Money isn’t this easiest subject to get kids excited about. Unless you’re giving it to them with no strings attached, of course.
If you put a spreadsheet in front of kids and start talking about budgeting they’ll probably tune you out. (So would a lot of adults. Spreadsheets are pretty boring.) But if you turn your lessons into something fun and creative, not only are they more likely to pay attention, they’ll have an easier time remembering the experience and lesson.
Try one of these financial literacy crafts as a family to get make the most of your money lessons.
15 Financial Literacy Crafts For Kids
- Decorate piggy banks together (or use old mason jars as piggy banks to save a few extra bucks). You can even encourage the kids to use their decorations to visually show goals, using stripes of colors to represent the different levels of savings they hope to achieve.
- Have your kids draw pictures of items or experiences they want, then put the pictures up on the refrigerator to remind them of goals they have to save for.
- Have a “Free Fun” jar (kind of like an “I’m Bored” jar to collect ideas for fun free things you can all do together. Have everyone help decorate it and submit ideas.
- Demonstrate budgeting to them with plastic cups and dried beans – start with a set amount of beans and label each cup a spending category to show how there’s limited money to go around.
- Borrow the idea of Homemaking Fun and put on a drive-in movie night. The concession stand will give the kids a chance to learn about transactions, and it will be a fun experience for everyone.
- Make a lemonade stand. Decorate it together and let the kids practice buying and selling to each other with Monopoly money before trying it with neighbors.
- Make crafts out of items you’d otherwise throw away. Show kids the value of recycling and not wasting by turning toilet paper rolls, jars, and boxes into materials for crafts.
- Make money together! Let kids design their own dollar bills, or grab this printable play money for them to decorate.
- Give your kids a fun history and money management lesson at once. Talk about ways people saved money during the Great Depression by hanging onto things like tin foil and rubber bands. Make rubber band balls together and try out some (totally free) depression-era games.
- Use a paper plate and clothespins to have kids demonstrate their understanding of the value of a coin. For each coin you put on the paper plate, have them attach the number of clothespins it’s worth in cents around the edge of the plate.
- Make homemade toys. This one will pay dividends in the long term. It gives the kids something fun and frugal to do today, while providing them something to play with later as well.
- Commission a piece of art to go on the wall. Make it clear that it has to be something they put some work and time into so they really earn the money they make. This will give them an early experience with a financial transaction: trading something they’ve created for a dollar or a few coins.
- Encourage the kids to run a restaurant. Work up a list for them of everything that entails: writing menus, figuring out prices, making a shopping list for the ingredients. Help the kids dress up as waiters to serve dinner and pay them in monopoly money.
- Use clay to mold items related to the jobs various adults in their life have, like a stethoscope for a doctor or a hammer for a builder. Use it as an opportunity to talk about what work is and why adults do it.
- Teach kids about advertising and how not every item they see in a commercial or online is actually as good as it sounds. Create advertisements together with drawings or smartphone videos for goofy products with wild claims.
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