Learning the art of managing one’s money is not limited to adults. It’s also a subject that must be addressed with kids. If you’re looking to get your little one’s engaged after school, whilst learning some new, why not teach your preschoolers about money through fun and engaging activities. These will also teach them a few important life lessons on the way!
Why Money Parenting Is Important?
Some parents may wonder if preschoolers are too young to be learning about money. It’s never too early really, so long as they are old enough to know that coins aren’t sweets! Jokes aside, if you think your preschoolers are too young for money parenting activities, you might want to think again.
According to Forbes, “Children as young as three years old can grasp financial concepts like saving and spending”. And a report by researchers at the University of Cambridge revealed that “kids’ money habits are formed by age 71.” So, the sooner you start to teach your preschoolers about money, the better it is. Don’t forget that as parents, you are the top influence on your child’s financial habits and behaviour!
Money is a critical skill for your child to survive and thrive in today’s world. As such, it is vital to their future well-being so never too early to start and if you haven’t, it’s never too late either2.
Teach Your Preschoolers About Money: Try These 7 Fun Money Parenting Activities
Colourful Money Rubbings!
Children do not really understand the value of money, especially when it comes to coins. But soon enough they will be heading on to primary school where they will be using coins. To help them get started on identifying the different types of coins and their value, get them to do this simple activity.
Place the coins underneath the paper and rub the crayon over the surface. Use a different colour for each coin size.
This game will keep them interested and it is also a sensory experience. They can then start to identify the different coloured coins and their value. If they have older siblings, they can help by writing the value next to each coin.
As an extension of the earlier activity, and to further let them understand the different values of the coins, get a big piece of cardboard and create pockets. Label each pocket with the value of the coin and get them to sort out coins accordingly. For a start, they can start identifying them according to sizes then progress to associating the size with the value.
Use coins to make caterpillars to add some craft and creative fun! Arrange coins in wiggly lines then draw or paste legs and antennae to make ‘coin caterpillars’. It might be good to use the same type of coin for each caterpillar and then slowly get them to add the value. For they younger ones, you could do something like how many 5cent caterpillars make 50cents, how many 20cent caterpillars make $1 and so on… the possibilities are endless!
Money Parenting Through Stories?
Children love stories and there’s no better time than the holidays to bond with them over stories. You can use stories such as ‘The Rice Story’ or ‘The Chessboard Story’ to teach the theory of exponential doubling, which is a great way to introduce them to the value of compounding interest.
Get creative and make them act it out or even come up with their own story about money!
Plant the Seeds of Saving
This can be a money parenting activity, a Science lesson and a lesson on responsibility all at once. Get your child to plant a packet of seed and tend to the new plants. If you have older kids who have started learning Science in school, they can guide their siblings on caring for the plants.
At the same time, get them to start depositing coins in a piggy bank. Let them watch their plant and savings grow together. Then take the opportunity to explain to them that just like the plant, finances need regular attention too and that they start small and grow bigger!
Children don’t think too much about where or how money appears. As far as they are concerned, it’s just there. This is a great way to introduce them to the idea of earning money. Get them to set up an ice-cream stand and use their toys to sell ice cream and some treats. If you are braver, use real ice cream and let them sell scoops. You and the older siblings can be the customers. It’s creative, fun and yummy (if you allow actual ice-cream) and they learn the value of earning a dollar!
Trip to the Grocery Store
Kids love an outing to the grocery store. Given that many parents are moving to online shopping, this is getting increasingly rare. So allow them the simple joy of pushing the cart and reaching for things on shelves.
At the same, take them through the process of creating a list and introduce them to the idea of shopping within a budget. Take this chance to teach them about impulse buying and having a plan. Also, for a change, don’t pay with your card. Instead, use actual notes and coins so that they can see how these work in real life!
So, you see, it’s not actually hard to teach teach your preschoolers about money. It can be really fun as well. Try these activities and along the way, you can come up with your own games and ways to teach them. They are going to primary school real soon and as such, will be starting to handle money. Start them right so they have awareness and the right attitude towards money from a young age!
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