Games For Kids To Learn Financial Concepts
Last month I was invited to judge a debate competition for kids. One of the topics for the debate was ‘Should financial planning be taught as a subject to school students?’ The kids speaking against made a valid argument. They were of the opinion that if financial planning becomes a mandatory subject and if they will have to appear for tests it will become a burden on them. They agreed that it’s very important that teenagers should be aware of how to manage finances but were against off it being taught as a subject at school as it will unnecessarily create additional burden of studying one more subject. This can also lead to students actually not having an interest in the same and it just defeats the purpose of learning to plan finances.
This made me think about the other ways through which students can learn about money and managing finances. As a career counsellor, when I meet student we discuss the monetary benefits of choosing a particular career. And we discuss money matters too. So, it was important for me to find resources which I could share with them to make learning about finances interesting and which can be done in a fun and engaging manner.
While doing online research I found some interesting free online financial video games for kids. Also, the site is ad free so it’s safe for kids to play these games without being chance of irrelevant and inappropriate advertisements popping up while they access the site.
There are real estate games where in kids can buy and sell properties, make a LEGO city. There are Money games which are a fun way to practice addition, subtraction and multiplication. This games were particularly good for younger kids.
There are various cryptocurrency games which is an easy to understand introduction to financial speculation. There are games on NFT’s and Bitcoins.
On the site there are fun stimulation games as well. There are farming stimulation games, grocery store games, restaurant stimulation games which teaches concepts of running a business. I particularly enjoyed the Coffee Shop game.
Technology has advanced a lot and a fun way to educate children about software development there are various STEM games teaching children about coding logic along with how software is made and tested, along with an idle clicker game focused on building successful startup businesses.
Sharing some games I played and enjoyed.
Corporate Overlord is an idle clicker game where you build a tower into the sky.
- Select the button at the bottom center of the game to rotate through the different floor types. Lay new floors on your tower to enable additional product type creation.
- You can create 10 different floor types: cafeteria, chemical lab, computer lab, marketing, psych lab, quantum lab, research lab, security, test lab, and workshop.
- Select the checklist button in the lower right to see how many of each type of floors you have built.
- Select the button in the lower left corner to research products and upgrade them. Upgrades are temporary and are best to use when an item’s sales are hot.
- You can build dino plushie, choco vanilla popsicle, glowing shoes, mind enhancer, hair grower, ransomware, hover toycar, candy satellite, mystery box, cyber fire detector, the tickler, corporate glasses, hover carpet, glowing cactus, insta-freezer, nano roaches, cyber multitool, golden cutlery, universal solver, nuclear powered generator, spy drone, cheesy cereal, corpo droid, multi-dimensional tophat, nose enhancer, cyber grill, division zero, profanity filter for phones, pill of truth, invisible spycam, cyber knitting machine, xray glasses, and zombie servant.
- Building certain products requires you to have at least a minimum threshold of different floor types as prerequisites.
- Keep upgrading and expanding your product inventory to manage positive cashflow, as each floor you build has maintenance cost. Under the production tab there is a secondary sub-tab for sales which shows your earnings, construction spend, investment made, maintenance spend, research spend, net profits, gross income per cycle, maintenance cost per cycle, and net income per cycle.
- Scroll over cash sitting in your building to pick it up & address any security concerns that arise by selecting the floor with issues.
- Be careful with upgrading to the most expensive to maintain floor types early in the game, as the maintenance cost can leave you in a negative cashflow position.
Coffee Shop is a one-month simulation game where players adjust game settings to earn as much as they can from running a coffee shop.
Players of this game manage their inventory, budget their cashflow, set pricing, adjust their coffee formula, and plan to maximize day to day earnings in part by adjusting their business based on the weather. In this game the demand for coffee goes up in cold weather and the demand for coffee goes down in warm weather.
This game teaches children many important aspects of running a business, including:
- Inventory: You can buy ingredients in bulk to save, but some ingredients also spoil. In this game you have to manage your coffee, milk, sugar and cup levels.
- Strategy: You get to set your coffee formula to manage your ingredient usage and blended cost per cup.
- Pricing: You can maximize your profits by adjusting pricing up or down to either boost sales volume or sell ingredients which may spoil at below cost in order to sell them before they spoil.
- Predicting Demand: Weather is a great indicator for shifts in consumer demand in this game. The shifts in consumer demand apply both to total demand volume and propensity to pay premium prices.
- Reading Consumer Feedback: Many consumers in this game offer price bubbles which indicate if they are happy and what they feel is wrong if they are not.
The one aspect of this game which is not ideal is it does not teach the importance of consistency in building a sustained consumer following for a business, but the above features require significant day to day variation in order to make the game fun and interactive.
Any learning through games becomes interesting. Also, parents are always concerned about the kids playing online games and increasing their screen time. Such games which are educational solves two purposes both for parents and children – parents know that their kids are learning and kids are enjoying their screen time. These online games are a good way to introduce concepts of business and finance in a fun and engaging way particularly for young children.