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Ever since my kids were little, I've tried to mostly give them gifts that were more educational or open-ended in play. Some of my favorites over the years have been building toys (Magna-Tiles are amazing), STEM toys (they've played with Snap Circuits for years), books, games, and musical instruments.
A couple years ago, I decided it was time to start making a more conscious effort to teach them about money and have included some financial education gifts since then. It started with giving them the first version of my money management binders for Christmas, along with a promise of bi-weekly allowance, to start teaching them all about money. Last year, we got them these awesome replica/retro versions of Monopoly and Life, a Kidpreneur book, and gratitude journals (because I believe practicing gratitude creates feelings of abundance that support generosity, and that giving is an important piece of a financial plan).
Here's what we're planning to give them this year and why:
How to Turn $100 Into $1,000,000
By James McKenna and Jeannine Glista with Matt Fontaine
How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000 covers a wide range of topics from how to earn money, how to make a financial plan, and how to leverage the money you have through compound interest and investing. Our kids have a good handle on setting aside money to for short-term and long-term savings, but we're ready to start teaching them more about how investing works. One of the things I love about this book is that it not only teaches them how to chart a course to financial freedom, but also gets them to think about why they want to.
Ice Cream Empire Board Game
Our kids love a good ice cream, so Ice Cream Empire seemed like a perfect game to introduce them to the concepts of entrepreneurship. Each player's ice cream truck travels the board collecting ice cream flavors that are bought and sold at market price, on their way to be the first player to earn $3,000 and build 8 ice cream shops across the U.S. It sounds less cut-throat than Monopoly (though I do love a good Monopoly game) and only takes around an hour to play, so I think it'll be a great addition to our board game collection!