Money toys are excellent educational toys for kids — they're fun and help them self-discover money lessons that will stay with them into adulthood.
I’ve got an idea. This year, instead of gifting money to your nieces, nephews, and other kid(dos) your life, why not gift money toys for kids?
Not only will they have fun playing with them now, but they’ll learn some valuable money lessons. If nothing else, then they’ll get more exposure to the super-important life skill of dealing with money.
Whether you’ve got a budding kidpreneur (kid entrepreneur), or someone who has yet to ask about money, here are 9 educational toys to get into your kid's hands.
Most (if not all) gifts on this list are available on Amazon Prime with 2-day free shipping (perfect, especially if you are a last-minute shopper!). Don’t already have Amazon Prime? Grab a free 30-day trial just for the holidays. If you like it? Keep it. If not, well, you just got free, fast shipping all holiday season long.
Money Toys for Toddlers
I've got a toddler, myself. Ever notice how kids this age want to imitate everything their parents are doing?
I've picked out a bunch of awesome money toys for toddlers that will help them do just that (while learning about money).
Money Gift #1: Pretend Checkbook and Register
Age Range: 3+ years
Learning Resources has a fun pretend Checkbook with calculator (my 3-year old is obsessed with calculators!).
Age Range: 3+ years
I was so thrilled when I found this cool product that turns a regular mason jar into a piggy bank money jar – the piggy's mouth is the coin slot!! It's sooooo cute (comes in both pink and blue!).
Money Gift #3: Play & Learn Toy Cash Register
The Learning Journey's toy cash register comes with 12 different food options and 12 different price options. Your child can mix and match between the two to price their inventory.
There are 3 slots in the drawer, and it comes furnished with $1’s, $5’s, $10’s, and $20’s.
Pssst: And with your kid(dos) new cash register? Don’t forget your free cash register play starter kit.
Money Gift #4: Pretend Money (Bills, Coins, etc.)
Age Range: 3+ years
Learn and Climb has a pretty awesome set of real-looking cash and coins. This would be great for coin and bill recognition, learning how to make change, and learning what each is worth.
Money Gift #5: Wallet and Purse
Age Range: 3-8 years
Melissa & Doug have the Pretend to Spend Wallet that also comes with coins, bills, a coupon, and several pieces of plastic (debit, credit, gift card, etc.).
Note: there are lots of girl's purses out there…but I can't seem to find one that includes any money. Which is kind of disappointing; I mean, they seem to include brushes, makeup, and even a credit card. But no pretend money. If you get a purse for a little girl in your life, be sure to include some dollars, coins, etc. as well!
Toy Money Banks
I've got an entire article talking about 21 money banks for kids. I'd like to highlight several toy money banks here, too!
Money Gift #6: Moonjar Classic Piggy Bank
Age Range: 5-12 years
This award-winning savings jar allows kids to divvy up their money between saving, spending, and sharing. A Family Guidebook and Passbook are included, and the individual compartments can be taken out, or kept together in one bundle.
Money Gift #7: National Geographic Space Bank (with Real Meteorite Rock!)
Age Range: 8+ years
Money Gift #8: Money Savvy Pig
Age Range: 3-10 years
Investment Kit for Kids
I've got a whole article on investing books for kids and teens, but wanted to highlight a special money gift that will teach a child to invest (by making them, with their help of their parent, an actual shareholder!).
Money Gift 9: I'm A Shareholder Kit for Kids & Teens
Age Range 7+ years
Here's a great investment for you: what if you paid $14.95 for a gift to give to a child…and the gift then included a $20 discount on a stock of your choice?
Kind of a no-brainer.
This Shareholder Kit will walk your child/teen/neice/grandson/etc. through being a shareholder, including things like:
- What to expect in the mail from owning part of a company (things like annual reports, shareholder meeting invites, etc.)
- How some stocks pay dividends and some don't
- DRIPs and why they're worth it to grow your money
- How to read a stock quote
- What the heck an IPO is
- And much, much more
Educational Money Games
Money Gift #10: Quick Pix Money
Age Range: 7+ years
You deal out five cards per player from the “Answer” deck, then turn over the top card on the problem deck. The winner is the first person to win five matched sets by correctly (and quickly) placing the right answer onto the problem card. Problem cards have a group of coins on them, and it’s your job to match the correct coins layout with the values on an answer card (so if you don’t have the right answer, you don’t play a card that time).
Of course, multiple players may have the right answer at the same time, so the quickest person to identify + place their correct answer card down will win the match!
Money Gift #11: Money Bags – A Crazy Coin Counting Game
Age Range: 7+ years
Players: 2-4 players
This game tests kid's knowledge of being able to count and make change. The player with the most money at the end, wins.
Money Gift #12: Moneywise Kids
Age Range: 6-12 years
- Game 1 – Bill Maker: You each take turn rolling the dice and collecting money. Then each turn you trade up your money to the highest denomination you can get. So, for example, if you have five $1-bills, then you can trade it in for a $5-bill. Then when you get two $5-bills, you can trade them in with the banker for a $10-bill. The goal here is to work up to a $100 bill first.
- Game 2 – Bill Breaker: The goal here is to buy all 6 markers (each marker is a monthly bill, such as “A Place to Live,” “Something to Wear,” and “Medical Care,”) PLUS put $100 into your savings. The first person to do so, wins.
I really like the back of the boards, where the game-maker gives you concrete ways to make real-world connections for each of the monthly bills discussed in the Bill Breaker game.
Money Gift #13: Act Your Wage! Board Game
Everyone starts off in debt in this game (aw, man!). Each player also starts off with a persona, telling them the salary that they earn and some other pieces of info. The goal? Is to be able to yell “I'm Debt Free!” before anyone else.
Players choose a “Life” card, and three “Debt” cards to begin the game. For my round, I was given the following:
- $6,000 in student loan debt
- $6,000 in student loan debt
- $5,000 in business loan debt
Players also follow Dave Ramsey's baby steps, in that they're given a $1,000 emergency fund. Pretty neat!
Money Gift #14: The Entrepreneur Game
Age Range: 12+ years
Tweens and teens choose whether or not they want a home-based business or a brick & mortar business, and the playing board is divided into these two paths.
You win the game by being the player who accumulated the highest net worth (by the time all players make it to the finish space).
Spaces on the board include “Wild Card” draw, “Trump Card” draw, “Losses”, and “Marketing Card” draws
And the cards entrepreneurs are being dealt include things like:
- “Word of Mouth advertising is taking off for your business. Your Marketing Account triples, but you must leave it in the account.”
- “You may take out a bank loan of $50,000, but you must invest it in a business with another player. You both become 50% owners. You share income and expenses 50/50. They chose which business.”
- “You make a business deal with a friend who goes to jail for fraud. You are investigated as well. If you have a lawyer, pay $10,000. If you don't have a lawyer, pay $20,000.”
Money Gift #15: Bulls & Bears: The Game of Booms and Busts
Age Range: 13+ years
Looking for a robust game that will teach your kid(dos) about investing, stock market risks, and really important things like investing for their retirement?
This is it.
It’s so robust – think the complexity of Monopoly, but with the goal of teaching investing –that you might want to have your child review the free online guidebook provided by game-maker to get their investing sea-legs.
Some really interesting + priceless lessons built into this game:
- Importance of Diversification: Player’s portfolios are assessed periodically by banks to make sure they’re diversified.
- Current Events’ Influence on the Market: Stock purchase decisions are based on how they think the market will react to different news flashes (talk about great prep for investing in the real world!).
- How to Calculate Net Worth: Having the players calculate their net worth (sum of all cash and investments minus any mortgage or other debts owed).
- 3 Key Investments to Make for Long-Term Financial Security: Goal of the game is to acquire a net worth of $200,000 while owning these three key assets – a retirement plan, a home, and health/property insurance.
More Toys that Teach Kids About Money
You're here to gift money toys to kids so that it will teach them about money (in some way), right? While teaching kids about money takes a lot more than giving them money toys, you can really get them curious and started learning money lessons with some of the educational gifts below.
Money Gift #16: Big Money – 3D Magnetic Coins and Bills
Take the mystery out of dollars and coins for your kids by using this batch of magnetic currency. How fun would it be to put them on your fridge one morning before your kid(dos) come down?
It also comes with an 8-page activity guide detailing several activities you can do with your magnetized, oversized currency, such as:
- Teaching Money with Dates
- Showing Equivalent Values (for example, two dimes and one nickel is the same as one quarter)
- More, Less, or Equal?
- Reducing a Group Down to One
- Classroom-specific activities
How else could you use this? You could use the magnetic coins for The Penny Method, a behavioral changing system Thrift Diving uses with her children.
Or how about having your child tally up their earnings or “commissions” throughout the week on the fridge using these magnets, then giving you the total on payday to pay them out in real money? This will give them more exposure to actual money denominations in a plastic world.
Money Gift #17: Coin Collecting for Kids
Age Range: 8-12 years
This is an impressive, sturdy (it’s board book material), coin collecting kit for kids for coins through 2020.
Kids can scour the coin jar, the streets, the couch cushions, etc. to fill out the following collections (slots for over 150 coins):
- 50 State Quarters
- Presidential $1 Coins
- Westward Journey Nickel Series
- Birth Year Coins
- Indian Head Cent
- Franklin Half Dollar
Not only is it a helpful holding place for each of these coins, but it also teaches your child about coin collection and mints. Don’t be surprised if they start talking to you about reeding (the tiny grooves around the edges), or start grading the coins that come across their path from uncirculated all the way up to Very Good.
The only problem? You might not have any more change around your home once your kids get their hands on whatever they can to fill it up!
Who knows what their coin collection could be worth one day?
Money Gift #18: Teen Entrepreneur Toolbox
Age Range: 12-18 years
Could your teen use an entrepreneur kit? This Teen Entrepreneur Toolbox is quite comprehensive.
Created by Anthony ONeal (who partnered with Dave Ramsey), it includes the following:
- Access to Free Entrepreneur Toolbox app
- Teen Portfolio Book
- DVD of Anthony’s Training Video
- Parent’s Guide Book
- Pack of Thank You Cards
- Deck of Conversation Starter Cards about Starting a Business
- Goal Tracker Poster
Hint: The Entrepreneur Toolbox App is also awesome…and completely free. It will help your teen (or anyone, for that matter) track savings goals, organize their business calendar, figure out profit potential, etc.
Here are other kid entrepreneur kits.
Money Gift #19: The Lemonade War, Jacqueline Davies
Age Range: 7-10 years
Jessie and her brother, Evan, love each other. Deep down. And usually they function well as a brother/sister unit. But when Evan finds out that his very intelligent sister is going to be skipping ahead to his own grade, his bad emotions come out of nowhere.
They begin selling lemonade together, and end up starting an all-out lemonade war due to lots of miscommunication that escalate things (gee, that never happens in real life!). And who wins? The person who makes a profit of $100 by the end of the week.
The Money Lesson(s): One of the great money lessons in this book is how it’s geared towards making big business concepts understandable in terms of something your tween gets — a lemonade stand. So, they learn about things like Underselling, Value-Added, Profit Margin, and Franchises. An overall highly valuable money lesson is how to take an idea you have to make money, and see it through. These two really know how to implement, and that’s where the rubber meets the road.
Life Lesson(s): I think one of the best life lessons in this book that isn’t necessarily pointed out is that each person, no matter what their skills or capabilities, can bring valuable assets to the table. Jessie is a whiz when it comes to math, calculations, and ideas for how to increase profits. Evan is more of a people person, which is hugely important in a business.
Money Book #20: Lawn Boy, Gary Paulsen
Age Range: 8-12
Lawn Boy is a pretty great book about a kid who started an entire lawn-mowing business − complete with workers − all because his parents didn’t have enough money to help him buy a new bike inner tube.
While this book is bent towards economics, it’s also great for making entrepreneurship seem a bit more accessible. It gives your kiddo a look into how another kid their age filled a demand for a service, and in the meantime, earned lots of money.
The Money Lesson(s): 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. Yes, Lawn Boy makes a small fortune when his stockbroker neighbor-turned business manager invests his money into penny stocks. But that’s not likely to happen.
Life Lesson(s): Keep your eyes open for opportunities. And sometimes? It comes in the form of work. A lot of work.
You've now got a list of 17 educational money toys for toddlers, kids, and teens. Make use of them! Your kid(dos) will thank you.
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