Spending More Time at Home? Use it to Teach Your Kids About Money
Your kids may be spending more time indoors these days, but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on opportunities to learn and grow.
April is National Financial Literacy Month and National Credit Union Youth Month, so it’s a great time to increase your child’s financial literacy. And doing so doesn’t have to be boring: There are lots of ways to make learning about spending, saving, and borrowing fun and interesting for kids of all ages. Here are a few of them:
Help Your Child Learn About Money Firsthand
1. Play Games
Some of the most popular board games have lessons about money at their core. Monopoly is probably the most well-known one. With opportunities to buy, sell, and mortgage property and the chance to see how a bad roll of the dice can affect their finances, a game of Monopoly provides a lot of opportunities to teach your kids about money. The Game of Life and Pay Day are two other classic games that can teach kids about money without boring them. As you play, talk about the similarities and differences between how money management works in the game and how it works in real life.
These games are designed for ages 8 and up, but Monopoly and The Game of Life also have junior editions appropriate for kids as young as 5.
2. Make Something
Kids learn by doing. Using their hands to create something can help them grasp abstract financial concepts like saving money. If your young child likes coloring, print out our Pat and Lucy coloring page for them. (And you can share a photo of the finished page with us on Facebook when they’re done!) You can also help them put together one of our favorite money-related crafts: Save, Share and Spend jars.
To start, find three jars. Have your child use a piece of paper to make three labels that say Save, Share, and Spend. Tell them to glue each of the labels onto one of the jars. Encourage them to decorate each container with stickers, glitter, or paint.
Talk to your child about the purpose of each container. Then, whenever they get birthday money or an allowance, encourage them to divide it between the three jars.
Older kids can get in on the fun too. Encourage pre-teens, teens, and young adults to make a vision board – a collage full of words and images that represent a goal. This fun activity can help them visualize what it will take to achieve their goal, including how they’ll pay for it.
3. Talk About It
Talking to your kids about money management is important, but it doesn’t have to be boring (for them) or stressful (for you). Relating important financial concepts to their lives and their interests can make the conversation enjoyable as well as educational.
Your child may have heard phrases like “Money doesn’t grow on trees” and “Early to bed and early to rise makes a person healthy, wealthy, and wise,” but do they know what those phrases mean? Ask them for their interpretation, talk about what the phrase means to you, and ask them to draw a picture or write a story based on the phrase.
You can also ask your child to describe (or write down) a time that money affected a character from their favorite TV show or book, whether they think the character handled the situation well, and what they would do if they were in the character’s shoes.
With teens and young adults, you can talk about your first experiences with things like credit cards, auto loans, and student loans and ask them to write down their short- and long-term goals and the role they expect money to play in those goals.
Get Your Child the Right Account
There’s nothing like hands-on experience to get your child excited about managing their own money. That’s why American Heritage offers five youth accounts that are tailored to five different age groups, from birth to young adulthood.
Learn how our Youth Accounts can set your child on the path to financial success. Then help them open one today. Current members can open new accounts by signing into Online Teller or using our Mobile Teller app.