Teaching children about money, early, is key to their financial independence in the future. Parents and teachers can do a lot of things at home or in the classroom to teach these concepts. The use of games, giving to charity and saving our key factors in preparing them to become financially responsible young adult. Here are 4 Fun Activities to Teach Kids the Value of Money.
A quick and easy way for kids to begin to understand the concept of money and its value is through the use of games. Monopoly and Payday are the obvious choices to get hands-on with money but online games like Adventure Capitalists can also be a great way for kids to learn about money management. The United States Mint even has an entire website full of games that help teach these concepts.
Collecting hobbies can also be a great way to show the value of money itself. Quarter books, collectible coins, and rare paper money can be found by looking through change. Getting them a collector’s guide so that they can go through the different years on the currency can be a lot of fun and quite the challenge.
It never hurts to get kids involved in charitable efforts early. This is a terrific way to show the value of money because you can actually watch that money work. Parents can show kids how the money that’s donated to a shelter, food bank, or other organization translates to a variety of opportunities to benefit the less fortunate.
Allowing the kids the chance to be involved in the selection of the charity can be extremely healthy on their empathy skills as well. Once the donation is made, volunteering time to see just how useful that money is can lead to a lifetime worth of giving down the road. They may even branch out on their own and begin to fundraise for causes they support independently.
The Piggy Bank
Nothing helps kids learn about money management more quickly than a piggy bank. There is nothing like taking change and popping it into a piggy bank. Hearing the clink of the metal bounce around is an exciting sound for children. Watching their savings grow can lead to profound realizations for children as they get older.
A lot of kids get allowances and put it into their piggy banks. This is a great idea, however, it does little to show the value of money. Money should be tied to work–you do the job, you get paid. This is no different for children. If they complete a job, they receive compensation. This places a value on the money that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to receive.
Be the Role Model
Kids naturally want to mimic adults–it’s part of their learning process. Being financially literate yourself is key to raising a financially literate child. Parents should model the value of money to their kids, always. Two quick ways to model this are by using cash rather than a debit card when appropriate to show financial exchanges and saving change in a clear change jar or bin to show savings.
Getting children involved in the process is also a key to their understanding of money. Before heading out to the store, talk to your kids about what you plan on buying, how much it will cost, and how much you are bringing. If the child is ready for the responsibility, you can also allow them to pay for transactions using the cash. This allows them to see the trade with a personal touch.