The American Library Association (ALA), in partnership with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, has released a collection of free online games to teach children basic financial skills related to earning, saving and spending money.
The four interactive games — part of a series called Thinking Money for Kids and available at tm4k.ala.org — are designed for children ages 7 to 11 but are appropriate for other ages as well.
- Earning It: Follow the paths of characters Grace, Emma, and Kenji to see how their childhood interests translate into successful careers and opportunities to “give back” by volunteering.
- Balance My Budget: Make choices about how to meet basic needs and treat yourself with a splurge here and there, while sticking to a monthly budget.
- Money Trail: Starting with $500 in your bank account, make decisions about how to earn and spend.
- Let’s Deal: Hear from buyers and vendors at a farmers’ market as they swap goods and learn about money.
The new games supplement the Thinking Money for Kids traveling exhibition and allow more libraries to bring fun ways to learn about money to a larger number of families. The traveling exhibition itself is an interactive financial literacy experience for children ages 7 to 11, as well as their parents, caregivers and educators. The exhibition was touring to 50 U.S. public libraries in spring 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced a pause in the tour schedule. The tour will resume when it is safe to do so.