The number of educational games available to parents and teachers today is staggering. This is a growth industry with many vendors all trying to sell their product as the best. Games are available online, for computers and in person. Parents who want to help their children excel in any subject from reading to math to financial literacy have many different choices. The best five educational games for kids on financial literacy are produced by one of these companies: Visa, Junior Achievement, Jump $tart, Knowledge Adventure or ING Direct.
Visa has created a website called Practical Money Skills where kids can play a variety of games that will help them learn about money. Financial Football and Financial Soccer are popular games available at this site. They use sports themes to get kids to answer questions about money and finance to progress through the game. Road Trip to Savings is an online game that teaches kids about saving money.
The second provider for financial literacy education is Junior Achievement (JA). This is a non-profit organization that uses volunteers to come into classrooms to teach about financial literacy. JA has an interactive game that can be used in a classroom where the students involved must live a ‘day in the life’ of an adult. They must have a job, budget for bills, find transportation and many other real life activities.
This is a different company than the familiar Jump Start software produced by Knowledge Adventure. Jump $tart is an organization that focuses on personal financial literacy. They have a web game called Reality Check. This is a great game for older kids who may have unrealistic ideas of what they will be able to afford once they are living on their own. The game asks questions about where they will live, how they will eat, how they will get to work and what they will plan on saving. The site also gives them ideas for jobs that would meet their financial needs given the budget they set.
By far the best educational games available for computers and online come from Knowledge Adventure. This company produces the popular Jump Start series that is used by many parents and educators to help kids learn a variety of skills. The Jump Start series begins with pre-K skills and continues through sixth grade. They also have a popular series called Math Blasters for kids who need extra help with math skills. They do not produce any games specifically for financial literacy but within the Jump Start series there are small games that involve purchasing items correctly to win.
ING Direct has created an online game called Planet Orange. Kids explore the planet and its continents. Each continent has games that teach about a different aspect of money and finance. Each area that is successfully completed gives a space badge and of course eventually the kids finish their mission and win the game.
These are the best five educational games for kids who want to learn more about money and finance.