Like addition and subtraction, money is another basic math concept that young kids should grasp as it will impact them in and out of the classroom. Teaching kids about money will help them build a strong foundation of financial literacy and help them see how they can apply math in everyday life. Read on for some fun, easy, and practical ways to teach kids about the basics of finance!
Hide learning in games
No matter how old you are, games can be a great way to have fun while gaining knowledge! Here are a few ideas for games that allow for teachable moments:
- Online games: Education.com’s entertaining money math games allow kids to practice practical skills such as identifying coins and adding currency. Additionally, Education.com is sharing a free math game and Guided Lesson each week in April to help learners boost their math skills this Math Month!
- DIY games: For some offline money math fun, consider making a coin toss or playing money tic-tac-toe.
- Board games: Popular board games like Monopoly and The Game of Life are a fun way to start a conversation about financial decisions.
Many kids love to play pretend, but running an imaginary store or restaurant in your living room is more than just a way to have fun and be creative. By giving children opportunities to exchange money for goods, they will understand the transactional value of money. If you don’t have Monopoly money handy, try using coloring pages or designing fake bills with your learner for an easy way to be extra creative!
Host a yard sale
A garage sale is not only a great way to declutter your home but also a low-stakes opportunity for kids to gain experience with handling real dollar bills. With some supervision, allow your child to help you set prices, count change, and even haggle with customers during your next yard sale! This experience will help them learn about exchanging money while building social skills and gaining responsibility.
While grocery shopping might seem like a mundane activity to you, it can be another easy way to show kids the value of money. Take your child on a trip to the store and challenge them to see how many items they can put into their shopping cart while staying under budget. Use this supermarket activity to teach them to compare prices, set budgets, and discuss the difference between wants and needs.
Consider an allowance
After experiencing the purchasing power of money, your kids will likely ask for more money to spend. However, instead of simply giving cash to them when asked, help them learn that money doesn’t grow on trees. For example, you can reward children for getting good grades or completing weekly chores to reinforce the idea that money needs to be earned through hard work.
If you’re not keen on paying your child for doing chores at home, consider encouraging them to earn money in other ways. Depending on their age, kids can babysit, help out a neighbor, or sell baked goods at community events. No matter how small their income, they’ll start to learn to cherish the value of money and make smarter financial decisions!
If your kids are given an allowance or have a source of income, it’s only natural to discuss how they plan on spending their money. No matter how old your child is, it’s a good idea to start a habit of saving money, whether it’s in a piggy bank or in a savings account. Be sure to provide real-life examples of why saving is necessary, such as long-term goals and emergencies.
For more age-appropriate resources on teaching children about finances, explore Education.com’s learning library!