Updated: Mar 31, 2021
Penny. Nickel. Quarter. Or a Dime. “A” starts the alphabet so be on time! For many, that was the extent of their financial education as kids. Luckily times are changing and adults are finally recognizing the importance of teaching kids about money. Research shows that the sooner a child is taught to earn, save, invest, and give, the more likely they will be to develop positive money habits as adults.
What is Money?
Before an adult can teach a child about managing money they must first educate them on what money is, how it's used, and how it's acquired. Money is simply "a current medium of exchange in the form of coins and banknotes." It is used to exchange goods and services and is acquired by doing work for someone else in exchange for an agreed upon payment in the form of cash or a check and/or by creating a product or service that is sold to others.
Basic Money Management Concepts
Once a child understands the concept of money and how it is used then they will be ready to dive into the fun and engaging games and activities that are found in The Fin Lit Kids Activity Box. The Fin Lit Kids Activity Box includes:
Fin Lit Kids Flash Cards w/Play Coins
Included in The Fin Lit Kids Money Box is the first set of our Coins flashcards. This set is designed to help kids name and identify the value of the four most used US Coins and recognize the different attributes of each coin along with its value relative to other coins. Our flashcards are also designed to help kids connect the value of the coins to real numbers making it easier for them to count money. The play coins offers a safe way for kids to interact with money.
Encourage your child to look closely at each coin from front to back, so that they notice the similarities and differences between each coin. Have them sort, count, and group the coins into piles. Hold up a flashcard and ask them to pick the coin they see on the flashcard from the piles they created. Always remember to ask your child questions! This will help your become more comfortable with identifying coins and gain a better understanding money.
A few examples of questions that an adult could ask are:
· How many piles did you make?
· How many pennies, nickels, dimes or quarters are in the pile? “
· Which coin is the biggest?
· Which Coin is the smallest?
· How many pennies equals two cents?
Activity Book w/Crayons:
When a child has the opportunity to color it helps stimulate their creativity and promotes self-expression. Coloring also develops focus, which is a skill that is important for completing task and setting goals like saving. Combining coloring with stories that have important messages like money management is a fun way to introduce complex topics like saving, investing, and buying power to young kids. The text and illustrations in our activity book, Madison’s 1st Dollar, come together to present new ideas and possibilities about how a child could spend their money.
Match Card Game:
Our Fin Lit Kids match card game is a fun activity that allows for individual and group play. Matching and memory games train visual memory, help to classify objects that are grouped by similar traits, increase attention to detail, and improve concentration. Asking questions while playing the game with kids helps support language development and critical thinking.
A few examples of question an adult could ask are:
· Do you know what coin(s) is on the cards you matched?
· How many coins do you see on the cards?
· This jar says save; do you know what it means to save?
· There is a house on this card; do you think you need money to buy a house?
The money jar system is often a child’s first introduction to budgeting. Using clear jars gives kids the opportunity to watch their money grow. While the complete set of Fin Lit Kids money jars includes four jars for saving, spending, investing, and Giving, we recommend starting kids off with the Save and Spend jars. A popular quote by Warren Buffet says “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving,” which is often the opposite what people do when creating a budget. Learning to save before spending prevents overspending, helps individuals determine how much they need to earn to support their spending needs, and ensures financial stability by encouraging individuals to save for a rainy day. We encourage adults to help kids develop the habits of saving before spending before introducing them to investing and giving to others.