Play Right: Math Games for Teach Your Children to Save Day

imageAt New Jammies, every day is the time to learn new things. it just so happens today is Teach Your Children to Save Day, an educational program established to encourage kids to develop early savings habits as well as learn the benefits of donating and investing.

The term “save early and often” couldn’t apply more.

Teaching kids fiscal responsibility sounds pretty serious. So to put some fun into the lesson learning, we’ve found some fun math games that will help kids think about money in a responsible way without boring them to tears.

On its TreasuryDirect Kids page, the U.S. Treasury offers online games such as Save Perry’s Pennies, which tests kids’ money-saving skills by helping Perry the pink piggy bank save as many pennies as he can, and MoneyMemory. The site also offers definitions of debt that can be explained to kids, info on saving and investing, and the impact of borrowing money.

At, Northwestern Mutual offers fun for kids, tips for teens, pointers for parents, and ideas for teachers regarding money-related matters. April 18-25 is Money Smarts Week, and this Money Smart Activity Sheet , available to print off for kids, can help teach financial literacy through brain games.

The U.S. Mint H.I.P. (History In your Pocket) Change website, is another tool for teaching and learning that shows how connected people are to coins. H.I.P. Pocket Change features games, stories, and other activities bring coins to life. One of the featured games is the America the Beautiful Quarters, and there are games themed around action, adventure, art, puzzles, facts, collecting, including multi-player options, coloring pages, and bingo cards.

In its Math Arcade section, has an educational Change Maker game that helps teach kids about money. Young players can figure out how many of each bill or coin is expected to get back when an item is purchased. For example, if something costs $3.75 and you pay with a five dollar bill, expect back one quarter and one dollar bill. A correct answer means the amount of change is added to the piggy bank. If an answer is wrong, the correct amount of change is subtracted from the piggy bank. The more money in the piggy bank, the harder the questions become.

On the website, the award-winning, math-based TV series Cyberchase section features an online game that teaches kids to earn and save money in cyberspace to buy parts to help fix Motherboard. In PBS land, Motherboard is the wise ruler of cyberspace who speaks from a computer at Control Central. Her signature line is “Hacker alert!” In the site’s Activities section, kids can create a Savings Diary to keep track of how they save money.

Teaching kids responsibility with money can also be taught in the home by offering a weekly allowance for doing chores around the house and providing a piggy bank for money storage (or for older kids, a savings account).

We know of one caring mom who teaches her kids the value of their allowances by matching the final amount saved by the end of the year and having them donate half that total to a charity of their choice. The more allowance money the kids save, the more items they are able to purchase to donate during the holidays. The kids have purchased books for a children’s hospital and donated much-needed pet items, including food and dog beds, to a local animal shelter. Happy saving!