There is not much cuter than asking young children how much something costs and listening to there very random answers! Have you ever discussed how much they think things like a house or a car cost? We are very open about the cost of things with the children which I think is very important for teaching them about the value of money. With my 12 year old we were only recently discussing the cost of rent or a mortgage and were discussing the advantages and disadvantages of both. Likewise, when planning next years summer holiday we discussed the cost for the five of us to go abroad and explained that is why we don’t have a ‘big’ abroad holiday every year. I am a firm believer in teaching money skills to children.
icount recently commissioned some research to find out at what age the public believe is optimal for teaching children about money. The findings were broken down into age, gender and location but interesting the ressults were very consistent. Most of us believe that we should start talking and teaching children about money between the age of 5-7. This is what I would have aalso said as before this children are too young to get the concept of how much something is worth. Between the ages of 5-7 children ask for things which is a great opportunity to grasp the value of money. Also at this age children are learning about numbers and can also recognise the different coins. My Erin falls into this age bracket and is in Yr1 – she has been doing money at school and can add coins together. She also knows how much her beloved Shopkins cost and how many she can buy!
What is the best way to introduce money?
The parents asked gave the following great advice for introducing money.
- Allow children to save up for things
- Have pocket money to save and spend
- Allow them to save money and use when out shopping. My daughter took her own money and was very cautious about how much she wanted to spend
- Be a good example to then because they are at a good age to take maths in
- By allowing them to have regular (given the same day of the week/month) pocket money (mimicking a wage!) and teaching them to learn if something is worth it ie wasting money on rubbish or saving for something prized. Then making them feel proud of themselves if they manage to save and buy something they really wanted. Or praising them for choosing not to buy the rubbish etc.
- Don’t give them everything they want. Try and get them to ‘earn’ through achievements or good behaviour for example
- I am just starting to teach my son, starting by making decisions. so you have Â£1 to spend you can get some stickers or sweets but not both. Or explaining that he could save it until he has enough to get a magazine.
I have started teaching Erin in a variety of practical ways. There are some great games from Orchard Toys like Orchard Toys Pop to the Shops which teaches children about money and is aimed at 5-9 year olds. This game is under £9 at Amazon and is a popular game at both home and school.
Another game Erin loves is playing Post Office‘s and we have this set from Learning Resources which packs away nicely but has been played with time and time again. Erin has so much fun being the post office lady!
Finally we often play cafes and this develops both Erin’s writing and maths. She often starts by writing a menu then once I have chosen she pops to her room to make the food. Then she returns as the waitress at the end I have to pay and I use her Play Money that helps her recognise the coins and notes that we use in the real world.
These tips are great ways to start the conversation about money and will help your child understand the value of things and hopefully lead them to having a good relationship with money.