It’s never too early to begin teaching kids about money. Responsible money management is a vital skill they will carry throughout their lives. However, the subject isn’t always the most entertaining, especially for younger children. Many find it dull or have difficulty understanding the concepts.
Fortunately, there are many fun and engaging ways to educate your child about money. All it takes is a little time and some creativity.
1. Playing Games
Think back to your childhood and the many board games that helped you understand how money works. Games like Monopoly and The Game of LIFE introduce young people to budgeting, saving, and investing through an enjoyable and tangible experience.
Today, game makers offer “Junior” versions of these games, allowing even younger children to partake in the fun. But it’s not just board games that deliver beneficial money management skills. Countless online games, such as ABC Mouse, can introduce your child to age-appropriate money concepts. Any opportunity to educate your child about money through fun and engaging games is a win.
2. Role Playing
As a parent of a young child, you’ll likely spend a lot of time in their play kitchen or store. Use these moments to introduce the concept of money.
Create a menu with your child and assign prices. Then, give your child play money to use. They can practice counting coins and giving change as you order food. After a while, reverse the roles. Allow your child to be the customer and use their money to buy different items.
3. Visiting the Grocery Store
The grocery store is a great place to teach children about money – and why they can’t add everything they want to the cart. Before you visit the store, create a list of the items you plan to buy and set a budget. Then, work with your child to find everything on the list. Show them how to compare prices and find the best deals. Finally, have them list all the costs of items that you place in the cart. They can keep a running total to ensure you don’t exceed your budget.
4. Operating a Lemonade Stand
A lemonade stand is a classic way for kids to learn about money. Set up a lemonade stand with your child and put them in charge of pricing and selling drinks. If you have multiple children or friends who want to join in, even better. Working as a group is an excellent way to build problem-solving skills as they provide change to customers and fulfill their orders.
Kids get experience counting money, giving change, and managing costs. Plus, they’ll earn money they can add to their savings jar.
5. Creating a Savings Jar
Savings jars and piggy banks are popular among kids because younger children tend to be visual learners. First, find a jar or container that your child could use. Then, allow them to decorate it. You want it to be something special to them. Lastly, find a place to store it where they can see it often.
Every time they receive money from their allowance or as gifts, have them put a portion into their savings jar. As the jar fills up, discuss their progress, and begin to set savings goals with them.
6. Earning an Allowance
Providing your child with opportunities to earn money weekly or monthly is a win-win for them. First, it gives them access to cash to buy the things they want. Second, it instills a work ethic, teaching the importance of working hard to earn rewards.
As a parent, you love your child and want the best for them. So, giving in and buying them things is easy when they ask. However, teaching them the importance of earning and saving money is a crucial skill that will significantly impact their future.
7. Opening an Account at the Credit Union
Once your child begins to understand the basic concepts of money, stop by, and open an account for them at the credit union. It’s a fun experience that introduces them to another side of money management. Most feel proud knowing they have an official account, just like their parents!
We’re Here to Help!
It’s never too early to teach your child money-management skills. Look for creative ways to introduce them to money. Then, challenge them to achieve financial goals, such as saving for a specific toy. The lessons you teach today will have a tremendous impact down the road.
If you’re interested in opening Freedom DashTM Youth Savings Account for your child, please stop by any of our convenient branch locations. We always enjoy welcoming young members to the credit union.