If you’re a parent, you likely have a lot on your to-do list. We visited Junior Achievement of South Central PA (JA) to get tips for how to make one of these items – teaching your kids about money – easier for you and more fun for your kids.
What Kids Need to Know
JA programs teach kids about key financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship concepts, so we started off by asking them what kids need to know about money.
The JA staff agreed that one of the most important things for kids to learn about money is that it doesn’t grow on trees. This means teaching kids that money is not limitless and that they’ll have to work hard to earn it.
Another important topic for kids to learn about is about cash flow – how money comes in and out and the importance of tracking this in your own budget.
How to Make Learning About Money Fun
Parents sometimes feel like teaching kids about money is overwhelming or boring, so our next question was about how to make learning about these topics fun and engaging, instead. The JA staff shared some great ideas that are easy for parents and fun for kids.
Games – Whether it’s in the classroom or at home, you can sneak learning in when you use games. Check out the list of fun money games for kids we’ve compiled if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas. One JA staff member even recommended helping your child set up a traditional lemonade stand for a hands-on experience.
Encouraging your kids to earn – Whether it’s from a formal part-time job or doing chores around the house, actually getting paid and making decisions about the money they earned is a great learning experience for kids of any age. It gives you the opportunity to talk about the ways that money can be used, how money helps us reach our goals, and how to create a budget.
Making it real – Speaking to your child in real terms and giving them hands-on experience is important and can keep them engaged. A savings account for your child can be a great first step in making the lesson stick.