talk to your parents when they have time. Treat chores like your own small business, and you’ll get a sense of entrepreneurship.
- Teaches money management.
- Teaches work ethic.
- Good for future entrepreneurs.
- If you don’t already get paid for chores, you’ll have to have a money talk with your parents.
Wants vs. Needs
Wants Vs. Needs is a flashcard game where you write down something you either want or need on each flashcard. For example, a want might be a new baseball cap. Whereas a need would be food. Once you have a bunch of flashcards filled out, separate them into their category. Then prioritize them with the most important ones first. You can play with friends and family by using fake money and setting prices on each card.
- Helps teach the idea of wants vs. needs for money management.
- It can be played basically anywhere.
- Helps you start planning for adulthood.
- Low replay-ability factor.
They say that anything worth doing is worth doing right. With that in mind, try to set aside time to practice money math every day. That’s especially true for those who want to be rich when you’re older!