Talking with kids about money can be intimidating. Did you know that children learn money skills as early as age three? Financial experts, like billionaire Warren Buffet, encourage parents to start teaching their kids how to manage money sooner rather than later. Money and finances can be complicated subjects with a lot of explaining, and well, sometimes we adults don’t fully understand all the concepts that well ourselves. But worry no more, Bank on More, from Missouri’s credit unions, offers these great suggestions to teach your kids about money and here’s the great part… you don’t have to do it alone!
The credit unions of Missouri exist to improve the financial lives of their members and the community – and that includes children. Luckily, there are a ton of fun, financial games and activities for kiddos of all ages. We’ve listed some of our favorite ones below.
Money Matching: Have your child sort different types of money into piles by color and size. It can be play money or real money, bills or coins, whatever you have on hand. Not only will you introduce money sorting, you’ll also teach them about colors, shapes and patterns.
Pretend Play: Play grocery store and help children pretend to use a cash register. This introduces the exchange. If you want to buy my apple, you’ll have to pay me. This teaches kids that everyday items like food, clothing and toys cost money.
Puzzles: A lot of credit unions offer resources like coloring books, puzzles and activity binders, so make sure to ask about these the next time you visit your local credit union. You can also find financial coloring books at the store. Kids can have fun coloring the pages, and then you can read them the story.
For more preschool activities, visit this website.
3 Little Piggies: Decorate three jars or piggy banks and label them as SAVE, SPEND, GIVE. Help your child sort their money and make decisions about what to save, what to spend and what to give. For the GIVE jar, they can donate to charity, church or someone in need. If you don’t have jars, you can simply use envelopes. The key is to get them involved in the process.
See & Save: If your child wants a special toy, make them part of the saving and spending process. Create a shadowbox and showcase a picture of what the child intends to buy – a new bike, crayons, a truck. It reminds them why they are saving and literally shows them how much money they are collecting each week. See example at right.
Branch Visit: Bring your kiddo with you the next time you visit your financial institution. Most financial institutions offer kids a special treat like a sucker or a play area in the lobby. Make sure to explain to why you visited the branch and what exactly you did there. For example, if you made a deposit, elaborate on why it’s important to have money in your account.
If you want your child to be even more engaged in learning about money management, visit your local credit union and open up a youth savings account. Many credit unions even have youth savings clubs that include exciting activities and special perks. Find your nearest credit union here.