Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Teach Preschoolers About Money 

Don’t Miss This Chance

I volunteer in my daughter’s second grade classroom, and I am blown away that so many kids in her class struggle with basic money concepts, even after having spent two months learning about money (something that I thought they already learned in kindergarten and then in the first grade). Here is a conversation with one of these students:
  • Me, “You need to buy an orange that costs 37 cents. What coins will you need?”
  • A student, “Umm… I need that silver big one, and then… um… 2 small ones.. pennies, yes. I am done!”

Use Preschoolers’ Natural Interest

Thinking back to all the questions our daughter was asking about money when she was younger, I am convinced that every kid wants to understand what money is and how it works. Unfortunately, credit and debit cards are not helping matters – many people, ourselves included, barely use cash any longer. But here are a few suggestions to help children understand money better and come to school more prepared.

Tips for Teaching Kids About Money

Learning about Money - Cleaning Money
1. Let kids play with real money – sort them, examine each coin and be there naming coins and giving some frame of reference, for example, that we need 25 pennies to buy a piece of candy from a vending machine, or we can use one quarter, which is the same amount of money.
2. Let your children see you pay with cash at the store and explain what is happening.
3. Give them a small allowance or allow them to earn money for specific chores, so they can start first counting coins and eventually count their own money.
4. Play shop often – my daughter still loves these games. Start with prices in number of coins, but I was often mentioning real prices and what kind of coins or bills we would need to buy these items in a real store.
5. Clean coins – most kids love this popular experiment. Keep talking about coins and their values.
6. Read books about money – I recommend Lots and Lots of Coins for age 4+
7. Most importantly – do not consider money to be a taboo object – something young children shouldn’t know about. I am not recommending telling them how much you earn or how much your house costs unless you want the whole neighborhood to know these “trivia facts”, but I think we are doing a disservice to our children making money a mystery to them. It really doesn’t pay to wait until school starts – then money lessons become just one more topic to learn in the subject that some of them already consider boring or difficult.

Resources on Money and Measurements

  1. Measuring Your Hands from Little Bins for Little Hands
  2. Read a Thermometer from Kids Activities Blog
  3. Measure Me from Afterschool for Smarty Pants
  4. Capacity Scarecrows from Love2Learn2Day
  5. Teach Your Preschooler Money from Afterschool for Smarty Pants
  6. Alice In Wonderland Watch from Almost Unschoolers
  7. Learning to Tell Time from Afterschool for Smarty Pants
  8. Learning Coin Values from Nurturing Learning
 Consider following my Preschool Math Pinterest Board

Your turn:

How do you teach your children about money?


Erica MomandKiddo said...

We started early with an allowance system and Kiddo keeps a ledger. You are right -- so important to start early!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I think I need to start up an allowance - I've been lazy so far, but it is an excellent way to teach math AND money management!

Alison P. said...

I am so doing this and before Christmas is the best time because mine still thinks that money grows on trees. He got sad when I told him that if he wanted something we had to buy it because thought that meant no. He asked me if I could take the money out of my wallet and give it to him so that he could buy it. I told him that $6 was like 600 pennies so he better really want it but he still doesn't get it. Thanksgiving stuff next week and jumping straight into these in December :)

Crystal Mcclean said...

Great suggestions for learning about money, especially with Christmas coming up. Thanks for linking to Mom's Library, I'll be featuring you this week at Crystal's Tiny Treasures.

Anonymous said...

This looks like a great way to teach kids about money. Allowances are a great way to reinforce the math skills using money. Thank you for sharing and for linking up this week to the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop.

Carrie said...

Some great ideas for teaching such an important concept! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

Anonymous said...

These are wonderful ideas. It's really important for our kids to know what money is and how we use it… it doesn't just appear out of no where!

Anonymous said...

These are wonderful ideas. It's really important for our kids to know what money is and how we use it… it doesn't just appear out of no where!

Anonymous said...

These are wonderful ideas. It's really important for our kids to know what money is and how we use it… it doesn't just appear out of no where!

Stephanie Kay said...

With my older boys (9 and 11 yrs) we play a game at the grocery store called "How close can you get." The boy carries a clipboard with our shopping list. As we shop he weighs and records the amounts on the list. He keeps a running total on how much our groceries will cost. When we check out it is fun to see how close he got to the actual total. I found this kind of real world math teaches much better than worksheets ever will!

Thanks for sharing via Family Fun Friday.

Stephanie Kay said...

Loved this post so much you are one of this week's Family Fun Friday link party features.

Anna said...

As a child I had a paper route, so that was an easy way for me to learn money management. Still trying to figure out what's best for our own kids.

Andrea Vasey said...

Sophie loves helping to count up the money in our change jar and its a great learning activity for her! Thanks for linking up to this weeks #parentingpinitparty

Anonymous said...

These are great ideas. I wonder if kids have a hard time with money because of debit/credit cards. Thinking about it, I cannot recall the last time I had cash in hand. Have my kids ever watched me pay for something in cash?!

Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

Boy Mama Teacher Mama said...

Great ideas! Thanks for co-hosting at After School!

julia saenz said...

to learn the concept of how money works we
and for using measurements and telling time we