As featured on SammyRabbit.com
In the previous installments we learned some valuable lessons about the impact we have on young minds. We learned that while three may seem young, it is not too young to begin understanding about money. We also learned our little ones are always observing and picking things up from us, whether we like it or not. Both of these lessons have taught us that we need to be more mindful in our approach with our children to help shape how they view money.
Where do we go from here? How do we start? How do we undo what has been done and get our children on the path to financial success?
There are so many opportunities to teach our children about money. Every birthday, every trip to the toy store, every trip to the grocery store, heck every trip outside of your house where you intend to pull your wallet out and buy something. Each of these moments is an opportunity to show our children the behaviours we want them to take with them to adulthood. That is a lot of pressure!
Let’s start small. Let’s start easy. But above all let’s start. Below are a six activities you can do right now, which can be fun and easy to get the conversation started.
Dig those coins out of the couch cushions (or wherever you keep them) and discover copper pennies and silver quarters. You can keep it simple and discuss the different sizes of the coins or go a step further and tell them a penny is one, a nickel is five and so on.
For a little more fun, pull out those coins you have from your last trip to another country. You know, the ones you kept because you thought they were cool? Well your kids will think they are cool too! Talk to them about the difference between our coins and coins from Mexico, Canada, Europe. You get the idea.
Pull out that piggy bank and count how many coins and bills they have.
Don’t have a piggy bank? Perfect! Get out that empty peanut butter jar you have been saving and have them decorate it. Don’t have a peanut butter jar? Take that empty tissue box (with a premade slot) and have them decorate that.
Ready for more? Use the three jars (or boxes) technique. Have the little ones decorate a jar for saving, a jar for spending and a jar for sharing. Talk to them about the different concepts and ask them what they would like to do with the money in each of the jars.
Let’s pretend! Get out that monopoly money and set up shop! Grab some different things from around the house and put a price tag on each. For the young ones you can put the prices as ‘three pink’ bills or ‘two orange’ bills and for the older ones you can have more traditional pricing like $15.
The bonus to all of this is aside from teaching them about money you are also teaching them counting, math, geography and art. More importantly you are spending amazing quality time with them, which we all know can be in short supply these days.
So before another moment slips by, let’s do this! Find those kids of yours and get going!
Want more? Visit our Love Kids page to download more fun activities!