‘The Jelly Bean Game’ is a fun way to teach kids about money. Helping kids and teens learn how to manage a budget is so important and this money management game makes it easy to understand!
Hey y’all! I am so excited to share this today. I was asked to teach a lesson to teens about money and how to manage a budget recently, and I immediately knew it couldn’t just be a lecture. We needed a good hands-on budgeting game that we could play, so that the kids could practice budgeting and managing money.
This activity went over so well. The teenagers actually told me they felt like they understood how to make their own budget and manage one, when before lessons on that had just gone right over their heads!
I have been budgeting and personal finance nerd since college. When I was given a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover as a wedding gift, it changed my life. Jessica and I even started this blog, first and foremost, as a way to share our budgeting tips and ways that we saved money on every day things!
Check out some of our popular budgeting posts: Basic Budgeting with Printable Worksheets, How to Save Money on Utilities, and Tips for Hosting Guests on a Budget.
Of course, not everyone finds budgeting exciting, but it doesn’t have to be scary. I’ve found that making it fun and interesting is the key to teaching kids about these principles. Plus, if they understand it now, it will come more easily to them when they get older, and they can start their adulthood off on the right track.
Teaching Kids How to Manage a Budget
I found this game called ‘The Bean Game’ that has been used in finance classes at universities. I loved the concept, but it was outdated (options for renting VHS tapes and having only a landline phone service.) So, I designed something similar that would make sense to teens today.
We played this game after giving a short presentation about the basics of what budgeting actually is, and why it’s important. We gave the kids 20 jelly beans each, and they had to figure out how to cover living expenses, both needs AND wants, with the 20 bean per month salary.
There are boxes for the super necessary living expenses, like housing, transportation, and insurance. There are also boxes for savings, charity, furniture, gifts, clothes and laundry, entertainment, etc!
One of my friends who was there at our activity took it home and played it with his family too! His kids are all 8 years and under, but he said they enjoyed it. They simplified it a little bit, and their kids totally understood the concepts.
I feel so passionate about this subject, so hearing this kind of feedback is the best! If you use this for a youth activity, school lesson, or just at home to teach kids about money, please come back and let me know how it goes!
How to Play the Jelly Bean Game
This game is free for PERSONAL use. Copyright © Pretty Providence 2019.
Click Here to Print the Jelly Bean Game
Plan on about 30 minutes to play this game, including discussion time. If you have a lot of kids playing, break them up into pairs or groups of three to work together. If there are just a few, they can play on their own. Each kid or group will need their own set of worksheets and a snack bag filled with 20 jelly beans.
What you Need
Printed Copies of The Jelly Bean Game
Print copies of The Jelly Bean Game, either one per person or enough so that kids can do it in small groups of two or three.
Fill snack bags with 20 jelly beans each.
Read instructions on the first page of the Jelly Bean Game and discuss the questions after each round.
I hope you love this game as much as we do! For more budgeting tips and ideas, check out our budget page.
The Jelly Bean Game
- Printed Copies of The Jelly Bean Game
- Snack Bags
- Jelly Beans
- Print copies of The Jelly Bean Game, either one per person or enough so that kids can do it in small groups of two or three.
- Fill snack bags with 20 jelly beans each.
- Read instructions on the first page of the Jelly Bean Game and discuss the questions after each round.
OMG! I was just about to make my own updated version of the old outdated one (by Iowa State or whatever!) and found yours! You’re a godsend to this teacher! <3
Yay!!! Makes our day to hear that! Good luck!
Jonathan T Fenwick
Has anyone done this with M&M’s or Skittles?
Yes, that should work great!
I can’t wait to use this with my Girl Scout Troop!!! Part of cookie season is teaching them financial responsibility and this will be great for my multi-level troop!!!
Oh my gosh that is perfect Teresa! They are lucky to have you for a leader!
Great idea! Thank you!
I love this idea! And you can eat your tools when you’re done :)
I love this idea! So many kids today have no clue about money, this is such a fun and easy way to introduce it to them in a way they can understand.
I can’t wait to play this with my kids. I have a teen who just graduated from high school and is off to college. I think it’ll help him understand what I’ve been trying to teach him. Thanks!
Accountability and responsibility are so important! Great way to teach the kids while having fun :)