How to Teach Kids the Value of Money
As a mom of four I have learned so much about timing. When it comes to the “right” time to teach kids about money, I would have to say it’s never too soon to start. Children learn at an exceptionally fast rate from birth to age five. Because of this, I would recommend talking to your children about money when they are toddlers. To begin with, I would keep it very conversational.
For example, when you go grocery shopping you can say “The shiny red apple is .75” and you could pull out three quarters. Then when your child is around three you can take a small dry erase board and marker into the store and let him/her try to write out the prices of certain items. Not only does this introduce the concept of numbers, coins, and purchasing, but they also learn writing and critical thinking skills while having fun (and letting you shop!).
As your child hits about three and a half, you can bring the store home. After a shopping trip put away all of the cold and frozen items and use the rest to play “store”. All you need is cash and coins (you can make your own or buy them) and a cash register. Then set prices for the items and let your child shop. As they get older you can give them a budget and help them learn how to only spend what they have, count correct change, and use coupons!
This is just one way to teach toddlers and preschoolers about money. What are some of the things you have done with your children to teach your children about money?
[photo by Miss Karen]