These fun money games for kids will help kids learn about money and how to pay for things. Using coins and notes of Australian currency will help kids understand the value of money and – hopefully – how to make good financial decisions in the future.
Kids will absolutely need to know how to use money in their daily lives, and the sooner they start learning the better their understanding will be. We love these how to count money games that teach kids about budgeting and buying and selling of items.
These real money games and money board games will support kids learning about money and currency. We have specifically looked at money games for kindergarten, money games for Second Grade and money games for Year 3 and beyond. These games really are fun!! Students will love playing these making money games as much as their parents and teachers will love teaching them!
We have concentrated on money games Australia has in stock, using Australian currency where possible. Here is a list of money games kids love!
Fun money games for kids to play at home
There is a multitude of way to teach kids about money. Fun money activities for kids can be as easy as pulling out a board game and sitting down to a good old fashioned games night with the kids.
Originally called The Landlord’s Game, Monopoly has been around in varying forms for over 100 years. The aim of the game is to accumulate the most wealth and property. The most successful players are those who can negotiate deals with other players and strategically gain the most money-generating properties around the board. There are pitfalls and setbacks along the way – you may ‘chance’ to get a sudden unexpected bill – but equally you could gain a sudden windfall!
The rules for Monopoly include several different ways to play the game, from timed to long and to suit different ages. Monopoly is probably the most famous of the money making games, and one the whole family can play together.
Pay Day comes at the end of the month, and to make it there without going broke, players will have to manage their money wisely.
Try to stack up the cash by finding bargains and selling them for a profit. Take out loans if necessary, and watch out for those bills. The game features a Pay Day die that adds unexpected twists and turns to gameplay. The player who can make — and hang on to — the most cash wins!
Pay Day is suitable for 2-4 players aged 8+
Pop to the Shops
Pop to the Shops is specifically designed to be a fun educational game for primary school students. In this money game shopping is the objective! Players have their shopping ‘basket’ and plastic coins in cent denominations, and must handle money and give change in their shopping expedition. Pop to the Shops is suitable for up to four players and recommend for ages 5-9.
Money Match Cafe
Similar to Pop to the Shops, Money Match Cafe challenges primary students aged 5-8 to match the correct coins to pay for their menu items. It’s a fun game that develops skills in addition, money handling and imaginative play, with two levels of difficulty for progression.
Pop to the Shops and Money Match Cafe are ideal money games for preschoolers.
Squatter is an all-original Australian board game about sheep farming – what could be more Aussie than that! The game is based on real life farming experiences and the challenges of running a business, when strategy (good business planning and investment) can be overturned by luck (drought, bushfire and floods).
Within the game, children can learn about business development, asset protection, fluctuating stock prices … and red legged earth mites! Being Australian, Squatter is one or the most relatable money games to play!
Squatter is for 2-6 players and best suited to kids aged 10+.
Pocket Money games for kids
Pocket Money introduces children to the idea that money has to be earned before it can be spent – or saved! It was designed in Melbourne, so kids will learn with realistic Australian play money.
As children progress around the board they can earn money by doing chores, such as washing Grandpa’s car, feeding the neighbour’s cat, or even holding a garage sale. They also choose to buy things like treats for themselves or gifts for others, which is a great way to learn about giving money & receiving change with Australian currency.
It’s one of the best money games for first grade through to year 4 and beyond, linking to numeracy topics covered in the Australian curriculum in the following ways:
- recognise, describe and order coins according to their value
- show that Australian coins are different to coins of other countries
- understand that the value of coins is not related to their size
- describe identifying features of coins
- count and order Australian coins and notes according to their value
- identifying equivalent values in collections of coins and notes
- adding coins and notes together to create a particular value
- represent money values in multiple ways
- count the change required for simple transactions to the nearest 5c
- recognise the relationship between dollars and cents
- recognise that not all countries use dollars and cents and have differently named currencies
- calculate change from purchases without using a calculator
This is a popular game and is often out of sock – but you can usually buy The Pocket Money Game from Modern Teaching Aids or Office Works.
The Game of Life
The Game of Life has been around since 1860, when it was originally called The Checkered Game of Life. It’s undergone many changes and updates since then, particularly over the last 50 years, including limited edition themes and The Game of Life Junior.
The Game of Life takes players on a journey through life’s choices: what career path will you choose, will you accumulate debt or wealth, what if you unexpectedly become the parent of triplets!!
Game of Life is another money game where giving change is important as you buy or sell products and property, go on adventures, or progress from college to employment. The object of The Game of Life is to accumulate the most wealth, and it introduces children to the idea of life-changing decisions and money handling.
Financial Peace Junior
Financial Peace Junior is designed to help you teach your kids about money. It’s packed with tools, resources and step-by-step instructions for parents. There are ideas for activities and age-appropriate chores, and you’ll have all the tools you need to make learning about money a part of daily life. The lessons of working, giving, saving and spending are brought to life through fun stories in the activity book, and kids will love tracking their progress on the dry-erase boards!
Financial Peace Junior doesn’t just give you the tools to teach your kids to win with money―it shows you how.
Online Money Games
There are lots of money games online that children can play solo or under supervision. The beauty of money games online is that they can be taken and played anywhere The learning can be applied to real life situations on the go.
Smash Maths has a collection of online money games matched by year group to the Australian Curriculum. Because they’re matched to the Aussie Curriculum, your child will be learning to recognise Australian currency and values too. There are games suited from Years 1 to 7. Children can sort coins by denomination into money boxes and burst balloons in order of dollar value. They can play money recognition games, add and subtract coins to determine total value, and make purchases.
Work at a Pizza Place
Work at a Pizza Place is a free online money making game that kids LOVE! The game is part of Roblox and introduces children to the idea of different employment roles within a pizza store. Players can earn money in the roles of manager, cashier, cook, supplier etc. that they can then spend in other areas of the game.
Other real life money games for kids
There are so many ways that you can teach kids about money using things that you already have at home. Make it creative, fun, positive and future focused.
Kids love playing shops, so put prices on your pantry items with texta or stickers and set up your own mini grocery store! Give your child a budget and let them work out which items they can buy without going over. Take it in turns to be the customer and the cashier to learn about money handling, budgeting, and counting change. You can make your own money tokens by writing denominations on bottle caps and slips of paper, or buy Australian play money (see below for stockists).
To make your game more authentic you will need a cash register like this one, or use a calculator so that your child can get the idea of dollars and cents and decimilisation.
Or you can buy the whole set up with grocery shop, shopping trolley and register for less than $50.
Tip: Mini cereal variety packs from the supermarket and juice poppa cartons make great scaled-down additions to your authentic mini store.
Cost and make a recipe
This is a wonderful lesson in home economics. Choose a recipe that you and your child would like to prepare together, and work through all the stages from planning to eating! Your child will need to assess which ingredients you already have, and which you will need to buy.
At the shops you can introduce such elements as cost per kilo/litre/unit of each ingredient to determine best value, pack size to make sure you have enough, and what the likely cost total will be at the checkout. Let your child hand over the right cash to cover the total and work out how much change they should receive.
Preparing and cooking the food introduces further mathematical elements in weights and measures, and you can even add an element of science by discussing what might happen if you add too much or too little of an ingredient. While the recipe is cooking, see if your child can work out the likely cost per serve too!
Use junk mail catalogues
Think of you junk mail catalogues as a virtual store conveniently compressed into a few handy pages! Give your child a shopping list and a budget of real or play money, and see if they can work out which store to go to this week for the best value on your weekly shop, and how much they can save out of their budget.
Younger children might like to cut out the pictures of the groceries you need to help you match them to the products in store.
Another great way to introduce the idea of budgeting and spending is to use the toy sale catalogues. If Santa has a budget of $100, which products on your wish list will he be able to buy? This can help children prioritise what they want to get the best outcome on Christmas morning!
There are lots of ways to introduce budgeting to your child’s daily life. Look online for places you would like to go as a family – the entry costs, refreshment costs, transport costs etc., and set a budget. Challenge your children pick a venue, menu items and the cost of public transport to get there or parking, and let them take charge of your weekend’s entertainment!
Children rarely take notice of the cost of things – unless they have to pay for it themselves! When going to a cafe or venue, give your child an allowance and let them know that they can keep any left-over money they don’t spend to put towards something that they really want. You can set guidelines like $8 to spend at the cafe and $10 to spend at the shop, and point out that if they only spend $5 at the cafe they will then have $13 to spend at the store or save. Model the behaviour by letting them see you doing the same yourself. You will find your children soon start to make more modest purchases!
Where to buy pretend Australian play money
To ensure the authenticity of your money games, make sure you are using Australian currency. You can buy Australian play money at the following places:
- Mr Toys Billionaire Cashier
- Limetree Kids – play money & credit card with wallet
- KMart kids play money
- Officeworks play money
Other good articles for learning at primary school
We have so many great learning resources on our website. Some of our favourites:
- Politics Fact for Kids
- Solar System Facts for Kids
- Recycling Facts for Kids
- Endangered Animals Facts for Kids
Fun money games for kids
What a great list of learning money games for kids. Did we include your favourite? Let us know in comment if you have a great one that you think should be included!
This article was featured in Issue 53 of our printed magazine, Aug/Sept 2022.