📷 Money — one of the most important aspects that define our way of life in so many ways; yet it is something that we avoid talking about with kids, especially younger ones. The other day, my 5-year-old son said to me, “Mumma, just go to the ATM and take out money” after I told him we can’t buy everything we want and need to handle money carefully.
The best way to teach kids lessons about money is to give them some. Moving beyond only conversations to real money will give them some first-hand experience of handling money and understanding the consequences of saving or overspending.
You can introduce even very young children to the idea of money through simple activities like shopping. Make cash purchases, and let your kids help count the money. Use coupons to teach them about ‘discounts’ and ‘savings’ at the same time.
To get started, you can use play as a medium. Money games like Monopoly are helpful in starting the dialogue and encourage learning. Online games and homemade games are all possibilities. For example, pretend play games can be made around supermarkets with a buyer and seller role play. You can even help your child design their own currency notes and instil the basic understanding of money while playing.
I have found that the best way to teach kids about money is to bring them in on family budget discussions. Kids naturally want to emulate their parents so they will start to think about spending and how to minimize it. During festivities or gifting season, allow your kids to plan to practice their budgeting skills. Help them also understand the opportunity cost of spending money on one thing, that may keep them from having enough money for other things.