As kids grow up, they’re constantly learning. They watch their parents to learn about social skills, go to school for their education and copy what they admire about their friends. It all forms who they are, so it’s important to teach them as much as possible at home so they’re prepared when they step out into the world.
Money is something kids don’t usually handle at a young age, but that should change. The more experience they get interacting with money, the wiser they’ll be when they get their first few paychecks in the years to come.
Check out these ten fun money activities to help kids understand values and counting techniques. They’re so much fun, your kids won’t feel like they’re stuck in class. They also don’t require you to use a ton of money, so anyone on a budget can use them at home.
1. Create Coffee Can Wish Buckets
Ask your kids what they wish they could buy. Let them list everything from tiny toy cars to a mansion with a pool. Give them magazines or printed out pictures of those things and let them cut them out. Throw in some markers for extra coloring fun and tape everything to their cans.
Set the cans up across the room and see who can toss the most coins into their cans in a certain amount of time. Your kids will learn that they need money to get what they want, but through a fun activity.
2. Read Money-Themed Books
Younger kids may prefer some story time with their parents. The key is to find educational and entertaining books based on your kids’ ages. A wordy book will bore a young kid and a picture book will feel insulting to an older kid.
3. Play Penny Games
Pennies are the easiest coins for kids to play with because they’re cheap. Find a few at the bottom of your purse or spare kitchen drawer and play a few penny games to teach your kids about the coin. The memories of the games will help them remember what the penny looks like and how much it’s worth.
4. Set Up a Fake Store
Another aspect of money that’s important for grade school kids to learn is budgeting. Set up a fake store using toys and game board money. Give your kids a certain amount of dollars and tell them they must buy everything on your list with that money. They’ll learn how to budget and buy what they need, rather than splurge on things they want.
5. Start a Coin Collection
Coin collections teach kids about the monetary value of coins and the historic value. It gives them an in-depth lesson on coins, so start a coin collection and teach them the terminology by collecting the coins around your home. As they get older, they may pursue a coin collection passion or travel to coin shows to expand their knowledge.
6. Color Coins and Add Them
Spread out coins on your kitchen table and cover them with pieces of paper. Kids can color over the coins to trace them in all their favorite colors. When they finish, teach them how to add them all up. It’s a lesson about how adding or taking away coins from their colorful collage changes what their final total is.
7. Create an Adding Race
Line up a row of coins in front of each of your kids. Start a timer and ask them to add up each of those coins on a piece of paper with a crayon or marker. Whoever gets the right total the fastest wins an extra scoop of ice cream for dessert or fifteen more minutes with their favorite electronic device.
8. Clean Your Old Coins
Kids might think that older coins lose their value because many people use them, but that’s not true. Clean your old coins together by mixing vinegar and lemon juice, plus a little bit of salt. The grime comes right off, revealing the shiny coin hidden underneath that’s still worth every cent.
9. Roll the Dice
Pile up coins in the middle of a table and give your kids paper and pencils. Roll a set of dice and call out the total. Whoever adds up that total with the coins on the table wins!
10. Match Coins and Letters
Trace out the first letter of each coin on your table and make them extra large. Challenge your kids to line each letter with the matching coin, like lining a Q with quarters, until they cover all the letters.
Think About Your Kid’s Personalities
Depending on what your kids enjoy doing, pick out the games they’ll like. Coloring, matching and racing all make adding coins more fun. Engaging your kids with something fun always makes more of an impression when they’re learning something new.