Last week we entered a new frontier of teaching my preschool age daughter about saving money. She’s still pretty young, she doesn’t differentiate between types of coins or understand amounts. Here’s how it began:
We took a trip to Target. She knows right where the toy section is and starts pointing down the isles when we get to the back of the store. We’ve got her pretty well trained. When she finally earned her light saber for using the potty so well she didn’t want to buy it. She kept putting it back. A long time we’d been telling her “We’re not buying that today. You can get that when you fill up that potty chart.”
This trip she found a little Minnie Mouse doll that she wants. No way was I spending 22 bucks for no reason on that doll. And the more I thought about it the more I realized we always talk little prizes for doing something like – using the potty – but we hadn’t talked about earning money to buy something.
I take that back. We’d told her she could earn money, but there was nothing specific she was saving for and no place for her money to go. So I told her she could save her money for that Minnie doll. She got her own (cleaned out spaghetti sauce) jar and talks about it EVERY DAY. If she finds any coins on the floor she picks them up and tells me she needs to put her money in the jar for her Minnie. I’m trying to emphasize and remind her that she can earn money by helping mommy with chores too.
In the beginning Princess thought it was time to go back to the store once she had three pennies, two dimes and a quarter in her jar. I thought through it and told her she could get Minnie when she has 100 “monies” in her jar. We can only count to about 30, so I figure this will be a good exercise in counting, since we dump out our jar and count the money in it every day. Granted, it will probably only be about half the needed amount once we get to 100 coins. But beginning to understand about saving is what I am going for!
Here is my recap for helping your younger child begin learning about money:
*Have a prize in mind. Give them something to save for.
*Have a place to put it! Let them make it their own. Stickers, paint, chalk, markers.
*Remind them of ways they can help you.
*Smaller children need that goal/amount. 100 coins. 10 dimes. Whatever you want to set.
As she gets older I hope this will be a great set up for learning about monetary value. I also remember hearing that having a savings, spending, and giving envelope is a good idea. Maybe we’ll stick with jars. After all there is no shortage of spaghetti sauce around here!by