Exposing children to the world of investments and financial literacy at an early age can shape their future and set them on a path to financial independence. With today’s evolving economic environment, imparting the basics of investing to kids is becoming more than just optional, it’s necessary. This knowledge does not just entail understanding common terminologies but also comprehending the essence of investing and how it can be beneficial in the long run. The key to this is to simplify complex concepts into digestible, child-friendly ideas using resources that are fun yet informative. One effective way to do this is through child-friendly investment games, which combine education with entertainment to make learning finance more engaging for kids.

Understanding Basic Concepts of Investment

Understanding Basic Investment Concepts

Investing involves setting aside money now with the expectation that it will grow over time. This is done by putting that money into things like stocks, bonds, and assets.

A stock represents a small piece of a company that you can own. If the company does well, your stock can increase in value. Conversely, if the company struggles, the value of your stock may decrease.

Bonds, on the other hand, are like an IOU from a company or the government. When you buy a bond, you’re lending your money for a set period of time. In return, they promise to pay you back with a certain amount of interest.

An asset is anything you own that has value, like a house or a car. Liabilities, conversely, represent money you owe to others. The difference between your assets and liabilities is your net worth.

Dividends are a portion of a company’s profits that are given back to the company’s shareholders, or the people who own the company’s stocks.

Reasons for Investing

People tend to invest for a variety of reasons. The main one is to have more financial security in the future. The potential money earned from investments can be greater than that earned through a regular salary alone. For example, money earned through investments can be used for retirement, a college education, or other long-term goals.

Another benefit of investing is the potential for creating passive income, which is money earned without having to actively work for it.

Learning with Fun Investment Games

To help children understand these concepts in a fun and interactive way, consider using online investment games tailored for kids. Games like “Buy Low, Sell High” or “The Stock Market Game” can help children grasp the basic concepts of investing by simulating real-world investment scenarios.

These games work by giving each player a set amount of virtual money to invest in stocks or other assets. This helps kids gain a practical understanding of how different investments can lead to gains or losses. Along with learning about risk and return, they also get to practice making strategic decisions.

Remember, these games should be used as a tool to supplement and emphasize the knowledge kids are gaining. Their purpose is to make learning about investing a more engaging and enjoyable experience.

Image illustrating basic investment concepts such as stocks, bonds, assets, and dividends.

Photo by techdailyca on Unsplash

Child-friendly investment games

Rich Kid Smart Kid Game

One online game that makes learning about investments fun for children is Rich Kid Smart Kid. The game is focused on teaching kids how to make good financial decisions while effectively managing their money. Users will take on the role of one of the two available characters and must navigate monetary opportunities or challenges through each level. Its built-in tutorials and tasks are designed to help children learn the ins and outs of income, expenses, savings, and investing.

Cash Crunch Games

For a more interactive experience, the Cash Crunch Games can help kids understand the importance of budgeting and saving. The game places children in varied real-life scenarios where they have to make financial decisions that will impact their play money, mimicking how personal choices can affect individual investments. Developed for children aged 5-15, the game has customizable difficulty levels which are great for age-appropriate learning.


Stax is an online game that encourages children to take on the role of a Wall Street investor. Using virtual money to invest in stocks within a 20-year timeframe, players can choose to adopt either a conservative or aggressive investment strategy. The game’s design and gameplay can help children learn the variability and potential long term gains of stock market investing.


An offline game that subtly instills investment concepts is the classic board game, Monopoly. It lets children understand the basic ideas of investing such as property acquisition, rental income, and strategic buying or selling to increase income. The game also touches on risk-taking aspects of real-world investing. Monopoly’s easy-to-grasp gameplay ensures that it remains fun for the children while providing valuable educational content.

Stock Market Game

An online simulation developed by SIFMA Foundation, the Stock Market Game allows children to manage a hypothetical $100,000 portfolio. They can buy and sell stocks and can learn about different financial strategies. The game offers a competitive play where children can also compare their investment portfolios with other players. The game is recommended for kids age 9 and up.

Buy Low, Sell High Card Game

Buy Low, Sell High is an easy card game that teaches kids the basic concepts of investing. Players buy and sell stock cards aiming to earn the most money by game’s end. Because it involves numbers and calculations, it’s more suitable for kids in upper-elementary grades or middle school.

Financial Entertainment

Financial Entertainment is a suite of online financial games for kids. They have games like “Bite Club” which teaches about saving for retirement and “Farm Blitz” which is about managing debt and saving. It nicely combines fun gameplay with some serious education about financial matters.

GoVenture Investment Game

The GoVenture Investment simulation is a sophisticated desktop-based game that provides players with a real-world investment experience. It allows children, teens, and adults to invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate while gaining knowledge about wealth creation, financial planning, and personal finance management.

Investment games cater to various age groups with different levels of knowledge. Playing these games can enhance children’s understanding of financial concepts while also keeping them engaged and entertained. The key is finding the right game that matches the child’s knowledge level, interest, and learning style.

Illustration of children playing financial education games

Photo by dtpennington on Unsplash

Instilling an Investment Mindset

Understanding the Concept of Investing for Kids

The basics of investing can be explained to children in a more relaxed and friendly manner to make it easier for them to understand. To start, you could use analogies that kids can relate with. For example, you could compare investing to planting a seed and taking care of it over time to grow into a fruit-bearing tree. This way, you make the concept of investing less intimidating and more appealing to young minds.

Using Games to Teach Investing

There are numerous fun games designed to teach children about investment. For instance, Monopoly is a classic board game that provides a perfect opportunity to explain concepts like real estate investment, renting properties, and taxes. The Stock Market Game is another relevant and helpful gaming tool that simulates real-world stock market dynamics. It enables kids to buy and sell fictional stocks and teaches them about investment strategies, market trends, and financial planning.

Creating Long-term Goals

Kids generally have a short-term perspective on rewards. However, to instill an investment mindset, you must teach them to think about long-term goals. Achieving this could involve introducing the concept of delayed gratification. You could do this through simple activities such as a “marshmallow test”, where the child has to wait for a specific time to enjoy a greater reward. Then, relate this test to the concept of investing – waiting for investments to grow over time instead of spending money instantly.

Teaching Decision-making Skills

Instilling an investment mindset requires robust decision-making skills. You could use simple decision-making processes like “should I buy this toy now or put this money in my piggy bank for the bigger toy later?” Use real-life scenarios to make them understand the consequences of their decisions, helping them understand the implications of their choices.

Discussing Economic Trade-offs

Understanding the concept of trade-offs is essential in investing. Trade-offs can be easily taught and understood through daily activities. For instance, explain that if they want to buy a new video game, they would have to cut some spending on candies. This way, they comprehend that to gain something, they might have to give up something else, hence understanding the idea of trade-offs.

Using Appropriate Resources

Books like “Moneybunny Series” by Cinders Mcleod and “The Squirrel Manifesto” by Ric Edelman are a fantastic resource for younger kids. Older kids may benefit from online resources such as blogs and simplified financial podcasts.

Setting Up a Mock Investment Portfolio

A mock portfolio allows children to track real stocks without using real money. This is an excellent way to introduce the practical side of investing. It encourages children to learn about different companies, read financial news, and comprehend the influence of world events on financial markets.

Remember, the essence of instilling an investment mindset in your child is teaching them the importance of money, its management, and how proper investing can contribute to their future financial success.

An image of a child planting a seed, representing the concept of investing for kids

The world of investment is a vast, complicated sphere with numerous possibilities. The younger one starts their journey, the better equipped they are to navigate and make informed decisions in the future. Integrating financial literacy into children’s learning through an interesting, fun, and interactive mechanism can steer them towards an investment mindset. It is believed that children absorbed in this subject at an early age have the potential to develop into prudent investors, sensitive to the ebb and flow of the market, thereby successfully capitalizing on the prospects offered by it. So, take the first step, introduce your child to the fascinating arena of finance and observe as they engage, learn and grow with it.