June 22, 2020
Financial literacy may not be top of mind in many households as the COVID-19 crisis continues. For parents now charged with managing their children’s home education, a clear opportunity exists: use the weeks and perhaps months ahead as context to teach the fundamentals of financial literacy. Teaching financial skills to your children is as vital as schoolwork. Unlike math, English, or science — personal finance is an at-home curriculum that kids learn by watching mom and dad. With the kids at home, there may be no better time to introduce practical financial lessons to your children. By using this social distancing period to give your kids a sound financial education, you'll be teaching them invaluable lessons that will stay with them into adulthood. Here are some fun ways you can educate your kids about finances and money during the COVID-19 quarantine.
- Play money-themed board games
Classic board games, like Monopoly and Life, can make learning about money fun. They also teach children important life skills, like purchasing real estate and saving up for retirement.
- Go pretend shopping
Kids love mimicking adults. Encourage this kind of play by opening up a pretend grocery store in your house, complete with food, food prices, money, and toy cash register. Switch between letting them be the customer and the store owner. Simulating the real-life act of shopping can be a useful tool in teaching young children how to add up and manage prices. It also lets your children experiment, ask questions, and put their theories into action.
- Read together
Reading is fundamental, and reading to your children could work as an educational and fun task that you can do together. Our GLCU resource page has a lot of engaging materials available that you can use to read to your kids and explain what certain money concepts mean. This could also act as an opportunity to teach them how to share, save, and spend smart.
- Play video games
Despite popular belief, not all video games are violent and brain-rotting. Many modern games promote strategic thinking about spending and saving. For example, Animal Crossing, a mega-popular game on Nintendo Switch, simulates daily life on a charming island village. The game lets kids take out a home mortgage and continue to pay off and accumulate debt while carrying out various activities such as fishing, bug catching, and fossil hunting.
- Help them reach a goal
Ask your kids to write down all the things they want and have them rank each. Set a date for when they hope to have it (e.g., their first day back at school or on their birthday). Help your child set up a plan for what they need to do to get the money (and how to save it). Not only does this teach your kids how to prioritize purchases, but it also gets them budgeting ahead of time for items they want.
Teaching your kids about money doesn’t have to be a chore. You can turn a complex topic into a fun activity and get your kids engaged with the topic of financial literacy. As your family takes precautions to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, don’t be shy about initiating dialogue with your kids about the family finances. The conversation could help alleviate fears they may have now and is likely to encourage better financial decision-making down the road.
Iasevoli, Brenda. "How to Teach Financial Literacy to Kids in Uncertain Economic Times." Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020, pp. 1-5, www.hmhco.com/blog/how-to-teach-financial-literacy-to-kids-in-uncertain-economic-times