Children learn best through fun and games. Just like how they mimic us adults so easily, they do not want to be told what to do\u2014they want to be shown how to do it. I was at a toy store some time ago when one child of about three years was bugging his mother to get him this spaceship toy. His mother told him no, as it was too expensive. Instead of throwing a fit after being declined, he told his mother that she, indeed, had money. She took out her purse and showed him, explaining to him that whatever is inside the purse is not enough to purchase the toy. From the corner of my eye, I could see the kid orchestrate a swift hand motion, to pull out her credit card and said, \u201cMommy use card!\u201d Of course, I quickly stepped away from the scene. Image source: Pixabay You see, children pick up on what we do, especially everyday activities like buying items and working. However, they might not understand the correlation between earning money and spending money. Honestly, they probably just think we are really wealthy. But instead of enrolling them into a class to learn money or trying to explain concepts that are foreign to them at their age, engage them in games! What better time to do so than now? Therefore, here are five age-appropriate money games you can introduce at home. Don\u2019t Break the Bank Image credit: Huffpost This is a cute game that involves a board that looks like this, but do change the currency to 5 sen, 10 sen, 20 sen and 50 sen on the wheel. Place a paper clip at the centre of the wheel and lock it using a pencil. Spin the pin and place the coin it lands on into the bank. Keep spinning and place coins in the bank. However, if it lands on the hammer for the third time, the bank breaks, and the game is over. Get them to count how much money there is in the bank. This game will help young children understand the concept of Ringgit and sen. Before I went to primary school, I distinctly remember arguing with my grandmother, telling her that it was impossible for 100 sen to be RM1 when she was trying to teach me about money. Go figure! Use Homemade Money Disclaimer: Please do not print money with your printer, even if it is just for play, because that is illegal. However, you can create your household money at home, from coins to paper money. Choose or name the currency that your family has just created. Then pick a colour for each bill. Get your children to colour and decorate the notes with a portrait of dad, mom, the family dog, or even grandpa\u2014get creative. The general rule of thumb when starting is to have twenty RM1, RM5 and RM10 bills and ten RM50 bills. You can reproduce smaller change as you go on as part of \u2018inflation\u2019. Once that is done, the family can apply it to activities at home. They can be paid for chores or homework, meals, snacks, or to play mobile games on the phone. Your home is your own little country now. If you want to go a step further, create a simple meal menu where they can pay for what they choose to have for dinner that night. Allow them to choose how to earn their money and spend their money. After a while, they will wisen up by using critical thinking. The Price is Right Image credit Wikimedia Commons Before the existence of reality television, game shows were all the rage, especially before the 2000s. One of them is the longest-running, American-favourite show named The Price is Right. It is where contestants are called out on stage to guess the retail prices of items displayed; if they get the price right, they walk away with it. This game teaches children about the value of items. For example, you would purchase a big box of cereal for RM5, but you\u2019d say no if a small lollipop fetches the same price. Using items you already have at home, place them on the table and get your children to guess the price tag for the items. You can use real coins, Monopoly money or even your homemade money (see point above). The objective is to get them to guess how much the price tag of the item is (you can refer to e-commerce sites to gauge the retail price). Once they determine the price, they will have to use their allocated money and place their projected sum on the item. The one who guesses the price right or the price closest to it wins! For older children, you can switch it up to include manipulators like a buy two for one or a 30% off to make it more challenging. Monopoly Image credit: Pexels Once they have grasped the concept of money and can do basic mathematics like plus, minus, times and divide, it is time to introduce Monopoly. There are so many versions, from Monopoly Junior for younger children, a Disney theme for Disney lovers and Despicable Me for those who like the yellow minions. Created in the 1930s, this game allows players to roll the dice and move across the board, landing on different properties. They can choose to buy or leave it. If they buy the property, other players who land on the property will have to pay rent. Players can choose to develop the property and charge higher rental fees to those who (unwillingly) stop by. That is the whole idea of the game, but some curveballs may present themselves when you roll on \u201cGo to Jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200\u201d or are required to pick a \u201cChance\u201d and \u201cCommunity Chest\u201d card. Image credit: Pexels It may take a few games for your child to get a hang of money management, investment decisions and how real estate works, so take it slow and focus on having fun. Game of Life Image credit: Wikipedia It is something like Monopoly, but instead of focusing on property, it is a simulation of how a person would normally live their life, going through milestones like college to retirement. Each player could also get married and have children. All players will have to drive through a track with their fates dependent on the dice. Most importantly, it emulates money management at different stages of life. There will be things like budgeting, insurance and taxes that they will be exposed to. Granted, these are concepts that are better grasped by older children, but you can always introduce it to them earlier because it is a game after all\u2014how it applies to real life and personal finance will kick in after a couple of years. Family Fun Learning Image credit: Pexels It is time to put away the books and the screens. No more phones, tablets or laptops either. While those objects are tools for learning, parents are the more influential teachers. If possible, take time to sit down with your child and play games that will teach them about the fundamentals of life and stimulate critical thinking. As you play, chit chat with them, ask them about their choices, but don\u2019t school them. If possible, make it a weekly family fun time where you bond with your children and allow them to indirectly form a healthy mindset about money. Well, you gotta teach them before the world gets to them, am I right? Take some time off this week, maybe today, to enrich your children\u2019s future financial course. For more interesting stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!