Investing Games for Kids

By Tiffany Bass Bukow, Founder of

investing_for_kidsAre you thinking about a present for a child in your life? What exactly would make this little person happy and help YOUR present stand out amongst the crowd? Have you ever seen kids rifle through their gifts, paying little attention to each one and instead wondering what was in the next box?

You can give them a gift where the pleasure will last more than the 2 minutes it took to open it. Think beyond traditional games for kids such as Scrabble, Monopoly and Risk and instead think online and interactive. Get the child in your life on the computer learning about something that will help influence their financial future in bold and powerful ways. Stock Market Simulation Games are the ideal gift to help accomplish this. There are plenty online that offer fun and excitement for everyone involved.

The time you devote playing the game with the young person will be much more valuable than any toy you might give them. Just think about it – you might also learn something new and pick up some new skills. To add a little more motivation to the game, consider buying a few shares of stock from a company the child chooses once they have completed the game.

A national study recently found that students who engage in a stock market competition score higher on a survey than students who complete an entire course in money management. suggestions for Kids Online Stock Market Simulation Games:

  1. Money Games
    An animated website for some simple money games and a way to get warmed up for a stock market simulation game.
  2. BuyLo $ellHi Game
    Great for young children because of the multimedia elements on this website. Kids start with $5,000. The have 12 months (or, well, 12 turns) to invest that money in the Buylo stock market. They search for clues in the news, follow the market, play some hunches, and make their money grow as much as they can. You, and make your money grow as much as you can!
  3. Virtual Stock Exchange
    The Web’s Largest Independent Stock Market Simulation. More suited for older children.
  4. The Stock Market GameT (SMG)
    The original and premier educational program that stimulates learning about economics, finance, and the American economic system. This 20 year program is primarily used by students in grades 4 through 12, post-secondary students, and others who want to learn more about investing and managing their financial future. An exciting, real-world simulation, The Stock Market Game enables participants to discover the risks and rewards involved in decision-making, the sources and uses of capital, and other related economic concepts.
    • Gain knowledge without the risks
    • Learn about economics and investment.
    • Match investment goals with execution.
  5. InvestSmart Stock Game
    An excellent website to learn the fundamentals of trading stocks. Participants start out with 100,000 virtual dollars in their cash account. Game players can take the Stock Market Basics course offered and learn the techniques to research companies in order to decide which stocks they want to buy or sell. Participants can sign up for the game more than once with different login names and trade different stocks in each account to test out various investing strategies. A list of the player’s ranking will be generated daily. This ranking will see who can build up a stock portfolio with the greatest value.

Quick Step Guide:

Teaching kids about the fundamentals of choosing stocks is important. However, how children spend their money on a daily basis will have a greater impact on their financial future than any investment decision they might make.

Teaching children about managing their money is an ongoing process. Now that you have gotten their attention with a stock market game, you might want to take the next step and show them how to set goals and save their money. After all, children need to learn how to save money before they begin investing it. And right now, they don’t know how to do that.

In a study sponsored by the National Council on Economic education, 66% of high school students tested on basic money skills scored an “F”. Only 3% got an “A”. This isn’t the only survey that shows that kids lack money sense. Yet, Teenagers are spending about $100 billion of their own money each year and influence an additional 50% of their family spending. That is a lot of purchasing power for a group with little knowledge on how to spend and save wisely.

How many of us were taught how to be financially responsible as children? Statistics show that very few of us had proper education on how to manage our money. Our parents didn’t explain it to us, nor did the educational system. Investing in pharmaceuticals may be considered. Perhaps that is why the United States savings rate is so low – only one half a percent of what we make. That puts us at the bottom of the list of industrialized countries. In fact, today Americans have the lowest savings rate in history since the Great Depression.

Good habits are established when we are young. Studies indicate that most kids develop their money habits by age 13. So what better time to teach children about money, then when they first start to ask for things that cost money. If they can count, then they are old enough to learn about money.

Children may know that money does not grow on trees, but not know the fundamentals needed to thrive in a consumer driven society. The sooner they learn that money must be earned through hard work, saved, and spent wisely by each member of the family, the happier and more productive they will be. We can begin teaching children about basic money principals when their toys cost $2 instead of $200 or $2,000.

To learn more, take the MsMoney Online Financial Seminar – 6 Steps to Raise Financially Responsible Children.

photo_tiffanyTiffany Bass Bukow