One of the perks of being a kid is not having any monetary responsibility, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help our young ones learn financial planning and literacy. Giving your tykes a head start on the basics such as earning, spending, saving and even investing will help to instill good financial habits for the future. When your children learn exactly what it takes to earn $5, it will help them to think twice before spending, as well as providing a sense of gratitude for all that you provide for them. Here are some of our favorite finance lessons for kids that incorporate STEAM to make it educational and fun.
Giving your kids money might be a great way to teach them to save, but if you want them to learn to earn, then give them their allowance based on chores done that week. This becomes an even more fun activity when you pretend to “hire” them and give them their “paycheck” every week. By earning their own money, they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, which will motivate them to strive for financial success in the future.
Go beyond the piggy bank, and create different jars for depositing money. You can make three different jars: spend, save, give. A clear jar works best so that even the youngest ones can physically see where their money is going. Because kids as young as 3 understand basic economic concepts, you can start them early on this one, to help instill the importance of balancing their earned monies.
Whether it’s with pretend or real money, having your kids set up their own business is a great way to teach them financial skills. Have them buy supplies and set up a lemonade or bakery stand outside. They’ll learn the economics of cost versus profit, and what it takes to make a profit worthwhile. For younger ones, playing restaurant at home with playsets and fake food is a simpler way to start teaching them the same principles.
The U.S Mint has an incredible resource for kids online with games and interactive activities intended to inspire financial literacy in kids. There’s even a section on coin collecting and how it can become a fun and educational hobby. With coloring pages, videos, and games for all ages, it’s easy to stay entertained for hours while learning the value of $5.
Kids learn by seeing and doing, so if you want them to learn about financial responsibility and savings, take them straight to the source. Encourage them to be curious and ask questions. You can even have them open their own bank account, which opens up the door to teaching them interest and investing. If you feel it’s appropriate, there are many debit cards made exclusively for kids that offer them limited access to funds.
Our job as parents is to prepare our children for the future, so investing your time in financially fun activities can directly contribute to their future quality of life - and that’s something you can bank on.
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