If you have ever had the experience of living paycheck to paycheck and wondering how you will ever pay your bills, you have certainly learned a lesson or two at the school of hard knocks. Why would you want your children to learn those lessons the hard way too? Sure, your kids can learn about money by playing a dozen different computer or board games, like Monopoly and Life, but none of those are best suited for teaching your children about money. The best money game for children is definitely real life.
Growing up, the most you learned about money and investing was probably playing Monopoly with Mom and Dad. You probably had a great time purchasing real estate, houses, hotels, and collecting rent. Then an hour into the game, you or one of the other players probably went bankrupt. We've all won and lost at the game of Monopoly, but it's just not the same when these financial ups and downs happen in real life. A board game will not prepare your kids for the real world.
The best, and only, money game for children that will ever teach your kids how to properly deal with money and stay out of a financial mess as an adult is real life. Children as young as four are old enough to understand money concepts. What your children learn from real life money experiences will only translate positively to their financial experiences as adults. Something as simple as a child doing household chores for an allowance to save up for a privileged video game or other item will teach them in leaps and bounds. This respect for learning and saving will only translate into a good work ethical and the likelihood of fiscal responsibility.
Go ahead and teach your children that money is a tool that is most effective when managed and used properly. Let them learn and understand that money is an essential tool that can help them build up their lives. As your child earns an allowance, let him make his own financial mistakes and learn from them while he is still young. Making such mistakes at the age of five and learning from them will probably prevent similar errors when he is twenty-five.