Financial Literacy Courses, Games, and Books for Youth

by Julia McDonald on 21 Apr, 2022

Motivating and engaging students in school can be challenging, especially when the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and summer break feels oh so close. However, if math teacher Jasmine Brown's testimony shows us anything, it’s that students will tune in when they hear the word “money.”




“Where do we learn about money?” Good question. The short answer: anywhere! With the help of the courses, games, and books we’ve listed below, you can engage your students in fun financial lessons and learning in the classroom, at home, or on the go.



  • Boost student engagement by making the most of your students’ money-mindedness with fun financial literacy activities:
  • According to financial literacy experts, the ideal time to begin teaching personal finance is ASAP. So what are you waiting for? Check out these resources today!



Free Classroom Courses


Online courses and modules are a great way to increase self-led learning. Not only can students learn at their own pace, but they can also begin by exploring topics that interest them. Talk about an easy way to increase student engagement! Thanks to all of the free courses and modules listed below, your students can choose from a wide variety of financial topics, such as banking, saving, investing, taxes and more! 


1. Your Financial Toolkit




Thanks to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, your students can access 12 free, interactive modules that will equip them with the tools they need to be financially fluent. These modules begin by helping students build financial foundations and then introduce them to more complex topics like mortgages, insurance, and income tax. 


2. ChatterHigh




Looking for a gamified approach to make financial foundations fun? Then check out the two financial literacy courses by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada freely available on our platform! Specifically created for youth, the first course introduces students in Grades 6 to 12 to money management and budgeting basics. The second course, Managing My Money After High School, is designed to prepare high school students for the financial realities and responsibilities they will soon encounter. Topics include starting your first job, paying taxes, renting your first apartment, debt and borrowing, student financial supports, and more.


Want to audit the course content? Then download the booklets or create your free account today and start exploring the courses!



3. Hands on Banking




Students of all ages need to learn about money. Thankfully, Hands on Banking offers a selection of financial courses for students in elementary, middle, and high school. Courses for elementary students are taught by a friendly, green alien, while high school lessons are more involved and feature videos, text, and interactive question components.



4. OppU



Here's an opportunity to easily teach your students about spending, budgeting, credit, and debt through virtual video lessons. Broken into bite-size pieces, each lesson features a short video (approximately 3 to 5 minutes long) with the transcript below. Students can then check their learning by completing the “Test Your Knowledge” quizzes on the different topics.



Fun and Free Financial Games


blog_CTA_wideFree online games are a great way to boost student engagement. To check out three of our favorite financial literacy games, see our blog post on free financial literacy activities for youth.


However, with so many great games available, we thought we'd update our list by adding a few more here, including some from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.




1. Activities by The Mint




Welcome to Recognized by the American Library Association as a Great Web Site for Kids, you’ll find a variety of money-related games for kids and teens. The activities on the site cover topics like earning, saving, spending, tracking, investing, and more! You’ll find quizzes, calculators, and other activities that will help your students learn financial fundamentals, such as the rule of 72, as well as gain insight into their own financial habits and dispositions. 



2. How Money Smart Are You?




The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has put together a fantastic collection of 14 different financial literacy games that cover the following topics: earning, spending, saving, borrowing, and protecting. Complete with a glossary of terms and a summary page of key takeaways, this website offers hours' worth of activity.



3. Financial Football


Fancy a way to engage the football fans in your class? Then check out this fantastic game for students ages 11 and up! Students get to compete as their favorite football team by answering questions covering financial topics like identity theft, financial institutions, budgeting, and saving. With three levels of play for different age groups and the option to select a 5-, 10-, 20-, or 30-minute game, Financial Football flexibly fits into your class schedule. Bonus: you can even access PDFs of the lesson modules! Don’t want to download the game? Access the online version here.




4. Banzai


Students ages 8 and up can find a financial game fit for them on Banzai. With Banzai Junior, students ages 8 to 12 must apply money management skills to successfully run a lemonade stand, while Banzai Teen offers students ages 12 to 18 the opportunity to practice forming financial plans for post-secondary. Banzai Plus even offers students ages 16 and up the chance to plan for other financial realities beyond college and university fees, such as managing their credit, applying for a mortgage and more. Create your free account to learn more.



Books You Can Bank On


Our list of financial literacy resources simply wouldn’t be complete without mentioning books. Even with all the great online resources, books still offer a fantastic way for students to learn the basics of banking and budgeting. Not to mention reading books helps students improve other forms of literacy at the same time!


1. Kid’s Activity Book on Money and Finance




Looking for a book for beginners? This activity book, complete with over 40 quizzes and puzzles, is a great place to start! The colorful illustrations and activities mean students will be engaged as they read and complete activities within the 10 chapters, which cover everything from what money is to how to save, spend, share, borrow, and grow it!



2. Comics




Another kid-friendly resource, you can find two fantastic financial comic adventures complete with accompanying activities. Students can read about their favorite Marvel characters all while learning about personal finance. And did we mention that the comics and their activities are freely available online?



3. Investing for Kids: How to Save, Invest and Grow Money




A great read for students ages 8 to 12, Investing for Kids is a colorful, engaging chapter book complete with money-savvy superheroes: Mr. Finance and Investing Woman. With 7 chapters and a glossary of keywords, students can easily learn where money comes from and how to invest it. 



4. The Money Club: A Teenage Guide to Financial Literacy




Fiction and finance blend together beautifully in this reader-friendly, 188-page novel for students ages 13 to 17. Inspired by her own experience, high school math teacher and author Jasmine Brown writes of how she began a money club in her school to inspire and teach students basic financial principles. Not only will your students gain valuable financial knowledge, but they’ll also enjoy reading the story from both the student and teacher perspectives.



5. I Want More Pizza: Real World Money Skills For High School, College, And Beyond




Praised by parents, financial planners, and educators alike, this book uses a “pizza model” to teach money management. This easily digestible, 108-page book breaks financial principles down into four bite-size slices: You, Saving, Growing Your Savings, and Debt. Not to mention the author’s personal story of losing all his savings in the preface is sure to pique students’ interest.





With the right resources, it’s never too early to begin teaching students about personal finance. In fact, most financial literacy experts agree that the best time to begin teaching financial literacy is as soon as possible. The need is urgent but the supports are plentiful. With a variety of free, online activities and courses, not to mention some good reads, you can easily find what you need to equip your students for future financial success!


Looking for more ideas on how to bring financial literacy into the classroom? Check out these 7 ways to teach financial planning.


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