Financial literacy is important, especially for preparing our kids for adulthood. Money & finances conversations with kids use to be “taboo”, but that created a generation of ill-equipped adults. With so much information nowadays, we can teach our children how to have a successful future. Parents aren’t always sure when or how to talk about money with their kids, but we can make learning about money fun while building decent financial skills.
Financial Literacy for Kids | Fun Leadership Skills Series
If you haven’t ordered your copy of The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey, make sure you do so you can follow along with the leadership skills we will be covering over the next 7 months.
Let’s be clear, there’s no magic way to teach kids about money because every child learns in their own unique way. In this post, we will focus on the basics of understanding money. From here, we will dive even further throughout the month to create a strong sense of financial literacy. Surprising enough, though, that’s not our only goal through this new series. Hopefully, you’ll find that you’re spending some amazing quality time in the process!
Get the change out!
Between the ages of 3-5 years old, children can start learning to identify coins and their values. I prefer to use real coins (quarter, dime, nickel, and penny). Show them one coin at a time and tell them the name of it. Letting them hold it and look at it is a great hands-on activity. While they are examining it tell them how much it’s worth. This could be a terrific activity to do a couple times a day.
That costs how much?
This is an excellent visual activity. I know I learn easier seeing things, rather than just being told something. Set up a small grocery store with prices on different items like a banana, an apple, a toy car, etc. Price the items in the coin denominations (25¢, 10¢, 5¢ and 1¢). Ask your child which item costs “x” amount. After a few turns, you can be the shopper! It’s a great way to interact and learn together!
How to make money?
It may surprise you, but children have a hard time understanding where the money comes from. Yes, we wish it did grow on trees, but unfortunately. it doesn’t. Ask them if they know where mommy or daddy works. If they know, then tell them about your job and by doing all those things is how you make money. This is a wonderful opportunity to talk to your child about what they want to be when they grow up. Talk about different jobs and what tasks go with each job and that is how they will earn money.
But I want THAT!
Yes, I want that too, but it will have to wait. Have you tried telling your child that and get a response that sounds like it’s the end of their world? Yup, so have I! Here are a couple easier ways to handle this topic. Anytime you are at the park or in line somewhere you must wait your turn, discuss why waiting your turn is important. This is a skillful start on learning patience for something they are really wanting! Another suggestion is teaching them every time you go out shopping, it doesn’t mean they get something. Before you leave, for example, say, “We are going shopping to get grandma a birthday present!” That way they can understand that you are shopping, but not for them.
As a parent, it’s our responsibility to raise and teach our children how we would want to be raised and taught. If you don’t do it, someone else will… is that a risk you’re willing to take? The quality time spent with your child teaching and interacting with them is the best skill you can pass on to them.
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