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Why not add a little learning to the fun this holiday season? These eight inexpensive gifts for toddlers through adolescents can help increase a child’s financial literacy.
Here’s a thought: Don’t just give the game — instead, jump in and play. That way, you get in on the fun and the child gets the benefit of your experience and wisdom.
1. Monopoly: Ultimate Banking Edition
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Here’s the game you’ve always known and loved, but it’s a faster-paced, updated version. As in life, cash is absent. Instead, you make purchases electronically. Nostalgia buffs may regret that, but it means a simpler playing experience without the need to keep track of all that paper money.
Swipe your bank card to buy real estate that now has been inflated to more modern prices. The lessons are timeless: Be a canny capitalist if you want to get ahead. .
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Help a kid learn critical math skills with Mathopoly, a Monopoly-inspired board game invented by a teacher and recommended by math teachers. The game’s focus is pre-algebra math and is based on math curriculum for fifth through eighth grades. U.S. customers can with PayPal or credit card.
3. Play money
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There’s nothing like the (almost) real stuff to spark family fun. Kids can earn play money from this tray of bills and coins while learning the power of earning and how to spend, save and make change. A few ideas: play yard sales, bake sales, toy exchanges, “cash” for chores or a lemonade stand. .
4. Toy cash register play set
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Any toy cash register is a fun way to spark learning about earning, spending, counting and saving money. But this set from Funerica has an up-to-date electronic cash register with a card scanner, a bunch of little restaurant items: play food, pots, pans, utensils, stovetop and a grocery basket. The only thing missing: customers. .
5. Pay Day board game
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Pay Day is a classic board game that guides players though an imaginary month as they pay bills and expenses. Kids get the chance to earn money and broker property deals. Each player uses a salary to pay bills — borrowing, if necessary, to get through the month. Pretty much like life. Ages 8 and up. .
6. Sum Swamp Addition & Subtraction Game
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Perk up! This Learning Resources game — for kindergarten level and up — makes learning fun. It includes a game board, four “swamp creature” game pieces, two numbers dice and an operations die. The object is to navigate across the crocodile shortcut and through the swamp to the end by adding and subtracting numbers on the dice. Order the Sum Swamp Addition & Subtraction Game at .
7. Möbi Numerical Tile Game
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Players use signs, minus signs and multiplication and division signs with numbers tiles to build math equations, helping them internalize math basics. The game includes 162 plastic/acrylic tiles and a blue whale cloth carrying pouch. Ages 7 and up. .
8. Head Full of Numbers
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Head Full of Numbers looks goofy, but the concept is great. Shake your dice out of a cup that’s shaped like a silly professor’s head. Now, set the egg timer, and start writing equations — as many as you can — from the numbers and symbols showing on the dice. Stop when the time is up. Ages 7 and up. .
Which games have helped you understand math and money? Share with us in comments below or on our