The earliest experiences of children with money can range from entertaining to terrifying. You definitely don’t want your child’s first experience with currency and coins to be a trip to the emergency room. However, you do want to move beyond the child-friendly cash register as you teach your child from an early stage of the importance of money in life. A piggy bank is an excellent teaching tool, but both planned and impromptu conversations and activities can help your youngster to have a foundation that can later cultivate a healthy understanding of life-long financial interests.
Money Management in Daily Activities
An age-appropriate exposure to money is important because small children are just as likely to try to eat coins or tear up bills. However, your child will often see you using money at the store or at a restaurant. You can use these opportunities to explain that you are paying for the things that you receive. You can also use trading games at home to instill the idea of value. A toy cash register is a great first exposure to commerce, allowing your child to do make-believe shopping and selling. The values given to toys, pretend food items, and other items in the home don’t need to be realistic for a youngster as long as the concepts of value and paying are broached.
Opportunities to Handle Their Own Money
As your child becomes old enough to handle money without the risk of choking on it, you can provide hands-on involvement with real money. While many use allowances to give their children money, it may be helpful to your child to learn to earn that allowance. By doing chores in exchange for money, the concept of having a job can be instilled. The jobs should be age appropriate, and the money paid should be reasonable as well. A child who learns to have realistic expectations when they are earning money is more apt to develop a sense of independence, understanding that hard work pays.
Counting money is another important concept to address, especially if your child’s earnings are often coins. Trading activities can help your child to learn the value of different coins and bills. Additionally, this helps to prepare your youngster for math topics and activities in school, giving them a concrete understanding of a topic that is sometimes presented too abstractly.
A piggy bank continues to be helpful as a safe storage place for money. Your child might graduate to using a wallet or purse in the future when the time seems right. However, this requires another important lesson in safeguarding the contents of these storage spots. One of the toughest lessons for a youngster is losing their $20 bill while wandering the aisles of a store in search of something to buy.
Advanced Concepts on a Child’s Level
Checking and savings accounts are more advanced, and a child may not grasp these ideas as well during early elementary years. However, child-friendly tools such as Disney checks for sale online can be obtained to make discussions about these items a little more interesting. You can use such checks in trading for a child’s piggy bank contents, explaining that a check is worth the same amount as the traded dollars and coins. You can also use such a tool to introduce your youngster to the idea of saving a part of their piggy bank’s contents at a bigger bank, taking the child to the bank as you deposit a check in their savings account.
Many adults realize that their money challenges of today connect to not handling or understanding money in their younger years. Unfortunately, a lack of understanding can lead to difficult consequences with credit cards and budgeting. However, you can provide your child with excellent tools for a successful financial life from early on.