You can help your children spring into financial literacy by incorporating money talks with enjoyable activities. There is no better time than TODAY which is the perfect opportunity to teach kids about money as we inch towards summer. They’ll want to go to water-parks and baseball games with friends and enjoy other activities, and they should learn now how they can afford to do all those things: Saving and Exchanging Values With A Profit for a Goal.
We all know it is important to raise financially savvy kids. How can we teach children about financial literacy early on? There are mobile apps out there to help with this, but hands-on learning is quite valuable. Making your financial lesson an experience that inspires creativity and reflection can leave a lasting impact on your children.
Here are five fun ways to teach your kids about money (and a bonus one):
1. Remember the past.
Children need to know about their family’s history, including the struggles and victories. Talk to them about how you grew up and what you were taught about money. And explore more of the family tree. Have your child look up a relative’s career 20 years ago. How much did they earn? What were the conditions like? What education or skills were needed? And what does the career look like today? Teach him/her that nothing is personal but everything is received.
2. The values of things
Teach them about the intrinsic and given values of an object, of a gesture or of the time spent for getting / making that object. Teach him/her what is better to accumulate: material or/and spiritual values? That wealth is not a sin and poverty is not a virtue.
3. Money forms
On a nice day, have your child look for the values in the neighborhood as you walk together or around the house when it’s not so nice out. How much money / values did he or she find? How many opportunities to collect, produce and multiply together those values / money. As a family, decide what strategy will be used to fund the soonest achievement of a goal. Teach him or her about virtual money, values of real estate, value of your personal time and other people’s time. Teach them how life / time can be measured in money or can be offered a value and how it can be used for exchanging it for something else.
4. Plant an idea.
Money doesn’t grow on trees. Who hasn’t heard this phrase come out of your parent’s mouth? Take your child to a gardening store, and buy seeds and other equipment. Explain how in order to save money, you need to start with an idea seed. Plant a seed with the child, and discuss how savings requires responsibility, care and patience, similar to growing a flower or tree. Teach him/her that there are many forms to reach your goals: saving, investing, manufacturing, selling, etc.
5. Start a really small business.
Discuss how some people venture out and started their own businesses. Have your child come up with a skill or hobby, such as making cookies, creating friendship bracelets or knitting scarves. Together, you can research the costs for materials, such as chocolate chips or yarn. Then, think about a kiddie business plan. How many items do they want to make? How will they sell the items, and what should they charge?
While supervised, allow your child to organize a small shop to sell the products. At the end of the day, how much did s/he sell? Deduct the amount of the materials from the grand total. You can use this as learning opportunity to teach kids how businesses earn profits. Plus, your children can enjoy a sense of pride from earning their own money. Foster that feeling and encourage them to come up with other ways to earn more because it is better to make values instead of spending them.
6. Connect with your community.
Explain to your children how money helps support community organizations and how helping others is a great way to give back. That is better to give than receive. Because s/he will receive even more.
Whatever activities you and your kids like to do together, look for opportunities to talk frankly with them about money and values and create teachable moments. The more financial literacy you can give them when they’re young, the greater their chances of achieving financial independence when they grow up.