During the summer, many families look for ways to keep their kids learning even when school is out. Learning about money can be a great way to keep math skills sharp and develop some important life skills, too!
Young Kids (K-2nd)
Make money fun for young kids. One summer, our family had a daily treasure hunt around the house early each morning. We had a jar of coins and mom would hide 15-20 each evening after the kids went to bed. In the morning, the kids would hunt for the coins and then add them on a piece of paper. Then, the coins would be returned to the jar for the next day’s hunt. It was a great way to keep up their math skills and the kids loved it!
Young kids love to collect coins too. Think about using the summer to begin a collection of the state quarters, or coins from particular years. You can add a social studies lesson to this activity, too! Learn the capital of each state, or an interesting fact about each asyou go.
Older Kids (3rd-5th grade)
As kids get older, they can begin to add to their money sense by earning money and making choices about needs and wants. If you pay your kids an allowance, check out this great, free site — www.zefty.com. You can set up the system to automatically track the amount your child earns weekly. Then, kids can set up a login, track their earnings, and even “write a check” when they want to cash out their allowance to make a purchase. It’s a great way to begin teaching kids banking skills.
Pre-Teens (6th-8th grade)
For middle school aged kids, keep developing money sense at home with lessons around earning, spending and saving, but consider taking advantage of some of the great financial education camp experiences that are available. Our local community college offers some great money camps for kids (Course: Money Matters), and organizations like Junior Achievement have amazing summer programs.
The summer is a great time for teens to add to their money skills. Take your teen to open a bank account. Have them make regular deposits of the money they earn. Begin to talk to your teens about your family budget. Help them understand the REAL cost of housing transportation and food. They will be on their own soon, this is the time to get real about money. This is also a great time to keep talking about careers and philanthropy as well.
Battling with your kids over “screen time”?
There are some great computer games that teach money skills. Visa’s Financial Football is a fun way to sneak in some money lessons during the summer. Also, television shows like Biz Kid$ can offer a fun way to learn about money and business while watching TV. Click the link and enter your zip code to find out when the show airs in your area.
There are so many great options to keep kids developing their financial skills during the summer. Let us know how your family keeps the learning going even when school is out!