Give your child an all important life skill of understanding money. Preschoolers as young as 3 can get a grasp of the value of money especially if done through play. And even younger children love pretend playing with money and shops. Here are some ideas we’ve found from a brilliant article published in The Times and The Sunday Times last month. The ideas below have been taken from the article and are aimed for children 7 and under:
Put kids on the payroll
Even very young children can learn about budgeting when given, say, a small amount of money for sweets – weighing up whether to choose one big bar or several smaller items. Regular pocket money encourages them to save up for more expensive items, rather than blowing the lot on stickers.
Pop money in a piggy bank
Small children learn best by seeing money actually mount up. So dig out a piggy bank, unearth a money box, or get your child to decorate a jar with something they are saving for. Dole out pocket money as coins or reward good behaviour with tokens such as marbles, to be cashed in for a treat at the end of the week.
Set up shop
Help your child play shops by displaying toys or food for sale and making price labels. Give them a purse full of coins or ask them to design banknotes in different colours for different denominations. Hopefully this will keep them quiet for a while, until you’re needed to take turns as customer or shopkeeper, exchanging goods for money and counting out change.
Bank of Mum and Dad
Marching your child down to a building society to open their own account may not be recommended during the coronavirus crisis. Even if you can’t use a passbook to show interest being added, you could still set up the Bank of Mum and Dad, paying interest if your kids save instead of spending. Add coins or tokens to their money box or add virtual interest via a pocket money app.
Needs and wants
The recent food shortages and self-isolation focus the mind on what really matters. If your children are fed up, discuss the difference between needs and wants. When times are tough, we have to prioritise spending to cover essential needs, rather than the nice-to-have.
If you want to try setting up shop for your child to buy from, be it with real money or pretend, then we have a great origami activity so your child where they can make their own wallet! For your free print out follow the link below and for details about our very own Play Pack toy!