Money Lessons for Kids

January 11th, 2014by admin

Money Lessons for KidsRemember the days when you felt like a million bucks if you had $1 in your pocket? A grown up friend with obvious nostalgia for allowance days was shocked when I told her we didn’t give our kids an allowance yet, “Well, how are they supposed to buy candy?”

I think when my children are adults they will have similar sentiments toward Farmer’s Market. Each week, that is when I give them a dollar or two to spend as they wish. In the beginning I considered letting them make all our produce purchases. The novelty of kids buying vegetables was so great that we got some unheard of deals. But now the vendors see us coming and I can read their eyes, “Oh here they come, those kids that like peas again”. It’s endearing to watch my boys get that same candy-at-the-corner-store thrill while counting quarters for strawberries or pomegranates.

If you are rolling your eyes at this point, let me make an analogy. You probably know a kid who is as riveted by a book as they would be during Saturday morning cartoons because a grown up has approached story time like it’s the best thing on the planet. The same goes for the way children view food. They adapt our definition of treats. (For little ones, keep introducing new foods even if they’ve rejected them in the past. Their tastes are developing all the time.)

My children learn more than how to make change at the Farmer’s Market. It was hard to resist piping up when Zack went for beets the size of ostrich eggs with his money. They would undoubtedly be tougher and less sweet than their smaller counter parts, but after cooking them for 2 hours in the oven, Zack learned this on his own. Now when he shops with his love of the future he can impress her with his knowledge of vegetables, and he’ll even know how to cook them.

Your kids will enjoy your offcast “real” wallet, or one that you get for them at a garage sale. Somehow it is more satisfying to have one just like Mom or Dad’s. Let them learn to bring it along on any outings you may take, and wait patiently as they fumble with the clasp to access money for purchasing peas. What follows are instructions on how to make their very own piggy bank. Another important lesson in money matters is the power of saving change, eventually it can add up to a great deal.


  • Construction Paper
  • Empty Coffee or Oatmeal Can
  • Decoration- crayons, pens, paints, bits of paper, stickers
  • Tape or Glue
  • Scissors


Cut a piece of construction paper to wrap around your can. Glue or tape a paper piece so that it covers the outside surface.

Use safety scissors to cut a coin-sized slot in the lid of the can.

Now decorate the can to your liking. You can cut out different colored bits of paper and glue them on for a collage effect, tissue paper is great to experiment with this way. It can be bunched up and glued on like flowers, or placed in a single layer for a stained-glass look.

Personalize your bank with your name or drawings of your favorite things. Glue on pictures cut from magazines of things you’d like to purchase when you’ve saved enough.


+Bring home coin rollers from a bank. Everyone is in such a hurry these days. You wouldn’t believe the reactions I got in the check out line when helping my child count out money for a ditch digger he’d been saving for. Okay maybe I live on another planet. Having your coins presorted before you try to cash them in will save you a whole lot of stress. And it’s a fun math activity.

BOOK MARK – Thematic Book for this math activity

A Chair for my Mother (Reading Rainbow Books) Paperback, Vera B. Williams – Caldecott Honor Book

The yummy paintings by Vera B. help to tell the story of the power of saving pennies. The protagonists’ family is her working mother and grandmother. They live in a city neighborhood where people still help each other out. There are many special things about this book, but most prevalent is a loving spirit. In spite of fire, and other adversity, this love is prominent in the child’s mind. Parents are reminded that no matter what our situation is in life, it is our approach that can make the difference between a nurturing or empty childhood.


About the author:

This post was written by Dana Murguia. The activity above  is from her blog at where visitors can sign up for a free copy of her book Easily Entertained

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