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The Financial Education Gifts I'm Giving My Kids This Year


image collage of financial education books and games gifts I'm giving my kids

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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 bookand 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!

Dream Dare Do: A Guide to Exploring the Kidpreneur in All of Us
By Jude Paul
My oldest is always coming up with different ideas for businesses - from baking sweet treats to designing and creating clothing lines for elves, leprechauns, and fairies to starting a YouTube channel for babysitting tips. My hope is that Dream Dare Do can help her get a feel for what is possible through the stories about successful kidpreneurs that are featured in the book. It also has a lot of practical business advice - covering steps from designing a logo to writing a business plan and everything in between - so that if she ever does want to bring an idea of hers to life, she'll be equipped with the knowledge she needs to get started.
The Farming Game
When I was little, The Farming Game was my favorite game to play with my cousins who lived on a farm. It's got a bit of a Monopoly feel to it, but instead of acquiring properties and building hotels, you acquire farms and plant hay, grain, and orchards, and raise livestock. Each trip around the board represents a year, with the first part for planting and acquiring and the later part for harvesting and hopefully making money on your investments. But just as with real-life farming, all sorts of disasters can befall you, causing you to lose some or all of your harvest.
Besides the fact that it teaches kids a bit about how farming works, I love that there are financial lessons in debt, operating expenses, net income, and net worth. The only bummer is that the 20th anniversary edition comes with puzzle pieces instead of stickers (if you know, you know), but otherwise it seems true to the original version and I'm excited to play it with my kids!
My Quarter Collection - State Quarter Collecting Folder
My Dad used to be an avid coin collector when he was little, and while I never got into it myself, I do enjoy looking at coins when I get them to see what year or where they were minted. (Did you know that's what the little letters next to the year stand for? That's the mintmark. P for Philadelphia and D for Denver, for example). So I thought it would be fun to get My Quarter Collection so my kids can start their own state quarter collection, and I figure we can tie in some geography lessons while we're at it, too. They probably won't learn a lot about big financial topics, but I can see them practicing their negotiating skills in trying to get the coins they need, and hopefully they can learn a little about the U.S. financial system along the way.

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