Money learning activities to do with children  April, 2011

The benefit of teaching children good money habits is well worth the effort.  Children who are not taught these lessons may pay the consequences for a life-time.  Some parents don’t teach children about money because they don’t think they should talk to children about money, or they don’t feel they have the time or they think they don’t have enough money.  Regardless of income it is a good idea for parents to help their children learn money concepts starting when children are young.

The lessons need to be appropriate to the age of the child.  Some lessons can be taught during story time by selecting books that teaches financial concepts.  For example, the Berenstain Bears book series includes one about mama’s new job and another is about ‘trouble with money’.  They will help parents talk about recognizing and allocating resources and saving.

Money use lessons can be taught through family board games like Monopoly, The Game of Life or Payday.  The bonus of playing board games is learning the art of taking turns, selecting from options of what to do next, playing by the game rules and having conversation.  There are technology based teaching games, too, but there’s much to be said for having real family conversation.

For more information on teaching children and teens money skills, check out the University of Minnesota Extension Youth and Money website.  You will find a link to it at www.extension.umn.edu.  It includes a list of appropriate books and other resource materials for all ages of children and youth to learn from.  And mom and dad may learn, too.