Free Video Games about Money for Your Child (Come in the Mail, No S&H Costs!)

4 FREE video games teaching kids some money management skills! No joke, and you won't even pay shipping & handling. A good intro to money life skills. |

Free video games about money for your kid. Kids love getting mail…and you don't even have to pay S&H!

What child doesn't love to get mail? If you pair that with a FREE money video game…well now you're just asking for a high-pitch squeal.

Through its Practical Money Skills program, Visa is on a mission to educate the public about money management. The great news about this? They've created 4 money video games (free educational apps for kids) and they're giving them away to anyone (yes, including parents) who want to have one.

You don't even have to pay shipping & handling!

I've tested out each of these games, so you can get a better sense of what they are below as well as the link for how to order one for your own kiddos.

Free Money Video Game #1: Peter Pig's Money Counter

Age Range: 4-7 years

Money Lessons Learned: This game is mainly about learning to identify and count coins. Saving your money is encouraged instead of spending it by giving your child various-sized trophies depending on how miserly they become.

Earn virtual money with right answers that you can use to save or spend on decking out your pig with accessories and scenes. Plus there are lessons built into the game itself that occasionally pop up.

After your child earns some cash, they're asked how much they'd like to save. Then what's left is what they're allowed to spend at the store to deck out their little pig. I like how they show an image of the savings they set aside, as well as count down for the child how much money they have left to spend before it's all gone. Also, your child doesn't have to spend all their money either. What they don't spend gets put into savings.

Play it online for free here: Download immediately for your PC or Mac computer and begin playing now.

Free Money Video Game #2: Money Metropolis

Age Range: 7-12 years

Money Lessons Learned: This game is about declaring a savings goal (such as an airplane ticket that costs $350), then earning money and setting it aside to meet that goal. Of course there are temptations to spend some money along the way, and sometimes you have to spend money in order to earn some (such as having to purchase a rake in order to rake your neighbors' yards for pay).

In Money Metropolis, your child gets to chooses from one of three different savings goals. They then are offered a bunch of different jobs in order to earn the money and meet their goal (such as pumping gasoline for $10, or babysitting a sleeping baby for $15).

What I like about the amounts used in this game is that they are reasonable compared with the overall goal. For example, when I pumped gas, I was bombarded with about 15 cars and only earned $10. My overall goal to purchase was a plane ticket at $350. So it shows children that it could take a lot of work at low-paying jobs to actually save up for something.

This game also reinforces the idea of doing a good job at something (even though the work is done only by pressing buttons) because if you mess up, you don't get paid. For example, I “crashed” the mower too many times, so I wasn't paid at Luke's house.

At anytime your child can click on the “Your Budget” button on the left-hand side to see how much money they've saved from earnings, how much they've spent, and their total.

You get an allowance as well, $15 at a time. Click here to get my full Money Metropolis review.

Play it online for free here: Download immediately for your PC or Mac computer and begin playing now.

Free Money Video Game #3: Financial Football

Age Range: 11+ years (broken down in categories: Rookie 11-14, Pro is 14-18, Hall of Fame is 18+)

Money Lessons Learned: Key concepts include saving & spending, budgeting, as well as the wise use of credit.

Crafted in partnership with the NFL, expect some interesting play options in this game, such as a Sweep Left or a Quick Out. Your child even gets to select their team + their opposing team.

You choose a play − easy, medium, or hard − and you're given a financial question to answer. If you answer it correctly, then your football team gains yardage (the harder the question, the more yardage you gain when you get it correct).

What I like about this game is that if your child doesn't quite know how to answer, then can click the “Lessons” button on the Main Menu to enter the Financial Training Camp and learn all kinds of things, such as the difference between debit cards, credit cards, and prepaid cards.

Play it online now right here: Download immediately for your PC or Mac computer and begin playing now.

Free Money Video Game #4: Financial Soccer

Age Range: 11+ years (broken down in categories: Amateur 11-14, Semi-Pro is 14-18, World Class is 18+)

Money Lessons Learned: This game offers money learning from many different categories. Everywhere from whether or not your contributions to a 401(k) are generally pre-tax, to the uses of a savings account.

Visa’s World Cup-themed Financial Soccer game tests your child's financial knowledge of a variety of money skills. Select an action you want to take − pass, dribble, or shoot − and you are then given a question. Answer it correctly, and advance forward. Answer it incorrectly, and surrender the ball to your opponent.

If you choose Pregame, then you are given the chance to go through lessons on all types of money categories in order to prep for the game.

Just like in the NFL game, you get to choose what country your team is, and the country of your opponent.

Play it online for free here: Download immediately for your PC or Mac computer and begin playing now.

In order to score any or all of these four free video game, just visit the links above, fill in your name, email address, and shipping name, and wait between 3 and 4 weeks for delivery.

Everest for Kids Curated Reading List

Help your child explore Everest for kids with this curated list of books.

It's no secret that Mt. Everest has been on my mind lately.

Psst: Are you new to these parts? Money Prodigy was awarded The PLUTUS Foundation grant in order to create + deliver the Mt. Everest Money Simulation program to kids aged 8-13 years old. Woohoo! Perhaps you'd love for your kid to get in on the adventure? You'll want to click the image below to subscribe and be the first to hear updates on the program + how to get your kid involved.

The Mt. Everest Money Simulation is going to be a pretty wild ride.

In the meantime, I've curated a list of kid's Everest books I've personally read to get you + your child excited about this money simulation. Use this list with year-round reading programs for kids, to fill up a summer reading program, cultivate your child's imagination, before heading out on a hike or to the rock climbing gym, etc.

P.S. I read every single book below! You wouldn't think I'd recommend something without reading it first, would you?

Everest for Kids Book #1: The Top of the World, Steve Jenkins

Age Range: 4-7 years

Everest is no evening stroll. Heck, it's not even a Siberian-winter evening stroll. There are many dangers and discomforts along the way. That's why up until now, only 4,469 people have ever successfully summited it.

What I like about this book is it lays out the many dangers of Everest − frostbite, limited oxygen, huge winds, etc. − for kids to start wrapping their heads around what it would be like to climb to the roof of the world. Think geography textbook, but with beautifully illustrated, cut-paper collages.

Life Lesson(s): This doesn't read like a storybook. So really the life lessons are more like, “if you climb Mt. Everest, which is crazy, there are many dangers involved.” Actually, that's probably a pretty good life lesson for most of us!

Everest for Kids Book #2: First to the Top, David Hill

Age Range: 3-10 years

I'm just in love with the illustrations in this book, which follows Sir Edmund Hillary (knighted because of his Everest Summit) from his New Zealand childhood all the way through to being the first of two people to ever summit Mt. Everest. And the second person who was with him? Tenzing Norgay, who saved his life after Ed fell into an Everest crevasse. The two remain lifelong friends.

I also love how this book lays out a map of Everest with each camp + the height (though in meters) along the way.

Life Lesson(s): Don't give up on your dreams, even if you don't reach them the first time round. Hillary actually had to wait two more years after his first unsuccessful attempt (and go back to beekeeping) before getting his chance at a second, and successful, attempt to summit. Hillary now rests on the New Zealand five-dollar note.

Everest for Kids Book #3: Tiger of the Snows, Robert Burleigh

Age Range: 7-10 years

Did you know that the Sherpa, native people from an ethnic group indigenous to Tibet, are called Tiger of the Snows? This is because of their amazing mountaineering skills, loyalty, and dexterity shown time and time again as they partner with Westerners in their quest for the summit.

Living close to Mt. Everest in the Himalayan area, these people have larger lungs and larger hearts from birth, so they are much more suited and can acclimatize more easily while climbing Mt. Everest. More than 3,000 Sherpas live near Everest, with the majority of them offering work to Himalayan climbers. Like porters, cooks, herders, and high-altitude climbers. In their economy, Sherpas earn around $160/year. Today a Sherpa earns around $1,400-$2,500 per two-month expedition.

In fact, one Tiger of the Snow, Tenzing Norgay, was one of the first two people to summit together with a New Zealander beekeeper to the top of Mt. Everest on May 29, 1953. This beautifully illustrated children's book pairs dramatic poetry to talk about Tenzing's journey from childhood dream to actual summit day.

Life Lesson(s): Dream as a child. Just like Tenzing did. Then do the work to make those dreams come true. And after you do? There might be a little sadness, and there will be much, much joy at what you've accomplished.

Everest for Kids Book #4: The Young Adventurer's Guide to Everest, Jonathan Chester

Age Range: 8-12 years

This book is really a how-to guide for climbing Mt. Everest, from Jonathan Chester, who has lived a life of adventure + exploration. Don't be surprised if your kids start trying to climb the trees outside in expedition-fashion after reading this book, like my brother, sister, and I did with barn harnesses when we were younger!

Funny Note: Right after I typed that about the tree climbing above? I noticed a quote on the last page of this story says, “My best advice for a 10-year old who wants to climb? Start practicing in the tree nearest your house…” So I wasn't too far off there.

Real life info includes things like gear lists, resources, real-life photos, what meals look like on the mountain (spam, anyone?), and very detailed information, such as the strategic placement of zippers and Velcro on down suits so that you can, um, go to the potty.

Life Lesson(s): Maybe how to plan a big expedition? Again, this book does not read like a story, so the life lessons don't wrap up nicely at the end.

Everest for Kids Book #5: Into the Unknown, Steward Ross

Age Range: 8-12 years

This is a book that looks at several infamous explorations of land, sea, and air, including a section on Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary's summit to Mt. Everest in 1953.

A lot of great history here, as well as laying out the specific problems early explorers faced. Such as,

“At 10,000 feet, the brain loses 10 percent of the oxygen it needs for thinking. At 18,000 feet, 50 percent is lost, and moving becomes difficult. Above 26,000 feet, 70 percent is lost and it is hard to sleep, drink, or eat. Yet Everest stands a towering 29,028 feet above sea level. No one knew for sure whether it was even possible to survive that high.”

And were you ever curious of what Hillary's last meal was prior to summiting? Well, turns it was a breakfast of sardines on biscuit, and lemon juice sweetened with sugar.

What I love about this book is the adventure-journal feel of it. Each adventure it explores comes with foldouts of maps, equipment identifiers, and other cool things. The whole book feels like a set of exploration field notes.

Life Lesson(s): Hmmm…perhaps that sardines are good for something? Just kidding. I think the biggest lesson from this small literary exploration of Hillary's successful summit is that it takes a team to accomplish the great. Even though Hillary and Norgay were the first to summit Everest, they really only were able to because they benefited from so many others' failed attempts and learned from those mistakes.

Everest for Kids Book #6: Edmund Hillary Reaches the Top of Everest, Nelson Yomtov

Age Range: 8-12 years

What I like about this book is it sets the scene for the first summiting of Mt. Everest through comics, meaning there is a lot of everyday dialogue that makes the whole thing more real.

Life Lesson(s): I like the way the characters emphasize safety above glory in this book. I think that's a strong message.

Everest for Kids Book #7: Conquering Everest, Natalie Hyde

Age Range: 8-12 years

If you're looking for a fun, visually-satisfying, factual account all about Mt. Everest for your child to dive into, then this is a good book. There's a nice section digging a little more deeply into Sherpa culture than some of the other books. I also really dig the historical photographs throughout.

Life Lesson(s):  This one is not so much a “life lesson” type of book. Still, what I like about it is the section at the end updates how things have changed since 1953 when Everest first successfully summited, showing how progress can be a really good thing.

Everest for Kids Book #8: Summiting Everest, Emma Carlson Berne

Age Range: 11+ years

Chronicling Hillary and Norgay's expedition is nothing new (you've read of several other books that do this above). But what I love about this book's approach is they show actual photographs, (mostly) in color, of that expedition. So it really brings the whole thing to life.

Life Lesson(s):  This book shares a lot of thoughts from Hillary as he makes his summit, starting from Kathmandu, all the way up. So it's interesting to see his own doubts, but being able to push through them for the ultimate glory beyond.

Everest for Kids Book #9: The Worst-Case Scenario Everest, Bill Doyle and David Borgenicht

Age Range: 9-12 years

After months of researching Everest expeditions both old and new, I can say that this book is extremely true to the subtle (and not-so-subtle) nuances of climbing Everest. Your child gets to read through an adventure story that is made up of snippets from real expeditions, then make decisions at different points to determine their ultimate fate on this Everest expedition.

They'll make choices between things like taking a much-needed nap in Camp II versus taking a walk with a Sherpa to get to know them better + acclimatize at the same time, whether or not to eat an apple pie near the Namche Bazaar, and whether or not to lean into the climbing rope on a ladder when you think it's going to knock you off balance.

I also dig that the illustrator used to work for Marvel Comics, and you can definitely feel that vibe throughout. Finally, there's some really great information for your child to absorb in the back files before they take on this mission.

Life Lesson(s): Your choices have consequences. So think through your decisions carefully.

Everest for Kids Book #10: Peak, Roland Smith

Age Range: 12+ years

This is a novel. Peak, 14-year-old son to two “rock rats”, gets into major trouble after he's caught climbing the Woolworth Building in New York. It's actually not the first time he's climbed a skyscraper in secret.

His real father, whom hasn't been in his life at all, comes from his Thailand to take Peak to live with him for awhile in order to (legally) avoid juvenile detention. Turns out, Joshua (his father) leads expeditions to Mt. Everest, and so he takes his son on one. Though his son quickly finds out that his father has plans to get the youngest person ever — Peak — to summit, then put the news story out so that his new expedition climbing company will gather fame and bring in money.

Life Lesson(s):  The main character learns many life lessons along his journey, such as being faced with the truth that many others in the world are much less well-off than he is, as well as the value of friendships and people over blind ambition.

Everest for Kids Book #11: No Summit Out of Sight, Jordan Romero

Age Range: 12+ years

Jordan is an extraordinary kid. Son to two adventure-buffs, he becomes inspired to climb the 7 summits (actually, 8 summits) in the fourth grade after passing by a school mural his entire third grade year. Talk about the power of things like school bulletin boards!

His parents fully take on his challenge, helping him financially (plus sponsors), mentally, physically, and emotionally along the way. He learns so much about himself, and feels he fully becomes a young man on the mountains. Jordan sets lots of world records, including the youngest person to ever climb Everest (from the less popular North side, at that) at age 13.

Life Lesson(s):  There are many life lessons in this book. What I like about it is Jordan keeps things real. He talks about his goal, and his passion oozes off the page. But he also talks about his doubts, his fears, and how he had a lot of people helping him to pull this off. So many life lessons in this one!

Explore Everest for Kids through this fun, curated reading list, sorted by age. Then come check out the Mt. Everest Money Simulation Program! This list would make a great addition to an expedition VBS program. |

Announcement: The Mt. Everest Money Simulation Receives Grant Funding

Wondering how to teach kids about money? We're creating the Mt. Everest Money Simulation Program & just received funding from The PLUTUS Foundation. Come learn more with this fun Everest for Kids program (not-VBS). |

We're answering the question how to teach kids about money by creating a grant-funded, Everest money simulation program that will blow Personal Finance worksheets off the South Col.

At the heart of why I created Money Prodigy was to offer an innovative solution to the question: how to teach kids about money?

It's a question that we, as a nation, have failed at answering.

How do I know that? Well, results from things like The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development's 2012 Financial Literacy Test show our kids falling behind countries like Estonia, Poland, and China in their personal finance comprehension.

That's just not good enough!

And it's no wonder they are.

Only 17 states have personal finance requirements in schools, and 60% of teachers confess they do not feel qualified to be teaching personal finance anyway.

I created Money Prodigy with the sole mission of closing this money education gap, one kid at a time through my Compound Impact Mission.

And on March 1st, I got much closer to doing just that.

Psst: Click the image below and subscribe to be the first to hear updates on the program + how your own child can get involved!

Announcing Grant Funding

Earlier this year, I applied to The PLUTUS Foundation's grant program in order to fund the creation of the first Money Prodigy money simulation program: The Mt. Everest Money Simulation.

On March 1st, I was thrilled to learn that my grant proposal was chosen! I'm now heavily in creation phase of bringing this program to life.

Why Mt. Everest?

You might be wondering why on earth I've chosen a fictitious Mt. Everest Summit bid to teach personal finance to kids.

Let me give you a little background on that.

Money Prodigy was founded in 2016 to turn kids into Money Prodigies by the time they get their hands that first paycheck from a real job. The five achievements to becoming one are:

  1. Money-Growth Oriented: Understands how to make money grow, and pairs this with a good work ethic for making money.
  2. Money Goal-Trendsetter: Capable of setting savings goals and knows how to reach them.
  3. Debt-Cycle Resistant: Stays out of the debt cycle, or at least does not enter it blindly.
  4. Money Fluent: Has a healthy, easeful relationship with money and knows how to use it for the tool that it is.
  5. Entrepreneurial-Spirited: Is an independent, creative thinker who can work for themselves if they choose because they understand the monetary risks and possible rewards of doing so.

While this simulation will touch on several of the five characteristics above, specifically it is to help with unlocking Money Prodigy's Money Goal-Trendsetter achievement.

This means equipping kids with the skills they need to make them capable of not only setting their own savings goals throughout life, but knowing how to actually reach them from a financial standpoint (despite money setbacks, problems that seem to snowball out of control, and basically, everyday reality all adults face).

And using printable worksheets or boring lectures for how to teach kids about money? Well, they're just not going to do it. This money simulation program offers way more than that.

Mt. Everest Money Simulation Sneak Peek

The Mt. Everest Money Simulation Program plunges students aged 8-13 years old into a simulated financial goal of one man, Erik, who dreams of summiting Mt. Everest. Kids become Erik's Everest Ground Support Team, helping him make several important financial decisions with potential consequences as he attempts to summit Everest.

Everest is an almost insurmountable mountain to summit. That's why only 4,469 people have ever done it. Even if the average person had the strength and endurance to do so, the money that it costs − $65,000 is a typical estimate − puts it far out of reach for almost everyone.

Everyone, except for those who know the secret to financially realizing their biggest dreams: craft a realistic savings plan, and have the gusto to see it through.

Through a classroom simulation where students are engaged in financial decisions plus dealing with any outcomes from those decisions, I intend to show students from a young age that anything − including summiting Everest − is possible with the right money knowledge.

And on top of all that? Well, there's yaks. Who doesn't love a good yak?

Wondering how to teach kids about money? We're creating the Mt. Everest Money Simulation Program & just received funding from The PLUTUS Foundation. Come learn more. |

Stay Updated for Your Kid's Chance to Attend this Program

You'll want to click the image below + subscribe to be the first to hear about program updates + how to get your own child involved. You won't want to miss this!

Reading Programs for Kids that Run All Year Round + Money Books to Load Your Kid Up with

Tired of waiting for the summer months to get your child to read more? These 5 reading programs for kids run all year round.

There are actually reading programs for kids that run all throughout the year instead of just during the dog days of summer.

Year-Round Reading Program #1: Sylvan's Book Adventure

Location: Online
How Points are Earned: Through passing quizzes about books your child reads
Prizes:  Includes things like temporary tattoos, subscription to Highlight magazine, free candy bar, eBooks, and a guide for how to make balloon animals

Your child registers at the Book Adventure website, then chooses from over 8,000 books to add to their list. Once they finish reading these books, they take a quiz.

Quizzes for kids in kindergarten to grade 2 have five questions, and from grade 3 onwards the quizzes have 10 questions. Parents and/or teachers are able to track kid's progress in an area called Reports.

They'll earn points, then can redeem those points for prizes from the prize library.

Year-Round Reading Program #2: Pizza Hut's Give Me Twenty Challenge

Location: Online
How Points are Earned: Parent reads to their preschool/pre-kindergarten aged child for 20 minutes per day/5 days per week, over an 8-week period of time (March 6-April 28, 2017)
Prizes:  20 individual prize package winners (so not everyone will win) that includes a hardcover copy of Lisa Mantchev's Strictly No Elephants book, an elephant plush toy, and a $10 Pizza Hut gift card

While most of us can remember earning those free personal pan pizzas through the Book It! program, unfortunately you can only participate through a school or if you homeschool.

With the Give Me 20 Challenge, both schools and parents at home can participate. From March 6 through April 28, 2017, you must read to your preschool/pre-kindergarten aged child participating in the Program for 20 minutes per day for at least five 5 days per week (over an 8-week period).

You'll also be given printable reading activities to do.

Year-Round Reading Program #3: Chuck E. Cheese's Reading Program

Location: Read from home, prize redeemed at your local Chuck E. Cheese
How Points are Earned: Your child needs to read every day for 2 weeks
Prizes:  10 free tokens (redeemable with purchase of food)

Download the rewards calendar for reading (scroll down on that page through the link above), then put a stick on each day that your child reads over two weeks. If they read every single day, take them into your local Chuck E. Cheese's for a prize of 10 free tokens.

Bonus Chance for Your Child to Win $500

Have you ever heard of the Library of Congress Letters About Literature Contest? It starts in the Fall, and gives your child the chance to win a $500 gift card.

Kids in grades 4-12 read a book − fiction, nonfiction, poem, or play − (choose one they read for other reading programs for kids above), then they create a letter to the author answering how their work affected their life.

Competition levels are broken up as follows:

Level 1: Grades 4-6

Level 2: Grades 7-8

Level 3: Grades 9-12

Which program are you going to sign your child up for today?