The holidays are a time of good cheer, time spent with family and friends, decorations, and relaxing from a hectic year. Unfortunately for our wallets, it’s also a time of deals, sales, and a last push to get all of our loved ones gifts for the holidays.
It can be easy for kids to see this indulgent behavior in their parents and family and think that they, too, should grow up and splurge on holiday gifts for their family and friends. However, by demonstrating smart budgeting habits, we can set our kids (and ourselves) up for success when it comes to gift giving around the holidays and birthdays.
Through utilizing the cash envelope budgeting system, you’re able to plan ahead and save money to give gifts to loved ones, while removing the temptation to overspend or be blinded by deals while gift shopping. Essentially, the cash envelope budgeting system is where you fill an envelope with cash for a specific purpose: such as holiday gifts, a vacation, birthdays, or anything else you may be planning for.
To model good budgeting practices for kids, use these printable cash budgeting envelopes to put aside a certain amount of money together for shopping for holiday gifts. You can do this holiday activity as a family, and contribute a few dollars each every week. Once you reach your goal (or meet your savings deadline), you can go ahead and spend the money on that given purpose.
For more financial literacy resources click the image below.
I have heard adults and children proclaim that they are not good at math. Some people believe this because they received bad grades in this subject in school. Furthermore, they had a difficult time understanding various mathematical concepts. Many of us believe math just comes naturally for some people. I discovered that this is simply not true. Teaching mathematics in early childhood is one way to combat this belief.
You mean people can improve their math ability?
Yes, people can improve their math abilities. I remember reading the book, Morning by Morning: How We Home-Schooled Our African-American Sons to the Ivy League by Paula Penn Nabrit. The author details why and how she homeschooled her boys. When it was time for her sons to go to college, she talked to a college admission counselor about what they look for when admitting students to their school. Of course they mentioned grades among many other aspects of a student. The counselor said good reading scores starts early in childhood; however, with practice many students can raise their math scores later in life.
How can this be done?
Dr. Ben Carson gave a lecture on PBS called, The Missing Link: The Science of Brain Health. In this talk, he gave tips on how people can optimally utilize their brain. Dr. Carson addressed the fact that many people find math difficult. He says that anyone can be good at math. Math is a subject that builds upon the previous concept. He said that when people have trouble with math it is because they failed to understand the previous concept given to them. It is important for students to go back and make sure they understand the foundational ideas before they move ahead to the next.
It just takes practice and effort.
Why is teaching mathematics in early childhood important?
When many people hear the word “mathematics” they tend to think of numbers, equations, and theories. However, math is so much more than that. It is a part of our everyday interactions and children naturally practice mathematics as a life skill whether we notice it or not.
For example, a child knows that if he or she has one cookie and his or her sibling has two cookies, then there is a difference. If a child has played with a toy for five minutes and another child played with it for fifteen minutes, they can feel the discrepancy. In the examples above, children are using mathematics to decide how they should feel about certain situations.
If our children naturally practice these skills, why not foster their learning by connecting it to their interests and incorporating it into their play and daily routines?
We will discuss some ways to do this later.
What are the important mathematical skills in early childhood education?
Colors, shapes, and spatial reasoning are a few important mathematical skills in early childhood education. Colors help children organize and bring logic to their world. Identifying colors helps a child create a link between visual clues and words. Colors aid in giving children the vocabulary needed to describe the world around them, which opens up new verbal channels for them.
For instance, children often distinguish the difference between foods such as fruits and vegetables by their color. Furthermore, when your child is painting or coloring, most often they will make the sun yellow and water blue because this is familiar to them. It helps to organize their creation.
Shapes are not only important in math, but also life in general. A child who can identify shapes will learn how letters of the alphabet are formed. This prepares them to have better handwriting skills. For instance, the letter O is basically a circle.
Also, the knowledge of shapes is useful for building, which is an introduction to engineering. My son learned a lot about what shapes to use when building certain structures with his magnetic tiles. He learned that rectangles and squares make great bases or foundations for towers. His towers are made with hexagons, squares, and triangles. From these experiences, he was able to apply his knowledge of creating basic structures to making them more sophisticated and complex.
A child uses visual spatial skills daily when he or she imagines where a toy in their room is located before going to get it. Another example is when a child is packing their book or duffle bag; they visualize how different items can fit together to maximize storage capacity. Furthermore, when a child puts together a puzzle, they imagine where pieces go before putting them in the correct place.
What are the methods used to teach mathematics?
There are so many methods to teaching mathematics besides worksheets. My favorite method is playful learning which may include games, hands-on activities, and the use of toys. These activities will help you to make the information active to your child. This is important because learning comes to life for a child when they do something with the information.
Examples of fun activities you can do are to go outside, collect and count rocks, and sort them by color and texture. You can also build a math activity around your child’s interests. If your child likes cars, have them construct numbers in sand or mud with their toy vehicles. You can also create a road with tape in the form of numbers. Then have your child follow the path with the cars. If you have a child that likes dolls or stuffed animals, then help them do a role play as a teacher teaching their dolls how to recognize numbers.
The possibilities are endless!
Want more FUN ideas for teaching early childhood mathematics?
Many of the activities can be done with household items and materials. This book also gives its readers tips and resources such as children book suggestions, videos, music, toys, and playful materials.
How do I know these activities work?
These are the activities I have used to teach my son, Cory, early childhood mathematics. Currently he is five but does math on a 4th grade level.
Cory really enjoyed learning math because the activities were hands-on, playful, and fun. He connected with the concepts because he was able to experience what he was learning through engaging games. Additionally, when you use fun learning and play to expose a child to math, the information tends to stick faster.
There is a quote by Dr. Karen Purvis that says “Scientists have recently determined that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain – unless it is done with play, in which case, it takes between 10 and 20 repetitions!”
This is why playful learning is important, effective, and efficient!
My family exposed me to money at an early age. As a four-year-old, my older brother Linsey, introduced me to counting money. Linsey is eleven years my senior, so he was my mentor along with being my sibling.
After learning how to write in cursive, my mother gave me the task of filling out checks to pay our household utility bills. After completing the task, my mom would sign the check.
This taught me valuable lessons. As a nine-year-old, I was familiar with how much my family paid for water, electricity, telephone, and cable services. As a result, I was conscious of turning off lights when I left a room and how much water I used when taking a bath. Once I started paying bills on my own, it was second nature to pay them in a timely manner.
This book is available on Amazon. Click the image above to access it.
During the summers of my middle and high school years, Linsey and his wife, Michelle, invited me to stay with them for two to three weeks. During these times, they exposed me to money topics such as the stock market, interest rates, and credit through games and role plays. They also owned and operated a business and it was my job to assist and learn what it took to be an entrepreneur.
Passing It On
When my son, Cory, was fifteen months, he saw a quarter on the table and tossed it in the air. He was amazed at the sound it made once it hit the floor. He seemed interested in the quarter and I decided it was time to show him a piggy bank.
My purpose was to let him touch, feel, and play with coins. Because Cory was fifteen months at this time, I stayed close to him. I did not want him to put the money in his mouth. He carefully took pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters out of the plastic bag and put them in the piggy bank. He was pleased with the clanging sound made as the coins hit the bottom of the piggy bank.
Cory and I have explored various financial literacy topics since his first encounter with the quarter as a fifteen month old. These topics range from money recognition and saving to real estate investing and business. He has been exposed to this topic through games and playful activities. For example, we discussed real estate investing by using Play-Doh, paper, and pencil.
We have also discussed the purpose of car insurance by using his toy cars. My son and I spend a lot of time in the car going to the grocery store, playdates, church, library, etc. Cory was curious about what happens if I hit a car. This led to a discussion about car accidents, police officers, and car insurance while we had a treat at Dunkin Donuts. We went home and defined terms such as liability and collision insurance by playing and crashing toy cars.
Watch the video below to learn how to teach children the financial literacy words, Assets, Liabilities, and Transactions by simply playing Monopoly.
Below are questions many parents have about teaching kids financial literacy…
How do you teach kids about finances?
Exposing children to lessons in finance does not have to be dry and boring. In fact, as adults we deal with money almost on a daily basis. You can include your child in some of those real world experiences, like my parents did, by having them pay for their own item at the store or helping you pay bills.
Another idea is to use your child’s toys to explain financial concepts similar to how we used toy cars to explain car insurance.
With over 30 years of combined experience in teaching financial literacy, Linsey and I have written a book called, Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.There are over 110 games/activities, tips, and resources on how to teach kids financial literacy at an early age. The activities include materials and toys that you already have in your home. They also include fun field trips that create a hands-on approach and a supplement to your child’s learning.
It will help you take the guessing game out of how to expose kids to money topics and concepts.
What is taught in financial literacy?
In the book, Teach Your Child About Money Through Play, we address money topics such as the history of money, various ways people earn it, and how it is used. You will learn fun ways to teach your child about budgeting, basic banking, the difference between liabilities and assets, and debt.
We also teach you how to use items in your home, such as toys and clothing, to introduce your child to real estate investing, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Learn to use household items to create fun scenarios and role plays so your child will have an understanding of these subjects.
If you have a child who has a lot of ideas or has a desire to earn money, starting a business may be appealing to them. You will receive a step-by-step guide on how your child can be an entrepreneur. Even if your child is not interested in business, it is great to expose them to this subject to encourage them to act on their ideas.
How did you decide on these financial literacy topics?
It was important for Linsey and I to teach children the history of money, how it is used, how to earn it, and making it grow. The purpose of this book is for children to have a basic understanding of money since they will manage it in their future. We included games and activities so you will know how to present the information in a relaxed and fun manner.
These financial literacy topics were based on Linsey’s and my teaching experience. I have experience in creating curricula and hiring over 25 teachers to expose kids to real estate investing, the stock market, budgeting, saving, etc. In previous jobs, I helped kids start businesses where they made money.
Linsey is the financial expert in our family and has 27 years experience in financial services and teaching kids about money. He and my parents were my first teachers on financial topics. Linsey is a former bank manager, stock broker, tax strategist, health insurance specialist, licensed in life property and casualty insurance, investor, and recipient of the US Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year.
This why I asked him to co-write the book with me. I trust his judgement especially when it comes to financial topics. He approved the topics and content in the book.
Why is financial literacy important for youth?
Once a child becomes an adult, handling money becomes inevitable. They will need money for shelter, food, clothing, transportation, etc. People who are good managers of money will receive more of it and have a better chance of building wealth for their family now and in the future generations. Furthermore, they can be generous givers to others in need.
Good money managers who encounter a financial burden like a big medical bill or car repair view these situations as inconveniences instead of emergencies. They have the money in place to pay for these things.
It is best to make the process of learning financial literacy easier for children by exposing them to money topics while they are young. Teach Your Child About Money Through Play shows parents and teachers how to accomplish this with resources they use daily.
Let’s get our children a financial head start and strive to reduce the number one stress in our society today, money.
The Book’s Mission
Linsey and I have made it our mission to expose children to money topics in a fun way. With over 30 years of combined experience in teaching youth financial literacy, we give you a first-hand view of how to make money a conversation that is fun, natural, and interesting!
This is a great tool for parents and educators of children ages 4-10!
This book provides the following and so much more…
How to use real-world experiences to expose kids to financial literacy
Fun activities to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to money recognition.
How money is used in our society now and in the past.
Various ways that people earn money
Important lessons in budgeting money
The basics of banking
The difference between a liability and asset
Various types of debt and how it is used
How people invest in Real Estate
How people invest in the stock market, bonds, and mutual funds
Starting and operating a business
Kid Business Ideas
The purpose of having insurance
Here is What Others are Saying About the Book
I love that this book gives children an understanding of money and finances. Not only does it delve into ideas that make money, but it teaches the facts of money; its purpose, how to use money as a tool to grow in all areas of our lives and other vehicles that help accumulate financial growth.
My son loves to play, build, and race his toy cars. One day, I asked him if he wanted to have a car wash after seeing this activity on the Internet. I remember looking at this activity and thinking this would be a great idea for a kid who likes cars.
I had several reasons for suggesting the car wash. First, this activity was a fun way to encourage my son to practice his penmanship. The weekend we did the activity, it was raining. I was trying to find something hands-on to do in the house; although, a car wash is really fun when doing it outside on a sunny day. Furthermore, I wanted to incorporate three things that interest my son which are cars, counting, and getting messy.
Our Car Wash incorporated fun and so many aspects of hands-on learning. I thought I would share this activity with you so your kids can have as much fun as my son.
April is financial literacy month. I wanted to start the month off by giving you fun and simple financial literacy activities to do with young children.
Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad said when you are an adult your report card is your credit score. This is one reason why teaching kids financial literacy is so important. Once a child becomes an adult, handling money becomes inevitable. So, let’sstrive to build an early foundation for our children!
Roxy Ramirez has saved up for weeks to buy a chemistry set, and now she’s headed to the toy store to buy it! There’s only one problem. She keeps running into friends who are in trouble, and need her to dip into her savings to help. Will she have enough money left over to buy something for herself?
Just as a squirrel gathers nuts to prepare for the winter—eating some now and storing some for later—kids can learn the value of money by spending some of their allowance now and saving the rest for later using animals as examples.
This basic introduction to earning and spending explains how people earn incomes in exhange for their work and skill. It then explains the economic choices people make in saving or spending their income.
Teach your kids the basics about finances with this book. There’s no such thing as too early when it comes to these things. Properly seal the deal about money and other possessions by introducing this book.
At ten years old, Jazz Ellington, has over $2,000 in the bank, and his savings keep growing. His granddad taught him to save his allowance and set up a bank account. This book increases financial awareness while sharing the lives of two African-American boys growing up in the city.
This book teaches discipline, delayed gratification, and how good it feels to give to those in need. Dimes can teach your child the habits that will allow them to have a more financially secure and fulfilling life.
Five-year-old Sebastian Martinez, with the help of his older brother, turns his love for socks into a business that not only makes wacky socks, but also enables the duo to finally revamp the school dress code.
Arthur starts his own petsitting business to show Mom and Dad that he can be responsible! Between a boa constrictor, an ant farm, and a group of frogs, he’s got his hands full! Can Arthur still prove he is responsible?
Dollars & Sense is a basic instruction manual for money that will teach readers about the history of money, the way the American economy works, and how to make important decisions about personal finance.
Rock and Brock are twins and their grandpa offers them a plan―for ten straight weeks on Saturday he will give them each one dollar. But there is a catch! Each buck they save, he’ll match it quick. If they spend it, there’s no extra dough.
Kyle’s club is going camping and all the kids will sell Cool Candy to earn money for the trip. Kyle needs to find buyers for ten boxes of candy. Can he keep track of his cash and join his friends on the camping trip? Read this book to find out!
When Rae witnesses an ice cream and dog mishap, she’s inspired to create a solution to help get dogs clean. Rae draws on her determination and everyone else in her community when she learns what it means to be an entrepreneur.
When George decides to save up for a red train in the toy store, he doesn’t realize how long it will take or how hard he’ll have to work for his money. Read this book and find out if he gets the train.
Find out what happens to your money after you hand it to the cashier. What happens to that money once it leaves your hands? Who actually pockets it or puts it into the bank? Read this book to answer these questions.
When Sophie finds fifty dollars on the sidewalk, it gives her a great idea for a new name: Sophie the Zillionaire! In order to keep the name Sophie the Zillionaire, Sophie has to make more money — and fast.
The book explains the concept of money and how saving works based on the concepts of simple and compound interest. Children then learn where Wall Street is located, what stocks and bonds do, and, the right way to buy or sell a stock, mutual fund, or savings bond.
This book will reach kids before bad spending habits can get out of control. With answers and ideas from real kids, this grounded approach to spending and saving will be a welcome change for kids who are inundated by a consumer driven culture.
Mr. Chickee, a blind man in the neighborhood, gives 9-year-old Steven a mysterious bill with 15 zeros on it and the image of a familiar face. Could it be a quadrillion dollar bill? Could it be real? Read this book to find out.
This book answers the following questions about money: How and where is it printed? What do all those long numbers and special letters on currency mean? How are the newly designed bills improvements over the old ones?How can banks afford to pay interest?
George, a newly minted quarter on his way to the bank, has quite a day. He’s about to be traded, spent, lost, found, donated, dropped into a vending machine, washed in a washing machine, and generally passed all around town.
Saruni is saving coins for a red and blue bicycle. How happy he will be when he can help his mother carry heavy loads to market on his very own bicycle. How disappointed he is to discover that he hasn’t saved nearly enough!
This is a story of a man who spends his life struggling, saving, and sacrificing to build and own his own barbershop. Although there were many racial difficulties that stood in his way, he opens the doors of his new shop at the age of seventy-nine.