Family Dinner Games with a Money Twist: Everest Avalanche Dessert Breakout Box

Looking for fun family dinner games for kids (that ALSO teach your child how to save money)? Get my free printable: Dessert Breakout Box - Avalanche on Everest for a really fun reason for your kids to BEG to come to dinner tonight. |

Family dinner games that will teach your kid a specific money lesson + have them begging to sit around the table? #MamaWins.

Mama Bears? You're about to reach cool-Mom status. Not only that, but your kids will actually want to sit down to a family meal tonight.

Why is that?

On my quest to figure out innovative + experiential ways to teach your kids about money, I've come up with an idea that takes the cake (or brownie, or M&Ms, or Heath bars…).

It's a Dessert Breakout Box (family dinner games for kids). And it's going down tonight, at your dinner table.

What does this have to do with teaching your kids about money? Well…they have to solve a money puzzle to actually break into dessert tonight.

What is a Dessert Breakout Box Anyway? Plus a Sneak Peek at the Storyline

Breakout boxes are pretty cutting edge in the education realm. Breakout EDU is leading the way with their idea to take an escape room − where a group of people get together and figure out puzzles to escape the room for entertainment − and bringing it to the classroom. They've got a stellar Breakout EDU kit, and then there are hundreds of challenges + adventures you can get to go along with it.

I mean, what kid (or adult, for that matter) wouldn't want to get their hands on one of these?

I'm feeding off this escape-room-turned-box idea even more by bringing it to your dining room table.

And the lessons your kids will learn? Are all about money.

Everest Avalanche Storyline (Sneak Peek)

There's an oxygen-deprived mad man on the mountain! Your kiddo is part of an expedition team who is stuck up at Camp 1 due to an avalanche cutting off their path. While they wait for helicopter rescue, they  notice that one of their teammates has gone a little crazy. In his oxygen-deprived state, he's heading UP the mountain instead of down. Even worse, he's boxed up dessert with a lock and set sneaky codes your kid will need to break in order to get dessert tonight. Not a good thing when your food supply is dwindling anyway.

In order to break into this box and eat the dessert, your kiddo will need to solve one of the three money puzzles included as part of this free printable. It's your choice which one (and feel free to use the other two for other memorable family dinner games)!

Pre-Work Overview + Details

Mama Bear, you get to choose from one of the three money puzzles that your child has to complete in order to break into their dessert box.

The three money puzzles are:

  1. Money Puzzle #1: Emergency Fund Balance
  2. Money Puzzle #2: Derailed Savings Plan
  3. Money Puzzle #3: Savings Account Purpose

You can pick by: divvying up a different puzzle to each child, choosing one puzzle for the whole family to solve, or by the money lesson you'd like your child to take away from the dinner table tonight.

Get the instructions + free printables by clicking to subscribe below:

How to Get Your Kid(dos) to Beg to Sit down to Dinner Tonight

Get your kid(dos) to beg to sit down to dinner tonight by leaking various hints throughout the day about what's going down at family dinner time tonight.

Such as:

:: Write on a kitchen chalkboard your dinner menu + “Dessert: Held Captive”
:: Watch the family-appropriate Everest DVD Beyond the Edge with your kids, and tell them their hint for tonight's dessert is in it
:: [Insert your own idea!]

Use this Dessert Breakout Box to add a second course to dinner the kids will never forget.

Genius Hack to Get Your Kid to Take Better Care of their Belongings

Wondering how to get kids to listen, Mom (hint: WITHOUT yelling)? While I certainly don't have a parenting handbook, I did happen to run across this genius hack for getting your kids to listen to you about taking care of their belongings. |

Child not listening? Here's a genius hack I ran across for how to get your kid(dos) to listen – without yelling – when it comes to taking care of their belongings.

Wondering how to get kids to listen?

I know a mom who used to be really frustrated with her son’s lackluster care + enthusiasm for his belongings. She would buy him nice gifts at Christmas and for birthdays. But what would he do?

When her son was a tween, he would give his toys away to his friends. Anyone who asked him, he’d just give them to them. She would find out weeks later that he had gifted his electronic, or video game, or Lego set to someone who had grown wise to her child’s giving nature.

Of course, this represents a different kind of “not taking care of your belongings” (and an extreme example at that).

But it does raise the issue that so many parents are facing:

How do you get your child to care about their belongings?

You know, actually maintain + put them where they belong (most) nights?

While reading the other day, I came across one man’s genius hack that aligns pretty well with natural human behavior.

It’s to give your child a financial stake in doing so.

Let’s discuss the reason why David Owen decided to do this, and how it impacted his kids.

One of the Values Owen Wanted to Teach his Children

David Owen, author of The First National Bank of Dad – an excellent read, by the way – valued teaching his children a sense of ownership over their lives. When reading his book, you can see how he does that at a very early age by allowing them almost complete autonomy over their money.

Owen writes, “One of the most valuable lifelong financial services that you can perform for your children, I believe, is to help them begin to think of themselves as the owners of their lives, rather than renters or squatters – in other words, to help them begin to take personal responsibility in the broadest possible sense.”

He found an opportunity to further teach this value when the popular platform, eBay, came online.

How eBay Helped Owen Discover this Genius Parenting Hack

Owen raised his kids just as eBay was making selling and purchasing things like toothbrushes from a woman in Kansas feasible.

And his son definitely took notice of this potential.

Owen writes, “eBay, by providing an accessible and convenient marketplace in which things like old CDs and video games have genuine monetary value, has transformed my son’s relationship to his possessions. By giving him an incentive for behaving responsibly, eBay has increased his personal sense of responsibility. That’s good!”

Once his child made the association between the “stuff” in his bedroom and being able to actually reap money from it down the road, his behavior changed.

And it was a natural change, not one his parents had to force on him.

His son handled his video games very carefully and put them away so that their resale value wouldn’t drop. He had an incentive that the parent didn’t even need to be part of. How nice is that? eBay “opened his eyes to the cash value of the junk cluttering his room. He quickly sold off a substantial portion of his private cache of old video games, unwanted CDs, and outgrown toys. His previously vague sense of the value of his possessions was transformed.”

How Can You Give Your Child a Stake in Maintaining their Belongings?

This was a really great example to show how giving ownership over to children + giving them a financial stake in their lives can change their behavior without parents having to preach or press their views onto them.

Can you do something similar in your own child's life, just like Bill did with his own son + his Apple iPhone 7 after reading this post?

While your solution might look a little different, here’s the basics of what you’ll need to solve the problem of your child not taking care of their belongings:

  • An Agreement to Hand the Proceeds Over to Your Child: Will your child get 50% of the cash they make back? 100%? It doesn’t matter how much, it only matters that your child knows that this incentive exists. If you’re not comfortable handing over the money to your child, then can you agree to use the money gained towards purchasing something new that they’ll want/need in the future? You can explain to them that the more money you can get, the better the item you can afford to purchase for them.
  • Education on the Resale Value of Well-Kept Items Vs. Not-So-Well-Kept-Items: You've set up the financial incentive and probably made your kid’s eyes pop out of their heads (at least a little). Now you need to show them that maintaining their belongings will bring the highest resale price. Here’s an excellent article about how to maintain value on video games. Another way you could help them understand condition of the item in direct relation to how much you’ll earn back is by pricing your used car on Kelley Blue Book. You can choose different “conditions” the car is in, and this directly affects the price you should list it. Here’s a condition quiz you go through with your child to see the true condition of your car. For electronics such as smartphones and tablets, you can use a site like to get the point across (conditions are, “Broken, Good, and Flawless,” each increasing in cash you can earn back).
  • A Platform for Selling Your Child Can Use: You’ll need to pick a selling platform for your child to reap back cash from their belongings when they are finished using them. For example, can your family hold a yard sale next spring or summer? Can you offer to list their items for sale on a local Facebook Mom Group (with their help)? What about trading in video games using programs like GameStop’s? Of course, eBay is still an option as well.

Now it’s your turn.

Are you inspired to do this with your kid(dos)? How will you experiment with introducing this incentive program into your household? Please share in the comments below!