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11 Ways to Teach Kids About Money This Winter

  February 7, 2024  |    #Tools

Let’s teach kids about money (early)

Looking to transform dull winter days into exciting financial adventures for your kids? Now’s the perfect time to ignite their curiosity about money matters! Dive into a treasure trove of games designed to effortlessly introduce your little ones to money management, financial literacy, and even the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.

Now’s the age and the season

Ready to turn those snowed-in days into thrilling financial escapades for your kids? Well, brace yourselves because it’s time to sprinkle a little financial magic into the mix. With school back in action and the winter chill settling in, let’s cozy up with some activities that’ll have your kids laughing all the way to the bank—literally.

Get ready for a snowstorm of fun that sneaks in money lessons faster than you can say “hot cocoa”.

1. Play board games such as Life, Rummikub and Monopoly

The wonderful world of board games is a realm where kids can learn life’s little quirks while having a blast! While junior soccer might not dish out financial wisdom, fear not! We’ve got the perfect lineup of games to sneak in some valuable life lessons between laughter and victory dances.

First up, we have the classic Game of Life. It’s like a crash course in adulting without the actual bills! From college woes to marriage mayhem, this game throws it all at your kids, teaching them the art of money management and family juggling. And hey, if you play along, you can even drop some real-life wisdom bombs amidst the chaos—just watch out for those mid-life crisis cards!

Next on the list is Rummikub, the brainchild of rummy and dominoes. Not only does it require some serious math skills (who said math wasn’t fun?), but it’s also a strategic showdown that’ll have your kids plotting their next move like financial masterminds. Forget Austin & Ally—this is where real-life skills are honed!

And who could forget the ultimate financial rollercoaster: Monopoly? It may have started as a cautionary tale about land monopolies, but it’s evolved into a battlefield of financial prowess and cunning deals. From property tycoons to bankruptcy blues, this game teaches kids the true essence of adulthood—strategic planning, risk-taking, and the occasional squabble over who gets to be the top hat.

So, while your kids may be busy arguing over whether to build hotels or houses, little do they know they’re actually preparing for the wild ride called life. Who knew board games could be so sneaky?

2. Play Great Piggy Bank Adventure, Hit the Road or Reality Check

Who said learning about money couldn’t be as fun as a barrel of monkeys? Prepare to dive into the digital realm of financial frolics, where games aren’t just for fun—they’re for mastering the moolah!

First up, we’ve got the Great Piggy Bank Adventure—a journey into the whimsical world of financial planning. It’s like Disneyland for your piggy bank! From setting financial goals to navigating the tricky waters of investments, this game throws it all at your kids, giving them a taste of the grown-up world with a side of giggles.

But why stop there? Strap in for a wild ride with Hit the Road It’s like Thelma and Louise but with piggy banks and budgeting. With $1,000 in hand and a road map full of financial pitfalls, your kids will learn the art of penny-pinching while dodging cinematic distractions like gas stations and movie theaters. Who knew financial responsibility could be this thrilling?

And for those budding financial gurus craving a more personalized experience, there’s Reality Check—a game that puts the power of lifestyle choices in their hands. With the wisdom of Solomon and the guidance of a savvy adult, they’ll navigate the maze of education, career decisions, and lifestyle choices, all while learning the golden rule of finance: always spend less than you earn!

So, whether your kids are dreaming of Wall Street or just want to conquer their allowance, these games are sure to turn financial education into a laugh-a-minute adventure.

3. Bake cookies

The age-old winter dilemma: trapped indoors with stir-crazy kids while Jack Frost throws an icy tantrum outside. It’s like a scene from a sitcom—minus the laugh track. But fear not, because we’ve got the perfect solution to keep those little snowbound adventurers entertained: cookies!

That’s right, folks. Nothing warms the soul quite like the smell of freshly baked cookies wafting through the house. And hey, bonus points for turning a kitchen into a delicious laboratory of learning!

As you whip up those scrumptious treats, take a moment to dive into the fascinating world of ingredients. Where do they come from? How much do they cost? And most importantly, how do they magically transform into gooey goodness? It’s like a culinary magic show with snacks as the grand finale.

But let’s not stop there. Oh no, this isn’t just about cookies—it’s about economics, baby! Cue the dramatic music. Discuss the age-old conundrum: homemade vs. store-bought. Is it worth the extra effort? What are the trade-offs? It’s a casual Q&A session that’ll have your kids pondering the mysteries of supply and demand faster than you can say “chocolate chip.”

So, while the snow piles up outside, you’ll be cozy indoors, whipping up cookies and dropping knowledge bombs like a culinary Einstein.

4. Make money magnets

Ah, spare change—a relic from a bygone era, like floppy disks and dial-up internet. Who even carries cash these days? But fear not, fellow parent-slash-financial wizard, for we’re about to turn those dusty coins into a masterpiece of magnetic magic!

First things first, raid your non-existent piggy bank and head to the local craft store. We’re talking magnet sheets, glue, and a sprinkle of creativity. It’s like DIY meets fiscal responsibility—a match made in heaven!

Now, gather your little Picasso’s-in-training and prepare for an arts and crafts extravaganza. It’s time to sort those coins like pros and stick ’em together with the finesse of a ninja surgeon. Heads, tails, and everything in between—these magnets will have more personality than a Hollywood blockbuster.

But wait, there’s more! As you’re crafting away, delve into the mysterious world of money. What’s the deal with each coin? Who’s the face behind the cash? And most importantly, how many gumballs can you buy with a fistful of quarters? It’s like a crash course in numismatic studies with a side of sticky fingers.

But here’s where the real fun begins: fridge economics 101. Stick those magnetic masterpieces on the fridge and let the games begin. Your kids will be paying for snacks faster than you can say, “Mom’s the banker.” It’s like Monopoly, but with real-life consequences and fewer arguments over who gets to be the top hat.

So relish this rare moment, my friends, for it may be the only time your kids ever pay you for anything.

5. Make money puzzles

Ah, the arts and crafts store—a treasure trove of creativity and, if you’re lucky, a surplus of glitter that’ll haunt your house for years. But amidst the chaos of pipe cleaners and googly eyes, we’ve got a mission: to turn playtime into a crash course in fiscal responsibility!

Step one: snag yourself a thick poster board and some internet-sourced play money. It’s like Monopoly money but without the risk of someone flipping the board in a fit of rage. Now, let the crafting commence! Glue those bills onto the board and wield your scissors like a financial samurai, slicing those dollars into shapes worthy of Picasso himself.

As your little money maestros get to work, dive into the fascinating world of currency. Who’s that guy on the front of the bill? What’s the deal with the number in the corner? And most importantly, can you use this to buy a pet unicorn? It’s like a history lesson with a side of make-believe economics.

But wait, there’s more! Once those puzzle pieces are pieced back together, it’s time to put their newfound financial prowess to the test. How much can they buy with a handful of play money? Can they afford that imaginary mansion or will they have to settle for a cardboard box fort? It’s like window shopping but with a twist of fiscal responsibility.

And let’s not forget the pièce de résistance: the talk about careers and earning potential. From astronaut to unicorn wrangler, the sky’s the limit.

6. Make a money-saving board

The candy aisle is a land of temptation where dreams are made of sugar and screams echo like a chorus of sugared-up banshees. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt that says, “I survived the candy aisle tantrum.”

But fear not, fellow parents, for amidst the chaos lies a golden opportunity to teach your little munchkins about the magical world of money management. It’s like Hogwarts, but with less wands and more wallets.

So, what’s the plan? Simple: turn their desires into a journey of financial enlightenment! Find out what they’re itching to buy and unleash the power of poster boards and colorful markers. It’s arts and crafts meets fiscal responsibility, with a sprinkle of magic for good measure.

Picture this: a giant thermometer, with lines representing dollar amounts and the top line symbolizing the cost of their coveted treasure. Every time they earn or save a dime, they get to color in the thermometer, inching closer to their goal like a determined caterpillar on a mission.

But here’s the real kicker: this isn’t just about saving up for some random doodad—it’s a crash course in needs versus wants and the fine art of delayed gratification. It’s like teaching them to be financial wizards, one colorful line at a time.

So, next time they’re eyeballing that shiny new toy or the candy aisle calls their name, arm them with the power of saving and watch as they conquer the financial jungle like pint-sized money moguls.

7. Create a menu and grocery list

The ultimate quest for sustenance in the wild jungle of supermarket aisles. But fear not, weary traveler, for with the help of your trusty sidekicks (read: your pint-sized squad of grocery gurus), this mission is about to get a whole lot more exciting!

Step one: assemble your team of little helpers. Think of them as your own personal Avengers but with a penchant for produce and a knack for nabbing the best deals. Together, you’ll embark on a culinary adventure like no other.

First up: menu planning and grocery list creation. It’s like plotting a course for culinary conquest, with your kids wielding the power of coupons and sales like mighty swords. Who knew saving money could be this epic?

As you roam the aisles, discuss the finer points of grocery economics. Why are some items pricier than others? How do coupons work their money-saving magic? And most importantly, why does broccoli always seem to end up in the cart when no one’s looking?

But let’s not forget the most important lesson of all: healthy eating. Sure, it might sound like a tall order, but with a sprinkle of kid-friendly charm and a dash of creativity, you’ll have your little sous chefs reaching for the kale faster than you can say “cookie aisle.”

So, next time you’re braving the grocery store trenches, don’t forget to recruit your mini-squad of shopping savants. Together, you’ll conquer the aisles, one bargain at a time.

8. Introduce your kids to investing

The website was created by the Security & Exchange Commission and included education on investing basics, investing principles, how the stock market works, and other concepts. Play with the compounding interest calculator and inspire your kids with the concepts of saving, investing, and then watching their money grow.

Once this inspires them, play Gen i Revolution and Invest Quest. If these exercises excite them, encourage them to participate in the InvestWrite competition. All these exercises will keep your older kids busy for hours and let you take a long, hot bath.

If you have your investment accounts online and are comfortable doing so, share your accounts with your kids. Talk about how you choose an investment. Show them the charts and graphs you use. Walk them through how you place a trade. Share your performance and discuss the benefits of making money work for you rather than only working for money.

9. Use the College Scorecard

The College Scorecard is a map for aspiring scholars seeking the holy grail of higher education. It’s like Google Maps, but instead of navigating streets, you’re navigating the treacherous terrain of tuition fees and graduation rates.

But fear not, brave parents, for with the power of the College Scorecard in your hands, your high school kids are about to embark on a journey of academic enlightenment like never before.

Picture this: your little Einsteins huddled around the computer screen, their eyes sparkling with the promise of future knowledge. They’re like mini Indiana Joneses, except instead of dodging boulders, they’re navigating the maze of college costs and job prospects.

As they manipulate and play with the data, it’s like watching master chess players strategizing their next move. With each click, they uncover the secrets of affordability and success rates, armed with nothing but their wits and a healthy dose of caffeine.

And once they’ve narrowed down their choices, it’s time for the ultimate showdown: the pros and cons debate. It’s like a courtroom drama, with each school pleading its case for why it’s the perfect fit. Will they choose the school with the highest graduation rate or the one with the lowest median amount borrowed? The suspense is palpable.

So, grab your popcorn and settle in for the academic adventure of a lifetime. With the College Scorecard as your guide, your kids are about to embark on a quest for knowledge that’ll make even the most daring explorers jealous.

10. Pay bills and budget together

The only thing scarier than paying bills is the snow piling up outside is the impending increase in your heating bill. But fear not, brave parents, for with the power of teamwork and a sprinkle of financial wizardry, you and your kids are about to tackle those bills like a dynamic duo of fiscal superheroes.

Picture this: a cozy family gathering around the kitchen table, armed with pens, calculators, and a steely determination to conquer the budget beast. It’s like the Avengers assembling, but instead of fighting aliens, you’re battling the forces of utility bills and mortgage payments.

As you dive into the nitty-gritty of bill paying, let your kids in on the action. Share your thought process and calculations out loud, like a magician revealing the secrets of his tricks. Sure, you might not divulge the exact numbers on your paycheck, but you’ll give them a crash course in the art of managing finite resources and the importance of paying bills on time—no matter how tempting it is to spend it all on snow cones.

But wait, there’s more! As you write those checks and balance those checkbooks (or click those buttons to pay bills online because who uses checks anymore?), take the opportunity to unveil the mysteries of budgeting and planning for the future. It’s like a crash course in adulting 101, with your kids as eager students and you as the wise sage dispensing financial wisdom.

So, next time you’re faced with the daunting task of bill paying, don’t go it alone. Rally your troops, grab your calculators, and prepare to conquer those bills like the financial warriors you were born to be. After all, who needs an invisible money tree when you’ve got teamwork and a little bit of humor on your side?

11. Read about money together

The magical world of books is where adventure awaits on every page and the only limit is your imagination (and maybe your library’s late fees). But why settle for just any old tale when you can dive into the riveting realm of money, investing, and business? Strap in, folks, because we’re about to embark on a literary journey that’ll have your kids dreaming of dollar signs and stock portfolios:

  • Money Mama & the Three Little Pigs: This book will teach kids money basics in a fun and educational way.  Concepts such as giving, investing, saving, and spending are covered engagingly for children four and up.
  • The Everything Kids’ Money Book: Earn It, Save It and Watch It Grow!: By “everything,” they mean everything.  Topics in this book include everything from where and how money is made to financial technology and everything in between.  This book speaks to kids between 7 and 12 years old.
  • Finance for Kidz: This is a wonderful series of books that covers the concepts of needs versus wants, opportunity costs, and savings among money topics.
  • Better Than a Lemonade Stand!: Small Business Ideas for Kids: As this book’s name implies, it covers many small business ideas for kids between the ages of 9 and 14. The book is fun, and the business ideas require little to no start-up costs.  After reading this book, your kids will want to spend the rest of their snow days creating a business plan.  Remember, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos started their businesses in their parent’s garages.  These are great fundamentals to learn and prepare your kids for the real world and may set them up as the next business tycoon.

We came up with these ideas to help you teach kids during this perpetual snow. Not only will they teach kids, but hopefully, they’ll help you stay sane. Cabin fever is real, as this winter season will teach kids and adults. Make the most of it and lay the foundation to teach kids to be financially successful.

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