3 of the Best Business Simulation Games for Kids

Looking for business games ideas for kids? Here are 3 of the best business simulation games for kids, which means they're lots of fun + offer tons of play to prep your child for some real-world biz concepts. | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/best-business-simulation-games-kids/

Looking to start your budding kidpreneur off on the right foot? Here are the best business simulation games for kids (and they’re all free).

Do you have a budding kidpreneur, or titan of industry on your hands?

Perhaps your child doesn’t seem to have any real-world business sense at all and you’d like to gently introduce them to these concepts.

Doesn’t matter where your child falls on the biz-understanding spectrum; these 3 business simulation games will introduce them + hone their understanding of some key business concepts.

Did I mention they’re pretty fun to play, too?

Business Simulation Game #1: Zapitalism

Age Range: Middle + High School
Game Objective: Become the richest business owner on the island, which is the first person to make it to 5,000,000 zables.
Where to Play: http://www.Zapitalism.com

Zapitalism is a six-player game (any slots not taken by people are taken by computer players, so your child can play on their own). Your kid gets to choose a company to run after reading through its description.

This is a turn-based game, meaning each player must take a turn before the time advances by one week. You’re given 50,000 zables to start, and with this money you need to turn a profit by purchasing items from a wholesaler to stock your shelves with. You are in charge of setting the price to turn a profit, but watch out! If you become too greedy, then customers will not buy from you.

You can do other cool/not-so-cool money things like:

  • Take a loan out with interest up to your credit limit for your business to purchase better products as well.
  • Take a peek at the store shelves of competitors to see what they have. Each week the companies are ranked according to their net cash.
  • Compete for a building permit to enlarge your store size, thereby enlarging your shelf space.
  • Be audited if you fail to pay taxes every 10 weeks that passes.
  • Pay your employees.

Levels are from Tutorial all the way up to Master. I highly recommend going through the tutorial round first because it really helps with understanding how to play.

Bonus: here are some free worksheets to go along with this game!

Business Simulation Game #2: Gazillionaire

Age Range: Middle + High School
Game Objective: Start a small company and bring it all the way to trade tycoon status.
Where to Play: http://www.gazillionaire.com/index.php

This game is for up to 6 human players and 6 computer players. Your child will be running their own trading company where they’ll need to buy low and sell high in order to prosper.

Bonus: here are some free worksheets to go along with this game!

Business Simulation Game #3: Marty Raygun’s Fistful of Dollars

Age Range: Middle + High School
Game Objective: Keep your monthly business cash flow in check, while making the firm as valuable as possible. Don’t go into bankruptcy, and make sure you always keep money in your business bank account.
Where to Play: http://sims.myej.org/wcgame/

Your child is taking over the firm Galactic Zappers. You need to make sure you keep enough cash on hand, and order enough supplies to keep things moving. You need to pay fixed period costs to keep the factory running (things like rent and electricity). You can accept or reject orders from suppliers after reviewing their details. They can offer you cash, or credit of 30-60-90 day terms to purchase their raw materials, which you need to produce your products and get them to your customers. You can also accept or reject customers based on their details. There’s some shady characters in there! You also will need to decide if you’d accept cash, or credit on 30-60-90 day terms from customers (hint: you’ll need to have a firm grasp on your monthly cash flow in order to pay expenses. Valuable business lesson there!).

There are some handy-dandy buttons allowing you to collectively see your accounts receivables and your accounts payable at any time you’d like. That’s helpful in managing your monthly cash flow.

And each are connected to the “Bank”, so you can clearly see what your balance does throughout the game.

Again, it’s very helpful to have your child go through the “How to Play” video before diving in. Lots of terms to learn for this one!

Which one are you most excited to have your kid try out?

Money Metropolis Review: Saving Money Game for Kids

Fun money games for kids (even 2nd graders) that you can get for free? Here's my review of Money Metropolis, plus how to score yours for free (yes, without paying S&H). Definitely include this in your list of learning activities when teaching your kid(dos) about money (psst: includes 4 money convos to have with your child to extend these lessons into real life!) | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/money-metropolis-review-saving-money-game-kids/

Look no further for a Money Metropolis Review. Also, don’t forget you can play this game free online, or get your own free copy (plus several other free video games about money) in the mail, without even paying Shipping & Handling!

Ages: 7-12 years
: Player chooses a savings goal for a particular item they’d like, then attempts to reach that savings goal through a series of earning opportunities, spending opportunities, and rounds of allowance.

Does your child need a place to start with learning about money? And particularly, with learning about how to set a savings goal and achieve it?

Money Metropolis is a free video game that your child can play either online or in their home (yes, free video games without paying shipping or handling do exist! At least when it comes to teaching kids about money).

Before your kid(dos) get started, let me give you a review of what they’ll be doing, and what they’ll be learning.

How Money Metropolis Works

Here’s the basics of how Money Metropolis works:

  • Choose a Savings Goal: Your child will choose one of three savings goals (in the form of an item they wish to purchase, such as a $350 plane ticket), each with a varying dollar amount.
  • Choose an Avatar: Your kid then gets to create an avatar to use within the game.
  • Prance Around the Metropolis: After that, your child has a lot of free reign. They get to prance around from shop to gas station, to neighbor’s house earning money (like pump gasoline for $10, babysit a sleeping baby for $15), spending money, and (hopefully) watching their virtual bank accounts grow towards that savings goal. Your child will get an allowance as well, at $15 a pop.

What I Like about Money Metropolis

As a Certified Financial Education Instructor + Personal Finance blogger of 9 years, there are a few things I’d like to talk about that I think are real assets your child will learn from this game.

  • It Takes Money to Earn Money: We’ve all heard this phrase, and if you’re like me, then you even rolled your eyes at the notion a few times. But…it’s kinda In the world of Money Metropolis, I like how your child is forced to purchase certain tools to earn the money for a specific job (such as buying a rake at the general store to rake someone’s yard).
  • Earnings are in Proportion to the Savings Goals: What I like about the amounts used in this game is that they are reasonable compared with the overall savings 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.
  • Reinforces the Idea of Doing a Good Job, Not Just Getting it Done: 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.
  • Gives Temptations: We’re surrounded by temptations in real life, so I like that your child is faced with several spending temptations that will stretch the time it takes to save up for their actual goal out if they choose it. For example, at Nora’s Arcade where they can play a fun Pac-man like game that will cost them $1.
  • Savings Goal is Front and Center: Your child can, at any time, click on “Your Budget” button in the left-hand side of the screen to see how much money they’ve saved, how much they’ve spent, and their total. This is important info!

4 Money Convos to Extend these Lessons to In Real Life (IRL)

The money lessons in Money Metropolis only go so far. Just like with any money lesson, the best way to use it is to also have discussions with your child to make sure they take away more of the deeper money lessons and not just the superficial ones.

I’ve broken down a few talking points for you, Mama Bear, to really extend these lessons to real life:

  • Breaking Even Comes Before a Profit: Discuss with your child the start-up costs that you’ll need to break even with before you will make a profit on. For example, if they buy a rake for $20, they’ll want to use it at least twice to get their money back (break-even), and three times+ is when they’ll actually start profiting from their purchase/investment.
  • Bigger Investments Could Mean Higher Profits: Some kids are shy to spend a large sum of money at once. And let’s face it – when you’re a kid, a “large” sum of money could be $13. In Money Metropolis, higher-paying jobs (such as delivering newspapers) takes more investment up front to get started ($100 for a bike) …but you also earn more money per job ($25 instead of $10 at the gas station). You’ll need to deliver papers at least 4 times to break even, and at least 5 times to make a profit. A leaf blower costs $40, and gets the job done faster…which is a good thing because you’ll need to rake more yards in order to make a profit after buying that.
  • Your Time is Valuable, So Choose a Wise Savings Goal: I like that it takes some real time to reach your savings goal in Money Metropolis. After playing it for 15 minutes and not being close to the $350 I needed for what I wanted to buy…I found myself getting a little bored + looking at a clock. Then I started wondering, how many times during the day do we look at the clock while working? It’s good to introduce the idea that money should be valued and what we choose to save for should be really important to us as it’s our time that we’re using up in order to earn for it.
  • Ask Your Child about a Real Savings Goal They Have: Talk about something your child wants to save up for. Choose the goal, have them research how much it will cost to achieve. Now, spring boarding from them playing this game, ask them to come up with a list for things they can do to make extra money (either in your home or elsewhere). Discuss with them the idea that the more they do something, the more better and efficiently they do it (and can then eventually raise prices). Ask them how much they should charge for their service right now. At that price, have them calculate out how many times they’ll need to do that service in order to meet their savings goal (Savings Goal/Earnings from 1 Service = # of Times they’ll Need to Do it).

Overall, I like Money Metropolis. I think it will not only teach your child a few money lessons if they play on their own, but it also serves as a good money conversation starter between you and your kiddo using the talking points above.

9 Money Books to Read Your Kid to Ready them for their First Store Transaction

Move on from pretend store play + cash register games for kids. Use these 9 books & the bonus store money activities to help your child make their first store transaction! How exciting. |  https://www.moneyprodigy.com/9-money-books-read-kid-ready-first-store-transaction/

Trade in those cash register games for kids for these books. Use the Mama talking points to prep your child for their first store transaction.

That first store transaction. You know, where your kid actually hands over money (perhaps their own, perhaps yours) to buy their very first item.

It’s exciting! It’s nerve-wracking!

And it’s also a key milestone in your child’s money development.

Because one day, Mama Bear, they’ll be making ALL the transactions in their life by themselves. And you want them to be prepared for that, right?

I’ve curated 9 money books to read your child in prep for their first store transaction. Also included are a few talking points for you to help associate what they’re reading with what they’re going to do eventually themselves.

Money Book #1: Sheep in a Shop, Nancy Shaw

Age Range: 2-3 years old

This is the perfect book to show your very young kiddo what the purpose of a store is for: to go with money with something specific in mind that you want to buy.

A group of sheep are on the mission to purchase a birthday gift. Unfortunately, they don’t have enough in their piggy bank for what they want to buy. So, they learn to barter for it!

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: The real money lesson here is that things in stores are not free. You can also discuss that saving up to buy something is best…or else you might have to barter something like your own fur! In other words, stores do not operate under a barter system anymore, and money is the means to pay for something.

Store Money Activity: For the next birthday-buying occasion in your household, walk your child through the process of buying a gift for someone either with their own money (if you’ve figured out an allowance for kids, or if they’ve figured out how to make money for a kids). Talk about how much money to spend for the gift (in relation to how much they have), then brainstorm several ideas with them before heading to the store. Once you get to the store, walk them through the process. Let them choose from the shelf something close to one of the brainstormed ideas, as well as price compare if there are similar items. Ask them if the item is under the agreed-upon budget. If not, look around for another item. Have them put the item up on the counter at the cashier, and if you’re ready for it, have them hand over the money. Walk them through accepting the change, getting a receipt, and picking up the bag.

Money Book #2: Bunny Money, Rosemary Wells

Age Range: 3-5 years

Bunnies Ruby and Max want to buy the perfect birthday gift for their grandmother: a beautiful music box with skating ballerinas. They’ve saved up their own money to do so, and head to the store for this one purpose. However, things start happening, and temptations arise that cost them some of their money. Also, they didn’t research the cost of what they wanted ahead of time, so they didn’t have enough money to buy it to begin with.

They end up making a pretty bad spending decision − purchasing glow-in-the-dark vampire fangs that cost them their bus ride fare home. In the end, they spend their last $0.25 calling their grandmother to come and pick them up.

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: Talk about why researching what you want to buy before you head to the store is a good idea (so that you can make sure you have enough money would be the most immediate one, as well as finding alternatives that are less expensive for when you can’t find what you had originally wanted). Another great lesson is to prioritize your spending for needs first (a bus ride for home), then wants. Otherwise you might get stuck somewhere!

Store Money Activity: Have your child go through each item the bunnies spent their money on, and tell you whether it was a want or a need. Let them defend their answers before telling them your answer.

Money Book #3: Paddy’s Payday, Alexandra Day

Age Range: 3-8 years

Wondering how to teach kids about spending money? A great introduction to the most common way for money to get into a person’s hands is a good place to start. Paddy is an Irish Terrier who performs for a living. It’s his payday, and he’s got a long list of ways to spend his money.

The message that I don’t like in this book is to spend, spend, spend on your payday.

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: With payday money, you need to spend money on both needs and wants. To truly get this lesson, you’d have to add that in, though, because Paddy seems to spend, spend, spend (without any remark on how he’s spending his paycheck away!). You could turn this around by opening a discussion about which of the things Paddy spends on that are needs versus wants. Think: Boston Cream donuts, haircut, movie ticket, dinner at a restaurant, a bouquet of flowers (Paddy’s on track to be poor before his next payday!).

Store Money Activity: Take a few minutes to discuss with your little one where you and/or your spouse work. Discuss some of the ways you use the money you get on payday to keep the household going, and which stores you make purchases from for needs for the household.

Money Book #4: Apple Farmer Annie, Monica Wellington

Age Range: 3-7 years

What I like about this book is that your child will start to get an idea of the process involved in the other side of a store: the supplier. This is through the farming process (psst: I get exhausted just thinking back to my cow-milking, hay-making, silo-filling days on the dairy farm where I grew up).

Annie, an orchard farmer, takes your child through (though in a really cursory way) how a product gets to market. From picking the apples, sorting them, producing sweet apple cider, applesauce, various baked goods, to actually selling the most beautiful of all of them at the farmer’s market.

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: When you grow your own food, you can keep some for yourself to munch on (or bake really yummy things with), and then you can sell the excess and make some money. This is also a great opener for discussing with your child your own job and how it enables you to earn money. Which you then spend on needs + wants for the household.

Store Money Activity: There are Annie’s recipes in the back. So, you could extend the study by picking your own apples (or making that the first store transaction for your child), sorting them, then making a recipe together with your child.

Money Book #5: Pigs Will Be Pigs, Amy Axelrod

Age Range: 5-8 years

The Pigs will be Pigs series, including this book, has been designed around the National Council of teachers of Mathematics’ Thirteen Standards.

But that’s not the fun part about this book (nor did that sound fun, right?).

This pig family has eaten through all their groceries from the morning (yes, pigs will be pigs!), and they’re hungry for a snack. The problem? There’s only a dollar between the lot of them. So, they go about hunting for money in all kinds of peculiar places around their home.

Then, they’re presented with a menu with prices, and so your child gets a chance at the end to figure out what else they could have bought from that menu.

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: Have your child add up their own pot of money (if they’ve got one) and see what they could afford on the menu, as if they were actually going to buy it.

Store Money Activity: At your family’s next restaurant visit, have your child choose something based on price. Give them a budget to work with, then ask them how many different combinations they can come up with from the menu and still stay under that budget.

Money Book #6: Follow the Money, Loreen Leedy

Age Range: 4-8 years

This book will give your child a great overview of money circulation + different ways that money can be used (like in a vending machine or as a donation).

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: There are a few calculations your kiddo is asked to make, such as how much change a customer should receive. Make sure they understand the concept of change after they do these calculations.

Store Money Activity: You can practice change-making with your child by setting up different-costing transactions, having them pay for these pretend transactions, then seeing if they change you gave them is correct. A change jar is really helpful for this exercise!

Money Book #7: Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, Judith Viorst

Age Range: 4-8 years

In this book your child will see that Alexander used to be rich (and by rich, he means he used to have $1 his grandparents gave him) until he spent his money a bit foolishly. Honestly, what barely-out-of-a-car-seat-kid wouldn’t?

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: There are always “opportunities” to buy things with your money. But sometimes, they’re not opportunities at all. Like a one-eyed teddy bear.

Store Money Activity:  Have your child identify what they think are “wants” that Alexander spent his money on. Now, add up how much each of these wants cost Alexander. How much money would he still have if he had not spent on all his wants? What else could he have done with that money? Your child can go through an exercise of identifying 5 of their own wants, then pricing them out to see how much it would cost them at a store.

Money Book #8: Jenny Found a Penny, Trudy Harris

Age Range: 5+ years

Jenny has her eyes set on purchasing something special (though you don’t find out what it is until the end). She needs a whole dollar, so she sets out to find all the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters she can. She also earns a dime from sweeping her grandfather’s porch and sidewalk − this is one determined gal! Unfortunately, she’s thrown for a loop at the cash register when she learns that not only does she have to save up for what she wants to buy, but also for the sales tax that is assessed on it.

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: Something you could talk about from this book is an alternative way to get that plastic piggy bank without her having to spend all her savings on it (such as making one from a two-liter soda bottle, or from a mason jar. Just look on Pinterest for ideas). Also, your child will be introduced to sales tax in this book, something that may well have confused them before (especially if they’ve paid attention to the price tag on an item + how it is always more at the register).

Store Money Activity: Discuss sales tax with your child, and the idea that it’s different in different states and areas. Look up the sales tax in your own area for reference. Are there any items that are not assessed a sales tax?

Money Book #9: Those Shoes, Maribeth Boelts

Age Range: 5-8 years

Whether we like to remember this happened to us as tweens/teens or not, there is a lot of peer pressure when it comes to having “cool” clothes. And often the “cool” clothes cost more than parents’ paychecks can support.

That’s why I like this book. A boy gets transfixed by the newest trend of shoes at his school. His jealousy is palpable. Unfortunately, his grandmother can only afford to get him shoes that he needs − winter boots.

Even worse, his own “everyday” shoes fall apart at school. A helpful guidance counselor gives him a pair to have, but they’re what’s considered “baby” shoes and he gets embarrassed.

What happens? He finds that the one boy who didn’t laugh at his “baby” shoes actually was worse off than him. When he actually finds the shoes of his dreams − albeit one size too small − from a thrift store, he ends up gifting them to this other boy.

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: Definitely discuss buying used versus buying new with your child. Also, point out how strong the grandmother was in unabashedly told him what they could and could not afford instead of racking up a charge she didn’t need on her credit card to satisfy a current trend.

Store Money Activity: Have your child talk to you about something that they want that they cannot currently afford. Then ask them to think about ways they could get what they wanted for less money so that they could afford it sooner. Give them some hints to help this exercise along, especially if they’re not used to finding discounts for items.

Cash register games for kids can only take your kid(dos) so far. From sales taxes, to getting change, and everything in between (like buying used), these books will prep your child for their first store transaction.

How to Make Money for Kids? Start with these 9 Kidpreneur Money Books

Entrepreneur kids...do you have any ideas where to start? If you're looking for how to make money for kids, I've got 9 books, broken down by age, to start teaching your child the lessons they need to learn the ropes. | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/how-to-make-money-for-kids-9-kidpreneur-books/

Wondering how to make money for kids? Or is your kid really into the subject? Read on for where to start.

Kidpreneurs (kid entrepreneurs) are popping up everywhere.

And the market appears to be highly ready to receive them, as many have “hit it big.”

Take Leanna, for example, who was constantly being complimented about her hair at around the age of 11. The secret sauce? She actually was making her own homemade hair products. She saw an opportunity for her homemade hair dressings, hair butters, and shampoos (all free of sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, and lots of other mainstream chemicals) and opened up her company, Leanna’s, Inc. In 2010, she raked in $100,000 in profits, and in 2011 that number was more like $300,000.

You know, in between math worksheets, first-time crushes, and whatnot.

Or Mikaila Ulmer, who, after being stung by two bees in one week, was sent her grandmother’s 1940s recipe book with a special lemonade recipe in it to help make her feel better. Mikaila became interested in bees and learned about their endangered plight + how important they are for the ecosystem. She created Me & the Bees Lemonade, which now is being sold in Whole Foods Market after her stint on Shark Tank. A percentage of all of her profits goes to organizations helping to save the bees.

These stories are kinda unreal, especially since most of us Mama Bears (and especially those of us who aren’t making even close to that amount…*ahem* myself included).

Have you ever thought about your child joining the ranks of these entrepreneur prodigies? Or perhaps your own kiddo has come to you and mentioned here and there how excited they are by other kids paving the kidpreneur way?

I mean the thing is, your safest place to start them with is books. It’s a relatively low-cost way for you + your kiddo to explore this new territory, and learn a few things in the process. Like whether or not they’re really serious about this, or if their idea will go the way of toddler-sized Elsa dolls in two weeks.

Follow along with the main characters below, broken down by suggested age range, as they traverse their own entrepreneurial journeys.

Hint: it’s not all roses. But if you’re a woman in a biz like I am, then you already knew that.

Kidpreneur Money Book #1: Lemonade in Winter, Emily Jenkins

Age Range: 3-7 years

What’s one of the first rules of creating a product? Give the people what they want. And really, when they want it. Timing is everything.

As in, who wants to buy a cup of icy lemonade in winter, when these two decide to open up their lemonade stand?

Another entrepreneur reality these two learn the hard way: you don’t make a profit if you spend as much money to make the product as you bring in selling the product.

Kidpreneur Money Book #2: Lulu Walks the Dogs, Judith Viorst

Age Range: 6-10 years

This book drives home the point that a (successful) entrepreneur’s journey is hardly ever walked alone. You need help. Even if it’s just from the pesky neighbor boy who seems to know an awful lot about things + is super polite.

Follow along as sassy Lulu learns the hard way about making money from a variety of sources.

Kidpreneur Money Book #3: Amelia Bedelia Means Business, Herman Parish

Age Range: 6-10

Amelia sets her green eye on the brand new bike Suzanne has…and she just has to get one, too. The only problem (aside from basing her wants on someone else’s)? Her parents will only pay for half of the new bike.

Amelia sets up a lemonade stand next to a car lot because she’s convinced there will be thirsty customers. Follow along while she thinks of creative ways to both win the bike, as well as to advertise her new business.

Kidpreneur Money Book #4: The Lemonade War, Jacqueline Davies

Age Range: 7-10 years

What an adorable book – I absolutely adored reading it.

And the reason why this is great for your kidpreneur-in-the-making to read? It breaks down these huge business concepts and makes them understandable through something your tween gets – a lemonade stand. We’re talking concepts like underselling, value-added, profit margins, franchises, etc.

A further lesson I love is the underlying idea that you’ve GOT to take action. Action in business is how you see results – both good and bad – and learn from them. Then tweak, and move on.

Kidpreneur Money Book #5: The Toothpaste Millionaire, Jean Merrill

Age Range: 10-12 years

Note: Originally published in 1972, this book takes place in an era when many authors, including this one, talked about things like race/age/sex discrimination. So just a heads up!

this line from the book pretty much sums up why I’m recommending it: “As I mentioned before, math isn’t my favorite subject. But I think everybody should take a course in toothpaste.”

This book gives an overall introduction to the manufacturing business, and makes the whole thing a very tangible subject. Not to mention, the main character essentially does what Leanna did with her hair products: he figures out how to make a homemade toothpaste recipe that is much cheaper than what’s on the market, and has no chemicals in it.

I love how this book shares the process of his wins and losses while trying to figure out a recipe, then figure out how to actually package it, etc.

Kidpreneur Money Book #6: Lawn Boy, Gary Paulsen

Age Range: 8-12 years

Note: Get this book for your kiddo for the business and entrepreneur lessons. However, warn your kid about the use of penny stocks and investing their money with random people, because Lawn Boy makes a small fortune when his stockbroker-neighbor-turned-business-manager invests his money into penny stocks.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: financial limits breed creativity. In this case, being a broke kid bred a whole business!

Lawn Boy chronicles a kid’s journey through starting a successful lawn-mowing business − complete with employees − all because his parents didn’t have enough money to help him buy a new bike inner tube (bikes seem to be a recurring motivational theme in these books, eh?).

Lots of economics here, but it makes entrepreneurship and the skills you’ll need for it (plus the hurdles you’ll be faced with) much more accessible.

Kidpreneur Money Book #7: Lunch Money, Andrew Clements

Age Range: 8-12 years

The main character, Greg Kenton, is obsessed with earning cash. Like, totally money-crazy. One day he figures out that all of his friends and schoolmates carry around extra quarters with them (market research at its best!) − for things like ice-cream sandwiches, cupcakes, neon pens, pencils, and other things to buy at school – he sets out to find a way to get all those quarters.

He bounces around from product ideas as first a middle man of sorts, and then an inventor of mini-comic books kids can read in school. Once he figures out how to mass produce them, someone else gets smart on the process (a competitor!) plus he gets into trouble with his principal (legal issues!).

Lots of entrepreneurial lessons in here introduced in a non-intimidating way, like marketing, figuring out your audience, gross earnings versus profits, trademark issues, etc.

Kidpreneur Money Book #8: Better than a Lemonade Stand!, Daryl Bernstein

Age Range: 9-13 years

This 15-year old gives your kiddo 55 different business ideas that go well beyond the lemonade stand. Originally written in 1992, there are examples included throughout of actual kids who took this kid’s advice and how they created a business from it.

There’s a lot of positivity in this book, and I’ll have to warn you that you may not agree with all the advice spouted off by the then-15-year-old in the beginning of the book. Examples include, “When you earn your own money, it’s yours to spend as you wish…[i]f you prefer to buy loads of candy, go ahead!” And you might want to reinforce the idea of charity against his statement of, “When I see a need, I charge a fee to fill it.”

Kidpreneur Money Book #9: Seventeen Against the Dealer, Cynthia Voigt

Age Range: 12+ years

Note: This is actually Book #7 in a series; however, I didn’t read the other ones before it and thought the story worked well on its own.

Dicey Tillerman sets her eyes on opening a boatyard business where she’ll craft boats for a living. However, she lacks business sense, boat-making experience, and wads of cash to start things off (capital).

Psst: Of course, business sense can be picked up as you go (*cough* not that I would know ANYTHING about that).

One of the most important lessons from this book is the need for contracts between you and the people you are working with in business. Not to mention the need for an extra-cushioned emergency fund if you’re just starting a business and don’t have another source of income coming in. There’s also a nice introduction to the idea of business insurance.

Your child may have thought about wanting to start a business, or shown some interest in running a lemonade stand. For me and my friend, it was starting a bean bag business (not much demand in them…nor supply, for that matter, as we slacked off on production). Bottom line? I would have loved to have read these books before and while going through that bean bag business (a total flop, by the way. But oh, the fun we had!).

So, get your kid reading! Who knows where it might lead them.