Give Your Preschool Children These Money Skills Now

Isn’t it fun watching a young child clutching a handful of money in the check out aisle?  As a result, adults find it charming to watch a child spend money.

Consequently, we may not realize that developing money skills for children can start long before the first day of school. All that required is a pocketful of cash and some parent-child time together.

Money decisions for young kids are generally simple. “Do I have enough money to buy this?” It doesn’t really matter if the child is using pennies or dollars, the determining factor is the number that the money represents. “Is this number the same as or bigger than the price?”

Here’s where parents can help the child understand that a number can represent how much money he has. Parents can use a variety of money activities to teach these concepts. Kids love to play games; playing games with money is even more fun.

Money skills activities

In my book, The No-Cash Allowance, there is a variety of simple money activities to play with  kids in the preschool and elementary school years. All of these give kids a visual and tactile experience with physical cash and cash substitutes, while helping them understand that money is a number. For these activities you will need a supply of coins of different denominations.

  • Shopkeeper
  • Here’s the Cash
  • Take a Check?
  • Please Charge It
  • Got to Get Some Cash
  • Use My Debit Card
  • The Money Pie Game
  • Pennies, Pennies, Pennies
  • Mix It Up

As you child learns more about money there are activities to teach the nuts and bolts of money in number form. These can be started with preschoolers; older children can use the activities as a review of their understanding of cash.

  • Penny Exchange
  • What’s My Name?
  • The Line Up
  • Ways to Slice a Dollar
  • Change It Up
  • The Great Exchange
  • Write It Out
  • The Best Cashier Ever

In conclusion, another way to help kids learn is through show and tell as it relates to the world of money. Parents start by showing money in the form of cash and doing the activities in my book.

While your child learns about cash you tell how money works. Explain what you are doing when you use cash and cash substitutes (check, debit card, credit card, electronic fund transfer).

In conclusion, these activities set the groundwork for your kids to understand how money works. This is the foundation for understanding the numbers behind the money, an essential skill as our society increases its use of cashless transactions.

Lynne Finch helps parents teach their kids about money from piggy banks to online banking. “It’s time to teach the kids how to manage money they can’t see or touch,” says the author of The No-Cash Allowance. Follow Lynne’s common sense approach for teaching children that money is a number with kids as young as pre-school through high school.

Kids Can Learn Money Skills Before Age 7

KidsCountingMoneyCambridge University agrees–children can learn money skills before the age of seven. A young child sees what happens at the cash register. This happens long before counting, or making change.

Parents are the most effective teachers in those early years. Behavior experts say that children shape many of the money habits they will carry into adulthood. The study recognizes the power of parents to help kids develop good money management skills starting at home.

My two-year-old begged to learn about money when I started giving our five-year-old an allowance. I thought she was too young and challenged her to count to 100, the number of pennies in a dollar.

Part of my plan was to have my kids learn to count using coins, an activity that turned out to be very popular with the little tykes. Money lessons for my pre-school children included exchanging coins for a dollar. They also decided how to spend their small allowance.

Like all kids, mine wanted money. Why? Because money gets stuff. Kids want money so they can buy their own stuff.

Of course, there is more to money than spending, but with young children when it’s “all about me” the activity of spending for self is the starting point. Having money is a big deal to a three-year-old. Going shopping and making decisions about using money is even more exciting.

Money concepts for young kids

Parents play a big role in helping a child learn five important concepts before age seven.

  1. Money buys stuff.
  2. You have to have enough money to buy something.
  3. People work to earn money.
  4. Money can be cash or something that represents cash.
  5. It’s okay to “not spend” so there is more money to buy something later.

Note to parents: For kids, the act of “not spending” is a form of saving. Because the child makes the decision to defer spending he is motivated by a result he expects in the future, e.g. a toy that costs more than he has today.

These years are a great time for you to show and tell as it relates to the world of money. You start by showing your child money in the form of cash and doing the activities in my book. The No-Cash Allowance. As your child learns about cash you tell how money works by explaining what you are doing when you use cash and cash substitutes (check, debit card, credit card, electronic fund transfer).

Lynne Finch helps parents teach their kids about money from piggy banks to online banking. “It’s time to teach the kids how to manage money they can’t see or touch,” says the author of The No-Cash Allowance. Follow Lynne’s common sense approach for teaching children that money is a number with kids as young as pre-school through high school.

Helping parents teach their kids how to manage money as a number.