I’m in Kindergarten!
The little ones are now in Kindergarten or first grade. Their awareness of money and its benefits is heightened and now it’s personal. Today’s schools are asking them to help pay for their education by contacting their relatives to ask for money. This money may be an outright donation to fund the librarian or computer lab or it could be a request to purchase wrapping paper, cookie dough or grapefruit!
What is a little one to think? They are familiar with coins and dollar bills some of which have even found their way into their piggy bank. And it’s obvious from the way their parents fuss about saving that money is important.
They may be thinking they won’t have any books to read if there’s no librarian—and they like reading! Time to panic? Well no, because this is where their ‘hidden’ inclination to exhibit self-control surfaces. Together with their parents they create a plan to induce their aunts, uncles and grandparents to help fund the librarian! At this age, budding self-control tendencies and the ability to plan future events for personal benefit are inherent readiness skills!
Interesting to them is that this librarian scarcity dilemma can simply be rectified with money. This is the first step to understanding that money has VALUE. Comparing the monetary value of a librarian versus a computer is, however, not possible at this age! In addition, their attention span for discussions of such abstract topics is way too short.
Money is Interesting
What CAN be gleaned by 5-6 year olds, is that money has an important place in the lives of their family members and now in their own life. They will be involved in discussions about fund-raising goals that have been set for their family to help pay for their school librarian. This will definitely motivate them to learn more about money. Here are some money activities you can do with your children to reinforce basic money concepts.
- Go on a treasure hunt for misplaced coins around the house—on the floor, under pillows, in jars and pockets etc. When found, arrange all the coins in their specific piles and ask your child to count them by the number in the stack. Next, show them how a nickel is five pennies etc. Ask them if they would rather have a nickel or a penny. Don’t expect them to understand the value of the various coins, but you have piqued their imagination. Now, take them shopping with you and show them how to put coins together to check out. Buy a McDonald’s special $.50 soft serve on the way home with coins found around the house.
- Play Clue Jr. or Checkers with them . These games reinforce ‘planning’ and ‘thinking’ skills that can help them understand abstract ‘coin value’ concepts.
- Use cooking as a way to teach coin concepts to your children. Help them cut a lime in half and then show them that one nickel is half of a dime.
- Buy Cuisenaire rods and teach them fractions! Amazon has them for $11.88. I used them to teach my children basic math concepts.