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Introducing Kids to Money

With more and more people using credit and debit cards, kids are not seeing money in the same way that we did when we were children. What are some ways that we can introduce kids to money and the concept of currency?

Introducing Kids to Money : Mommy Moment

Here are some suggestions:

  • Counting. One of the first things that we can do with our children from a young age is count. Count things around us, count favorite toys, count windows in the house, etc. Once children understand the concept of counting we can count by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. I think the key is to make it enjoyable and incorporate into everyday life.
  • Allowance. We believe that since our children are a part of the family unit, they have jobs they must do…without pay. Our 3 year old is responsible for setting her place at the table and helping dust the furniture. Our 6 year old is responsible for making her bed, clearing the table after supper and keeping her room neat. If our girls complete their “family” jobs they are able to do extra jobs for a small allowance. By earning money our girls are learning the value of the money they earn. Our 6 year old divides her money into savings (which she deposits into her own bank account), her spending money and her “giving jar”.  We have fun counting the money and making a game out of the different ways we can make certain amounts of money. I remember the first time it really clicked for her that 10 pennies were the same as 2 nickels, which is the same as one dime.
  • Grocery shopping. Comparing prices in the grocery store has also become a fun game of leaning the value of money. Pointing out how similar products have different prices gets my daughter excited about going to the grocery store. It is fun to cut up old flyers and make a craft activity about currency. One side of the paper has items under $5.00 and the other side has prices over $5.00. I’m amazed at how quickly kids can learn the concepts if given the opportunity to practice the skills at home.
  • Playing games. Playing games such as Monopoly Junior, SkipBo, Trouble, etc all reinforce counting which  helps kids when it comes time to counting money. Having fun and learning together go hand in hand.
  • Being an example. I feel as parents it is important for us to be wise with our money. Explaining that when we go out to eat, buy new clothes or toys that it costs money. It is important for kids to see that we work for our money. I also think it is good for our kids to see that we can not always purchase everything we want and show them that if we have $20 we can buy this item or that item, but not both.

How do you help your children learn the concept of money?

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Tuesday 11th of October 2011

I want to start doing the saving, spending, giving jars with my kids. I have a question -- if they want to save up for something "big" (ie: a camera or a dsi) is that considered saving or spending? Or is saving meant for long term things like college or a car?

Mommy Moment

Tuesday 11th of October 2011

Chelsey, Great question. We actually have 2 saving accounts for each of the girls. 10-15% of what they put into savings goes into a "Do Not Touch" type account that is a savings for College/car etc. The rest of the money goes into their regular savings account which they can use to save up for items they really want like a camera etc. My husband and I contribute a small amount to the "Do Not Touch" account each month also. Hope that helps, thanks for the comment! Jody