Running out of gift ideas for the kids in your life this holiday season? If you’re interested in raising financially savvy children, then why not take advantage of the holidays to give them a head start?
Here’s a listing of gifts that anyone would love to get and more importantly, you’ll feel good about giving. They are specially curated to help children develop sound money management habits from a young age and are broken out into: piggy banks, books, and board games.
Piggy Banks to Raise Financially Savvy Children
The Money Savvy Pig is an award-winning children’s savings bank and is the first piggy bank I ever got my kids. It makes it easy to teach them the lessons of putting a little bit away for saving, investing, and donating every time you make a deposit. You can get this for your kids when they are very young.
When my kids got a little older, I had them create their own containers out of old Crystal Light packages, but this bank was a great starter for them. It made it super easy to teach the concept of allocating your money and not spending it all.
The Smart Piggy Trio Bank: 3-in-1 Money-wise Educational Piggy Bank is another great option for teaching young children to allocate their money appropriately.
This one is more affordable than the Money Savvy Pig, but works just as well. It focuses on the three areas of saving, sharing, and spending, but does not have a separate area for investing.
This is just as well, since I ended up having trouble with my own kids in figuring out how to invest their funds safely. I ended up phasing out the investing portion of their savings plan and now they just save, invest and donate.
Books to Raise Financially Savvy Children
Once my kids were a little older, I picked up a copy of The Toothpaste Millionaire. It’s a great story that teaches kids about money, business, and economics.
From the publisher: “Sixth-grader Rufus Mayflower doesn’t set out to become a millionaire. He just wants to save on toothpaste. Betting he can make a gallon of his own for the same price as one tube from the store, Rufus develops a step-by-step production plan with help from his good friend Kate MacKinstrey. By the time he reaches the eighth grade, Rufus makes more than a gallon — he makes a million! This fun, breezy story set in 1960s Cleveland, Ohio contains many real-life mathematical problems which the characters must solve to succeed in their budding business. Includes black-and-white illustrations by Jan Palmer.”
My kids weren’t quite ready to read it on their own at the time, so I used to read it out loud to them at night. It was helpful because I could pause when needed to explain various business or economic concepts that they might have had trouble with or glossed over if they had been reading it themselves. They loved it!
Another excellent and award winning book is The Lemonade War (The Lemonade War Series), the first in the Lemonade War series of books by Jacqueline Davies. I read this book to my kids as well when they were in elementary school.
They could relate to the young protagonists and the topics led to great questions and conversations!
From the publisher: “Fourth-grader Evan Treski is people-smart. He’s good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings’ lemonade stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win, or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.”
Board Games to Raise Financially Savvy Children
Call me old school, but some things need no improvement. Consider Monopoly Board Game The Classic Edition. Do you know anyone who has not played this classic game?
This is where my first money lessons were learned. Save your money, invest in properties. If you can save some more, improve them with houses and hotels. Watch out- don’t go bankrupt!
The only caveat with this game is the time it can take as the number of players increases. We broke it out during Thanksgiving this year and with six players, it took almost four hours to finish! But everyone had a great time.
If you want some variety, there seems to be a version of Monopoly for every major TV show, University or big city nowadays. I’m a fan of the classic, but if your family is “into” a particular show, city or college, go for it!
In researching games, I came across The Allowance Game which was not around when I was a kid but looks fantastic for teaching kids the basics of receiving an allowance, saving money and spending.
From the manufacturer:
“Wash the car to earn $1.30…but forget your homework and lose a turn! In our involving, skill-building game, players race around the game board doing chores to earn their allowance…then save it or spend it on things they want. And, as children play, they learn to make change, handle money and more! The game board measures a big 18″. For 2-4 players.”
It has an average of 4.5 stars out of 151 reviews and is recommend for kids over 5. The benefit of this game is that it is significantly shorter than Monopoly to play and of course the subject matter is easier to relate to.
One of the reviewers mentioned that they had never played a game of Allowance longer than 35 minutes. If my kids were younger, I would definitely give this game close consideration.
Take Advantage of the Season
What better gift to give this season than the gift of a financial education or at least a step in the right direction? Who needs more video games or mobile phone accessories when you could be building the base for a solid financial future? Take advantage of the gifting season to make a difference in the life of a young person you know.
Also, all of the links to products above are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission that helps to support this site. I’ve used many of these products with my own kids and recommend them all wholeheartedly. Thank you in advance for your support!
Have you had experience with any of the gifts above? Do you have a recommendation for a book, game, or other product that you think is a great help in educating kids about money? If so, let me know your thoughts below and I’ll include it in next year’s write-up.