Posted on Apr 21, 2020
Did you know that by instilling strong financial habits early on, your children will be better prepared to conquer common challenges as they approach adulthood?
Although many schools attempt to teach basic financial literacy to students, the responsibility falls to the parents to apply those lessons to real life. Learning how to count change in the classroom is very different from getting a real allowance, opening a savings account, and creating a budget to help your kids buy the things they want.
Have some fun and engage children in these six hands on activities to teach children about saving money while at home.
6 Fun Ways to Teach Children about Saving Money
1. Pretend to Spend and Sell
Set up a make believe store or restaurant at home. Give kids a certain amount of pretend money and create scenarios, like buy five items with your money or buy three meals at their favorite take-out place for less than $20. By learning how transactions work in a safe environment, they'll understand them better in the real world. When they get a little older you can have them pretend to sell items they make or bake.
2. Play Money-Based Board Games
Board games like Monopoly can be a great way to introduce financial concepts and teach children how to balance spending and saving in a fun and interactive way. By seeing how much cash they have, kids will learn how to visualize money. You can also use pretend money to explain the family budget and how much is set aside each month to keep the household running smoothly and bellies full.
3. Family Movie Night Concession Stand
A concession stand can give your kids a chance to learn about financial transactions as well as how to determine which items will return the most profit. Ask them to create a menu of items to offer and a price for each item. Older children can add key principles such as a business plan and marketing budget. The artist in the family can work on creative signs and decorations. Let the kids choose the movies available for that evening.
4. Count-It-Up Clothespin Craft
Ideal for the younger set, use a paper plate and clothespins to have kids demonstrate their understanding of the value of a coin. For each coin you put on the paper plate, have them attach the number of clothespins it's worth in cents around the edge of the plate.
5. Hide and Seek for Coins
Parents hide coins around the house. Children are then set loose to find as many coins as they can. Pennies can be used for younger children and the rest of the coins can be added in for older kids. Keep track of how many coins you hide, and when all the coins have been found, players count up their totals. The player with the highest total wins the game. Kids will want to take a turn hiding the coins; just make sure you are able to find them all. Ask them what they would do with their “winnings” --- save it for a rainy day or spend it at the next opportunity?
6. Math Games & Conversation Starters
Activities and crafts centered around money can make excellent teaching tools for parents who want their children to learn not only what money is, or how it’s used, but how money is built on math. Playing money games with your kids encourages them to ask questions about the value of money and become more comfortable managing it. What a great opportunity to teach children to save while spending quality family time at home!
Financial institutions throughout the United States are supporting Teach Children to Save, a national program --- sponsored by the ABA Foundation --- that organizes banker volunteers to help young people develop a savings habit early in life. Learn more about this program at ABA.com.