Consider the way most kids see the world around them. When they’re hungry, food appears on the table. When they’re bored, they push a button and they’re watching their favorite show, or they turn on the computer.
For kids, it seems everything is in their immediate grasp. It’s not surprising they may not appreciate what it takes to get that iPod or why a new bike doesn’t fit in the family budget this month. They need to learn that they can’t just whine for a toy and automatically get it. Axle has a few suggestions to teach kids about money:
Set up toys in a "toy store". Take turns playing the customer and the clerk exchanging various amounts of money. When your child is the clerk, hand over too much money so he or she has to count the money back to you.
Play Monopoly Jr. Get your kids involved in the money concept early with Monopoly Jr. This version of an old tradition allows them to set up ticket booths to different rides throughout the amusement park. They earn money through ticket sales. Even a younger child will walk away with an understanding of earning and spending money.
Act out role-playing money games. Set up scenarios where the kids have a goal (ie. Buy the things they need for living, saving $300, etc.) and let them be the parents while you pretend to be them. They’ll have to think about the lessons they’ve been taught and how they will achieve their goal.
Include children on shopping trips. Teach them what things cost and smart shopping techniques. Have them help compare product qualities and prices. Pay for your items with cash. Let your kids hold the money and see the money leaving their hands.
The times and ways to teach kids about money are endless. Keep your eyes open for opportunities that will help keep the learning fun!