If there is one thing that the current financial crisis has got us all thinking about its money – right?! It has made me think, as a parent, about how I prepare my kids for life and how we do this whole money teaching thing. So here I am sharing the results of my money teaching for kids research and sharing practical tools that you can use to provide financial education for kids.
Read on for worksheets and games that you can use with your children to develop the kids financial literacy. Money teaching for kids doesn’t have to be boring!
There is so much to learn for kids these days and although they are taught about currency at school the skills necessary for managing their money and their finances don’t seem to be taught. We have been trying to introduce some practical money teaching for our kids and here we will share them with you.
One of the best ways that we have introduced money teaching in our family is by giving the older kids (11 and 9) pocket money and actually getting them to use it. So they are both given a certain amount per month and within this they need to purchase their Friday treat and if they want to buy any items in the games they play they would also have to pay for this out of their money. We have found this to be really useful for teaching them the value of items.
Prior to having their own money and a set amount each month we found that they would say things like ‘its only £10’ now that they have a budget they can appreciate how much £10 actually is and make a decision about whether they want to spend that much or not.
The other thing we do is ensure that half of their pocket money goes into their savings. This is to instill in them the idea that you need to save every month. We hope that this will ensure that they always have a fall back amount throughout their lives as they will be used to saving money.
Kids Payment Cards
Following on from pocket money idea I also think it is important to get kids used to the concept of payment cards. Of course they need to know currency and be able to use real money, but they also need to know about cards and that this isn’t just an endless stream of money. We have started this money teaching aspect by getting all of our kids (even the 7 year olds) a Hyper Jar card.
As parents they are great as if they buy anything when they are not with us I get a notification as it is linked to my card and I have full oversight of their ‘jars’ which is what hyperjar calls the sections within your account. This also makes it perfect for practising the whole savings idea as they each have a jar named ‘Spenders’ and another named ‘Savings’ we can create more as and when needed.
As they get older they can also have the app on their phone and will be able to see how much money they have. Parents can limit how much and if they can transfer out of particular jars as well so you have lots of control, but you are able to give them some freedom to manage their money and learn how.
Games for Money Teaching
My kids are online game loons so I always know that if I want to teach them anything a great way to do it is to find a game that they can play… We recently came across some great money games for kids on Mortgage.org
The kids have been playing Grocery Cashier and Treze Coins which they have found really fun and both games are teaching money handling and practising the skills of calculating change or working out how to pay for something which are fab life lessons for kids.
They are using their addition and subtraction skills from school as well, but in a fun environment where they don’t even notice that they are doing math.
Grocery Cashier was a real hit with my daughter as she loves any game where she is pretending to be someone. She really engaged with the idea of being the cashier and was trying really hard to calculate the change successfully. The only downside for us is that the game is only in $ so it doesn’t teach about UK currency, but the principal is the same and I liked this game for getting her used to the idea of paying for items in stores and combining different notes to make the change.
We also really liked Treze Coins. This is such a simple game where the player is given a total and must make that total out of the available coins to get a gumball out of the gumball machine. The coins don’t reset every time so at some point the player has to think of different combinations of coins to create the totals which I loved as a parent as when teaching money to kids it can be tempting for them to just count it all out in 1s as that is easier.
This is what my daughter started to do, but then there weren’t enough 1 cent coins left so she had to think of other ways to make the total – so simple and yet so effective. Love it!
Worksheets for Money Teaching
We have been doing the research so you don’t have to and have found some great sites that have worksheets that you can use at home with your kids for money teaching.
Finance Education for Kids book
If your child likes to learn through reading then these books could be great options for them. I have included options for both older and younger kids: