Hi Money Masters,
Last year, I wrote about teaching children the importance of properly handling money. When children learn how to make good financial decisions and develop healthy financial habits at a young age it will follow them throughout their adult lives.
Since it is now summer break, what better time is there to expand on that conversation? So, I want all my Money Master parents and grandparents to grab a pen and take notes! The trick here is to make learning about money FUN and INTERESTING. I’m sure there are a lot of other activities the kids would rather be doing on their summer vacation. That’s why we need to stress the importance of this topic in a kid-friendly way.
Books can be a great way to teach money to kids. Make an adventure out of a trip to the library and hunt for both fiction stories with interesting characters and colorful pictures as well as non-fiction books that explain how money is made or has interesting facts about different money around the world. When you are reading try to make the characters fun by using silly voices and have a discussion about the book when it’s finished. Here are a few “classics” to start with:
“The Berenstain Bears, Trouble with Money” by Stan and Jan Berenstain
“One Cent, Two Cent, Old Cent, New Cent” by Dr. Seuss
“Arthur’s Funny Money” by Lillian Hoban
SHOW AND TELL
Have kids think of times when they did something to earn money and times they spent their own money (like from a birthday or allowance) and ask them to talk about that experience. How did it make them feel? They can even act it out! This activity will be a great starting point for the adults to discuss the importance of earning and saving. It also provides a stepping stone for the development of healthy attitudes towards money.
You, as the adult, can also have a chance to show and tell by taking a field trip to the bank. Let the kids see you transact financial business and let them ask questions or open their own savings account.
ART AND ROLE-PLAY
What do children like to do most? Play and get messy! Bring out the paints and brushes, crayons and markers, glue, stickers, etc. Some kids learn better by being “hands-on” instead of verbally expressing himself or herself. Let them draw or paint or craft the financial lesson. They could trace coins and make their own design on them while you explain the different amounts or history of money.
Role-playing can also be super fun. Playing store or restaurant, or even bank with play money, helps bring these financial concepts to life for them. For older kids, Monopoly is a great resource.
Teaching financial topics to kids should be implemented in a way that suits their various developmental levels. Something as simple as hearing the plunking of coins being dropped into a piggy bank can be a catalyst for starting a conversation with them about money. Try different approaches and have fun. You will feel confident that they are on the right track to having a positive relationship with money as they grow older.
Blessings to you all,