Lets talk money!
Do you ever feel like a walking wallet to your children? You only have to step into a shopping centre with a toddler and before you have even stepped foot inside an actual shop, they are pleading with you to spend money on the car/train/plane/boat etc that moves ever so slightly and makes some horrendous noise for all of 2 minutes, while you stare at the space in your purse where the money used to be! I’m actually a totally mean mummy and let my girls sit on said rides, but always tell them I don’t have the coins for it, especially as most of them now cost £2!!
But as my eldest daughter is now 4, she asks further questions about money and says things like “we could just go and get some money mummy”. Or as we have discussed that people go to work to get money, she says “After you have gone to work can I get that toy?”.
I don’t believe that their are particular set ages to begin talking about topics with your children, as I think every child is different and you should base it on when they begin to be interested in certain topics. But I am curious of what age everyone tends to start to talk about money with their children and begins to teach them financial responsibility.
Teaching children financial responsibility
One way many parents choose to do this is to give children pocket money, or an allowance of a set amount per week. Personally I never had this growing up and it is not really something I plan to do for my girls, but I do plan to give my children responsibility of money from time to time.
I have started giving my eldest daughter some money every now and then, to put in her own purse in her own little bag. This means she has an idea of what I mean when I say “I don’t have money for that”. If she has £1 in her purse and wants a Kinder egg and buys it, then the money is gone and she can’t then put it in the ride etc. So she can make her own decisions and learn through the experience. She is always so proud when she has her own coins in her purse and I like the fact she is learning a sense of responsibility at such a young age (4years).
However, I did once take her into a shop with her £1 in her purse and she found a lovely thing, but in the total chaos that is negotiating a queue, till, purse, pushchair and walking child, I totally forgot to let her pay for it and whipped out my contactless card! Total fail as she then points out she needs to pay while we begin to walk away. Luckily a quick whisper and pleading glance at the shop assistant and she managed to take the coin and then discreetly hand it back to me, without my daughter realising (thank you kind shop lady!). Maybe I need to learn a few lessons in financial responsibility!
I have really enjoyed talking with my daughter about, what money is, why we have money, where we get money from, where we keep money and what things need money.
Money activities to do with pre-schoolers:
- Looking at coins – coin rubbing:
A while ago I did a money activity with both my daughters (1yr and 4yrs) where we looked closely at coins. It is one of those activities that once you start it, you realise just how much there is to talk about. We used metallic pencils to make Coin rubbings of all the different coins and stuck chocolate money wrappers onto the picture too. While doing it we talked about the sizes, shapes, colours, numbers, writing and pictures on the coins. It is a great ‘Spot the differences’ activity and also great for number recognition.
- Playing with purses, wallets and bags:
Playing with a Clippy purse is great for fine motor skills, as opening and closing them is actually quite tricky for little fingers (see our top 20 fine motor skill activities here). And the same goes for velcro, press stud or zip wallets and bags, opening and closing these fastenings is all good fine motor practice and also great for teaching independence and helping children learn to dress themselves too.
- Playing shops / cafes:
My girls love playing with their till, shopping basket and toy food. It is also a great opportunity to practise counting, especially if you make your shop a Pound Shop! My eldest really enjoys lining up her toys in a queue at the till and taking their orders for food in a cafe too. We use this activity to practice word recognition, reading and writing too as she reads and copies shopping lists and cafe menus.