Teach preschoolers about money and how to manage it!
Preschool children can learn a lot about money and begin to develop their attitudes toward money.
Children who are given the appropriate opportunities to make a spending plan and implement it are more likely than others to develop good judgment about money use and learn to accept the consequences of their decisions.
Children learn about money through many different sources. At a very young age, they watch the adults in their lives use money and buy things. They see thousands of commercials each year on TV and social media; they recognize commercial symbols very quickly! Adults in their lives have a strong influence on what type of attitude they will have about money. Lessons on money that are taught early will set the foundation sound skills and values around money.
Here are some tips and ideas for parents to use with their preschoolers to begin increasing their money management skills:
- Encourage play that helps preschoolers think about money. This helps children learn about daily consumer choices. For example, play restaurant, supermarket, post office, bank, gas station or car wash.
- Teach games to identify coins and values. Ask the preschooler to help you count out the money as you purchase items together.
- Talk about work. Preschoolers can be taught that some family members go to work to earn money for family needs such as food, clothes and the home. Preschoolers can learn that other family members work at home so that the family does not have to buy some good and services like laundry, cooking and yard work.
- Share information. Talk with your child about how money is earned, paying for expenses and saving money. A good gift for a preschoolers to start learning this concept is a three part container with slots that are labeled SAVE, SPEND, And GIVE. There are some great examples on internet.
The Credit Union National Association in partnership with Cooperative Extension on National level have created a program called Thrive by Five™: Teaching Your Preschooler about Spending and Saving. This is a great resource to visit to gather more ideas teaching preschoolers about money, and is a great kindergarten readiness tool.
Michigan State University Extension offers financial management and home ownership education classes. For more information about classes in your area, visit either the MSU Extension Events feed or MIMoneyHealth.org.
Other sources for teaching preschoolers about money: