Be a Master Money Builder!

Money Builders is a one-day camp with a Lego theme. At our library, this program was created for the children of refugees, although it could be a great program for any child.

Through games and discussion, children learn about needs versus wants, the importance of saving, why using banks is important, and what things cost. Participants were given Money Builders t-shirts, a Lego key chain, a savings jar, and lunch. At the conclusion of the camp, they watched The Lego Movie.

Advanced Planning

Determine if you want to target a specific population or keep the camp open to the general public. The Maplewood branch of the Rochester Public Library is the home base for our refugee community, so it was not difficult to identify children to participate as they are at the library every day.


Because children participants were selected by the New Americans librarian at the Maplewood Branch, there was no need for marketing.

If your library has a children's librarian, you can easily use word-of-mouth promotion to kids and their parents. No wide marketing is needed since it's better to keep this program small. I would recommend capping the number of participants at 12.


For the Lego Master Money Builder theme, we purchased Lego-themed key chains ($6 each), customized T-shirts, savings jars, and materials to decorate Monopoly Junior for each group of four (approximately $13). For lunch, we budgeted for pizza, soft drinks and cookies

To cut costs, you can do without the key chains, custom t-shirts and kids can bring their own lunch.

Day-of-event Activity

Three adults facilitated the program; one librarian and two from our partner organization, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester.

On the day of the program, we set up tables and chairs in a square or U-shape.

We followed this schedule:

  1. Welcome and introductions
  2. Why banks are important
  3. Needs versus wants
  4. The importance of savings
  5. Create savings jars (have each participant share what they are saving for)
  6. The Price is Right game - split into teams and have each team guess the price of everyday items. The winning team gets to line up first for lunch.
  7. Lunch break
  8. Monopoly Junior game
  9. Conclude the program and watch the movie.

Program Execution

We had 12 participants total. The children were highly motivated because, as refugees, they often serve as interpreters for their parents when it comes to banking or other transactions. A vast majority of the children identified that they were saving for college.

Only two had more short-term savings goals and wanted to buy a gaming console.

Research shows that it takes two generations for families to go from "unbanked" to "banked." One of the goals of this program was to speed up that process and expose the children to these concepts and why it is important to use banks. The unbanked are often robbed because they carry or store cash. Feedback was provided by the participants and they reported having fun.


Avoid the terminology of "piggy bank" as pigs are offensive to some groups.

Supporting Materials