10 Products to Help Teach Your Kids About Money (Toys, Books, & More!)

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girl holding purple and pink shiny piggy bank outside

Start them young!

It’s never too early to teach your kids important money concepts – including how to save, budget & spend money wisely. More importantly, you don’t want to risk someone else teaching your kids how to manage their money poorly.

So if you’re needing a place to start, looking for a fantastic gift idea, or just want to make learning about money more fun for your children, check out these educational and highly rated products we love and remember… saving money never goes out of style.

teach kids by example not just with words

According to Dave Ramsey, kids of different ages learn and grasp the concept of money differently. “A study by the University of Cambridge found that money habits in children are formed by the time they’re 7 years old.”

For instance, preschoolers can visualize the growth of money through a clear savings jar, elementary students are capable of learning not to buy on impulse, and teens can benefit from learning the ropes of their own savings account and getting ready for their college financial plans.

But just know, it’s never too late to talk about money. Someday your kids will thank you.

1. Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank

Great for ages 6 months to 3 years. 

toy pink piggy bank sitting on purple shelf

This interactive, singing piggy bank encourages thinking skills, practices counting and is a great way to teach your baby about saving money. There are also two different levels with a variety of developmentally appropriate songs, phrases, and sounds – so whether 6 months old or 3 years, they’ll be learning age-appropriate skills. It even has Spanish and helps children learn their basic colors!

2. Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register

Great for ages 36 months up to 8 years.

What child doesn’t love role-playing with money? This cash register also encourages social skills, mathematics, and best of all it features a solar-powered calculator so you never have to worry about replacing batteries. It also comes with a pretend credit card, 30 pretend bills and 40 plastic coins – so you can guarantee endless hours of fun & learning!

3. Financial Peace Junior Kit

Great for ages 3 to 12 years.

Packed with tools, resources, and step-by-step instructions for parents, Financial Peace Junior by Dave Ramsey will equip your kids to handle their money more wisely. Through fun stories and activities, your kids will learn the values of working, giving, saving and spending. Plus, it will help mom and dad come up with age-appropriate chores and develop good money habits that will be apart of all your daily lives.

4. Pretend & Play Checkbook with Calculator

Great for ages 36 months up to 12 years.

It’s always fun to pretend you’re a grown-up! With this set kids can fill out pretend checks that are realistic in size and learn how to make payments and calculate their balances. It includes 25 checks, a check register, pen, calculator, deposit slips and instruction card.

5. Moonjar Classic Moneybox (Save, Spend, Share)

Great for ages 4 and up.

This award-winning Moonjar moneybox is divided into Save, Spend and Share tins that allow kids to set practical goals with their money for each section. Each Moonjar Kit also comes with a family guide with simple budgeting ideas and a passbook so kids can track their progress.

6. Children’s Books

Great for ages 4 to 8 years. 

hand holding green and yellow kids books with bookshelves in background

These are just a few popular and highly rated children’s books that will teach kids about various forms of money, saving for things you need and want, and all the things that you can do with your hard-earned cash.

7. The Allowance Game

Great for ages 5 and up. 

allowance board game

In this skill-building game, players race around the game board doing chores to earn their allowance and then save it or spend it on things they want. For instance, if a player washes the car they will earn $1.30, but if they forget their homework they will lose a turn! A fun way for kids to learn about money and consequences!

8. Cash ‘N’ Carry Wallet

Great for ages 5 and up.

What a fun way that kids can learn the value of money! This play wallet includes 30 bills, a pretend credit card, bank card, and a zippered coin compartment with 40 coins included. It also comes with suggested activities that will teach them how to be responsible for their cash and on the flip side, if they lose it – it will be a not-so-tragic learning experience. 😉

9. Money Bags Game

Great for ages 7 to 9 years. 

Similar to The Allowance Game, this highly-rated game also allows kids to earn money by landing on a square with a practical chore or entrepreneurial endeavors, such as setting the table, hosting a lemonade stand and more. This game also gives kids practice counting bills and exchanging money. Plus, there’s an additional incentive for kids to use critical thinking and coin combining skills.

10. American Girl’s A Smart Girl’s Guide: Money

Great for ages 9 to 12 years. 

hand holding blue american girl book

Know an American Girl fan? In this book, girls will learn how to not only spend their cash but also how to earn it. The quizzes, tips, and helpful quotes from other girls will make learning about money management easy and fun. Chapter topics include Making Money, Shopping, Saving Money and more.

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Comments 45

  1. HBee

    These all sound wonderful. We home school, and one of the requirements for High School for my kids is to take Dave Ramsey’s ” Foundations in Personal Finance High School Edition”. We are just finishing up this with my Junior and I would highly recommend!

    • HBee

      Just out of curiosity, how long have you been homeschooling? My daughters are preschool age and I am thinking about starting.

      • HBee

        Hi There, I am just ending my 10th year of homeschooling! Make sure you are aware of the requirements in your area- I would look them up on the HSLDA website. They also have some tips on getting started. It has been a truly rewarding (a prayerful!) experience for me and I know my kids are happier for it!

        • JTCL

          Another homeschooling family here. 🙂 We have family closely connected to HSLDA, and we are members ourselves. Highly recommended.

      • May N

        Another homeschool family here. I love Easy Peasy Curriculum at allinonehomeschool.com. It’s easy to follow, student-guided and fun. Check it out. It takes my preschooler about 30 minutes a day and my 3rd grader about 2 hours a day.

    • SJ

      I would never teach my child anything that quack says! I’d skip that lesson!

      • Jen D

        I don’t necessarily agree with all of his viewpoints or opinions, but the basic concepts of living within/below your means, saving for the future, and avoiding debt are all pretty sound principles.

        • SJ

          Oh I forgot CON ARTIST.

      • Frecklelily

        With all due respect, that “quack” has a name. It’s Dave. He is a highly respected and smart individual. Talk to ANYONE who has followed his program and you will see it WORKS. I have taken his High School Finance class with my (at the time) 16-year-old son. My son is now 18 and he is financially smarter then most adults. And guess what…he’s NOT IN DEBT. So you might have a difference in opinion on what Dave stands for, but to call him a “quack” shows how little you really know about his program.

        • HBee

          Amen! I don’t follow everything he says, but the basics are there, and it’s good for kids hear about not getting in debt too early.

        • CO Mama

          Why the negativity SJ?
          It’s a great post, thanks for sharing Mary & team, love the ideas!

          • SJ

            Because he’s a horrible person. A complete con artist, fraud, a QUACK!!!!! gives piss poor “advice” to people without a pot to piss in…irony…

      • Cortney

        Proof that it works: https://youtu.be/Gx4_EFjv-NU
        I’d follow a “quack” like this any day to have the peace we’ve been given. So grateful. The Junior books are excellent, great illustrations & story.

  2. Stephanie

    I love the play check book! I work with high schoolers and you wouldn’t believe how many of them don’t know what checks are much less how to write one!


    • Holly

      Lol! Just wrote one to pay for my car registration, and wondered if anyone (besides me) still writes these any more. I’m “only” 34 but feel so old every time I write a check.

      • JA

        The only checks I write are to the water company, who is the only utility I know that charges $3.75 to pay it online. Cheaper to buy the stamp!

      • An Education in Domestication

        Admittedly, I don’t really write checks a ton either anymore, but it’s nice to know how because there have been instances where I could only pay something with a check (like when my apartment leasing office’s website went down and I had to pay rent with a check). So it doesn’t hurt for the new generation to know it either.

      • Jessica

        Honestly, it’s not super crucial they be “experts” at writing checks nowadays. I have written exactly 2 checks in the past 8 years. One for the down payment on our house and the other for a down payment on purchasing a new car at dealership.

    • ASHLEY

      That’s because a lot of people don’t write checks anymore! I probably write 4 checks a year, if that.

  3. lindsey

    does anyone have app suggestions?

    • Priscilla

      Prize or Mint

  4. Elizabeth

    Such good resources! Thank you Mary 😊

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      You are so welcome! 🙂

  5. Lucy

    While these are good resources, I highly believe that the concept of money is a constant thing – not something we play with and then an hour later, we put it aside and not think about. I personally didn’t use any of these….I went with the FREE approach and explained to my kids (currently, ages 5 and 3) that whenever people (grandparents) send them money we have to take it to the bank. The bank keeps their money safe and the only time we go to the bank to get money out is when we have to buy something special and/or when they go to school when they are 18. They also have a little piggy bank at home for change. My 5-year-old totally gets this concept – even this past fall (when he was 4), he asked if we could go to the bank and get some money to buy a book at the school’s book fair. Then in December, he said to me that he didn’t have enough money in his piggy bank to go to the school store to buy something for his sister for x-mas and asked if we could go to the bank to get “a little bit of money”.

  6. Heather C

    I LOVE the Alexander book! My daughter, who is a great “spender” at the ripe old age of 16 (adopted at 13 ) really needs to read this. My other two who I have had from early on in life are both great savers. The 16 y/o I worry about…STILL teaching, but worry too.

  7. SJ

    Checks will soon become obsolete. I haven’t written a check in over 15 years.

  8. Lolita

    Unrelated, but I don’t hate deals and I don’t want that popup/push notifications thing that shows up on this website… what can I do?

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Hi Lolita!
      You can click on the “I hate deals” button, which will just make it so you don’t get push notifications. You will still see all of the deals on our site 🙂 Hope that helps!

      • Lolita

        Haha, ok, but I don’t hate deals! It implies that if I don’t want the pushbutton (and I don’t because I use my computer for work and I don’t want notices showing up randomly), then I hate deals!

  9. Lolita

    I write a check every time I pay for my kids’ field trips. That way I can track that I paid (cancelled check) and I don’t have to worry about the money disappearing without a trace!
    In our house we do have piggy banks for each kid and help them decide if it is worth it to spend their money on something or if they would rather save that money towards something better. That is what we do with smaller amounts.

  10. zahra

    I still pay all my bills with checks to keep track and stay on budget. Swiping card is too easy we don’t think about budget when we can just swipe and go.

  11. Jen

    My son has the Moonjar. I love it and he loves it. His sister wishes that her money collecting containers were as easy to use as her brother’s I highly recommend this product.

  12. Christine

    This is such an important lesson. I gave my kids (ages 14,12 and 10) a budget for back to school clothes this year. Best decision ever as it gave them the power to choose what they wanted to buy and prioritize their needs versus wants without arguing. I made a few recommendations but didn’t dictate what they bought. My 10 year old wanted shoes that would cost almost his whole budget but needed shorts. I told him it was his choice but suggested that if he waited a bit maybe the shoes would go on sale. He wanted the shoes “now” but decided to wait when he realized that he couldn’t afford cool shoes and cool shorts. After we left he started researching online for the best deal and found the same shoes for $30 less than he was going to pay leaving him enough budget to have shoes, shorts and and shirt all in his favorite brand just by watching sales and using coupons. It also taught him delayed gratification.

    • Crystalsnow

      Lol my kids know me as the queen of finding deals, they know I don’t allow anything in the house that is full price, they scope out clearance sections, etc. even my 2 year old asks me “is this is on sale?” Before putting it in my cart at the grocery store or regular stores.

      • Lucy

        my kiddos are the same way. when we’re at the store and they see something they want, they’ll ask if it’s on sale and I will take the item to scan – and they read the digits back to me when the price shows up on the screen.

      • thehenrydthoreau

        I agree with you both from experience. The best tool is role modeling the behavior. My son is now 13 with over $1,000 to his name. He watched me yearly hit off season clearance paying from $.33 to $2.50 per clothing item. He observed me double and triple stacking. He joined in when the local grocery was bought out to resell. He bought View Master slides for $.25 a pack and resold them for $10/pack. He sees that he can earn way more in gross profit than leaving his money in a paltry interest earned savings account. He has seen stockpiling his whole life and embraced minimalism. He recently inquired if I would put a box together of shirts, shorts, underwear, shoes and socks to use when he is older. I picked up many sizes of underwear, tons of packs of socks and several shirts for free after free SYWR points. I got several sizes of shoes for $1/pair. I just picked up 2 pairs of shorts and 6 shirts for $.03 after clearance and SWYR points He tripled stacked himself last December. He used (2) $3 off Axe gift set coupons and 20% off cartwheel mixed with B1G1 25% off. He paid $3.06 per gift set. He gifted one last year and saved the second to gift this year. He paid for the sets using some of the profits from the View Master slide. He has a good balance on questioning wants and needs. I plan to work with him soon to understand that the more he spends (not only on needs but in general), the more he will have to work. He needs to embrace a more European lifestyle.

    • Angela V.

      I remember my parents doing the same with me when I was in middle school! Was a great opportunity to learn how to stretch the dollars. And, provided me with a little independence.

  13. StephB

    Thank you for all the great ideas!

    We love Dave Ramsey and the financial freedom we have gained by using his methods and being disciplined!!! We only have our mortgage left to pay off.. which we will have paid off in 4 years and then we’ll be completely debt free! We love living on cash only.

    We like to gift the college geared book/DVD (by Rachel Ramsey) for high school graduation gifts!

  14. Crystalsnow

    Those that live on cash, you all don’t shop online? How would we get around that. I know step 1 would be to not shop online, but 90% of items I find to be cheaper online.

    • CO Mama

      I do most my shopping online/Amazon & use Debit card. Then I pull cash from envelope to deposit when we withdrawal our cash for the next month. Hubby even travels regularly for work & never has never had an issue renting car or booking hotel with debit. Game changer for our family, such peace no more arguments about money.

      • Adrian

        You should never shop online with a debit card. If something happens and hackers get your debit card information they can empty out your account before you know it. You will get your money back after a very thorough investigation which would take time and bills won’t stop coming while the investigation is done. If you use a credit card and hackers get your credit card information all you would have to do is notify your credit card issuer of the fraudulent charges. You won’t be on the hook for the fraudulent charges while the investigation is done. What I am trying to say is that debit card fraud will take your money away while it is investigated but with a credit card your money is safe. Hope that makes sense to you. A good thing to do is what Lucy said. Use a credit card for online shopping and pay it off at the end of the month. Sweeten up the deal by using a credit card that offers some kind of rewards like cash back just for using it. You get cash back for using the card and won’t have to pay any fees if you pay it off monthly.

        • Jen Law

          You could always get a prepaid card that you budget for online purchases only. The thing with using credit cards is that things happen. What if you can’t pay it off at the end of the month for some reason? Then sometimes a cycle starts & it can get out of control. What I do if I sometimes use it online, is transfer only what I need on my debit card, & leave the rest in savings. Therefore, if they do get the card they’ll only get only a little. Also, make sure your bank has a great security firm. Someone tried to use my card in the Netherlands & it was declined the second they tried to use it. They then called me & texted me, which I hadn’t noticed at the time. When I didn’t answer they locked my card down. I was shopping at the time so it sucked, but I’d rather that than my money gone. They told me since they switched to this firm, they’ve only seen maybe a couple of cases where it actually went through, & even then it was taken care of quickly.

    • Lucy

      I make all my purchases with my credit card and get points. I pay off my entire credit card balance every month. I don’t shop online at all – the only online purchases I make is on USPS to print the label to mail a package. I use coupons, stock-pile a reasonable amount of the things that we need. Truth be told, I only buy things that we NEED – just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it.

  15. Matina

    Here’s a great Elmo clip from Sesame Street that reinforces the concept that the moo jar is using of 3 jars- spend, save, share

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