Learning to manage money the right way is something every single student needs a chance to learn. Kids will use money skills their whole lives, so it’s worth taking the time to teach them how to earn, save, budget, and spend responsibly. Try these activities with elementary and middle school kids to give them the financial smarts they need to succeed!
K-2 Money Skills Activities
Try these hands-on activities to introduce younger learners to the concept of money, learn bills and coins, and more.
1. Introduce money basics
Why do we need money? Identify bills and consider how money is used with the Money Basics lesson, with printables in both English and Spanish.
2. Put together money puzzles
Continue teaching money skills by familiarizing kids with bills and coins. Snag free printable puzzles and other activities from Fantastic Fun and Learning to get you started.
3. Show kids how to keep their money safe
Money has value, so it’s up to us to keep it safe and secure. Talk about the various ways people protect their cash with the Don’t Lose Your Money printable worksheet.
4. Craft a water bottle piggy bank
Now that kids know how important it is to keep their money safe, help them make their very own savings banks! Learn how to craft this adorable piggy from Coffee and Vanilla.
5. Take the Piggy Bank Quiz
There are lots of ways to use money, some more responsible than others. Take the Piggy Bank Quiz to learn whether you’re a Spendy Spider, Do-Good Dolphin, or prefer to Squirrel It Away!
Grades 3-5 Money Skills Activities
Learn more about spending, budgeting, and making smart choices with these activities for upper elementary.
6. Buy some chips to practice counting money
Practice shopping is one of our favorite ways to teach money skills, and kids love it too! Grab these free printable cards from Noodle Nook, and let kids practice counting out the money they’ll need to buy their favorite snack chips.
7. Calculate the cost
Find a local store’s sales circular or visit a website that’s running a sale. Choose items to buy, then check out coupons, discount codes, and special
offers to figure out your savings. Finish by calculating the local sales tax to find the final price. Print the Calculate the Cost worksheet here.
8. Go grocery shopping
Healthy and nourishing food is one of the most important things we spend our money on. Give kids some practice with this skill using free printables from Fun With Mama. Parents can follow up by taking their kids to the store to help them shop for dinner!
9. Explore spending, saving, and giving
Being responsible with money means making choices about how much to spend on stuff you want or need, save for the future, and give away to worthy causes. The Spending, Saving, and Giving lesson gives kids practice making those choices.
10. DIY some Spend, Save, and Give jars
Spend, Save, and Give jars are an upgrade to the traditional savings bank. Learn how to make your own set using upcycled jars from JOANN.
11. Post a financial literacy word wall
Fill a wall in your classroom with terms kids need to know as they learn about money skills. You can buy a set from Scaffolded Math or make your own.
12. Use online interactive flashcards
13. Set up a class store
Reward kids in the classroom with “money” to spend on items like homework passes or small toys. Learn how it works from Hands-On Teaching Ideas.
14. Build a budget
Managing money means learning to create and stay within a budget. The Plans and Goals lesson gives upper elementary students a chance to try it out.
Grades 6-8 Money Skills
At this age, kids are ready to start learning more advanced money skills. They can create their own budgets and save real money for the future.
15. Make an Accountability Binder
For kids who receive an allowance, a binder like this can help them keep track of their responsibilities and budget their cash. Learn more at 30 Days.
16. Play the Bang For Your Buck game
Middle school students can learn and have fun at the same time as they move a shopping bag through the mall and make the best purchasing decisions. Play it here!
17. Craft a pretend ATM
Build an ATM from cardboard that really dispenses money when you swipe a card! This is a great way to teach real-life skills. Learn how to make your own from EHC Gear on YouTube.
18. Find out where your allowance goes
This simple game is free to print and play, and it will help kids understand how quickly money can disappear if you’re not careful. Get Whoa! Where Did My Allowance Go? here.
19. Take the 52-Week Saving Challenge
Try this activity with kids who get an allowance or earn some extra cash by babysitting or mowing lawns. Each week, you save a little more, and by the end of the year, you have several hundred dollars! Get the Money Saving Challenge printables from Momdot.
20. Save With a Purpose
Put kids’ money skills to good use with this smart project. Students form a club to raise and save money to donate to a charitable cause. Find the Saving With a Purpose activity here.