These 13 Holiday Gift Ideas Make Personal Finance Fun for Kids
When my daughter turned 2, I found a way to sneak spinach into her birthday pie (yes, pie, not cake). So, of course I’d be that parent who’d advocate for giving kids an educational present during the most indulgent, joyous gift-giving season of the year.
Hear me out, though.
I’m going to make the assumption that you landed on this website because you care about hoarding those pennies — making and saving money to live your best financial life. If you’re a parent, I’m also going to assume you want your kids to make smart financial decisions to better their futures.
So why not use this season of giving to impart some financial education to your offspring?
13 Fun, Finance-Themed Gifts for Children
Learning about money doesn’t have to be boring. That’s pretty much our motto here at The Penny Hoarder. And while it may seem challenging to teach your kid about compound interest or investing, it’s easy to start the conversation by using a book or a game.
I explored toy aisles, internet sites and even the game room at The Penny Hoarder’s headquarters to come up with this list of gift ideas. Consider these as you’re shopping for holiday presents for your future money moguls.
Note: All costs are the list prices found on Amazon on Nov. 9, not factoring in any sales. Tax and shipping are not included.
These aren’t boring textbooks that will collect dust on the shelf. These books make personal finance interesting to young readers.
1. “The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble With Money” by Stan and Jan Berenstain
After Brother and Sister Bear struggle with spending carelessly, they learn important lessons about earning, managing and saving money.
2. “One Cent, Two Cent, Old Cent, New Cent” by Bonnie Worth
Leave it to the Cat in the Hat to use whimsical rhymes to explain the history of currency and its many forms.
3. “Curious George Saves His Pennies” by Margret and H.A. Rey
When Curious George sets his eye on a toy at the store, he starts savings his coins and doing odd jobs to earn enough to buy it.
4. “How to Turn $100 Into $1,000,000” by James McKenna, Jeannine Glista and Matt Fontaine
This 144-page book schools preteens and teens on how to earn money, save it and invest it.
Board games require multiple players to participate, so the whole family can get in on the personal-finance fun.
In this classic board game, players learn the cost of real estate and its potential to make you rich.
6. Pay Day
You don’t want your kids to reach adulthood without understanding the concept of paying bills. This game takes players through a calendar month where they earn money and pay expenses.
7. The Game of Life
This game takes players from the start of their careers to retirement. Along the way, they learn how different life choices (like going to college, buying a home and retiring early) can affect their future wealth.
8. Money Bags
This game is all about counting coins. Players move along the board by adding different amounts of change to their stash. They also exchange their money for coins of different denominations.
Ask any preschool teacher — young children learn through play. Role playing is a great way to introduce your little one to money.
9. Play Money
If your kids only see Mom and Dad swipe a card at the store, they probably don’t get much exposure to physical money. Play money can familiarize children with what currency looks like and show them how different coins and bills carry different values.
10. Cash Registers
A toy cash register adds an additional layer to playing with fake money. Encourage your child to set up a pretend shop and take turns acting out the role of the shopper and the store clerk. Kiddie cash registers come in a variety of different styles — from Barbie, Minnie Mouse and Disney Princess versions to more generic registers that better appeal to both genders.
The classic piggy bank has evolved so much from the pink porcelain porker that required a hammer to access your savings. These kids’ banks are upgrades from the ones of yesteryear.
11. Real Workin’ Buddies Mr. Banks ATM Armored Truck Machine
On the surface, this might look like an ordinary toy truck, but it doubles as a functional toy ATM. Your kid can deposit coins and bills, make withdrawals and check the amount saved.
12. Melissa & Doug Created By Me Piggy Bank
Your child can turn this piggy bank into a custom piece of art with paint, glitter and stickers.
13. Moonjar Classic Moneybox
This bank is divided into three sections so kids can deposit money toward savings, spending and sharing. It’s a great way for your kid to learn to allocate money for different purposes.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.