Well, on to today's topic-Money. I think it is so important even from a very early age to start teaching our kids about finances. So many people today handle money so poorly & I believe a lot of times it has to do with them not really being taught any differently & they just kind of follow what they saw growing up or just try to learn as they go along. I think I am pretty good at handling money, but could defintely do better. As parents, don't we all desire better for our children? I want my lil' girls to have good understanding of money & how it all works from balancing a checkbook, to saving, to giving it to others in need & so forth.
The 1st step that my husband & I took is buying our little girls tiny ceramic piggy banks that they got to paint themselves, really take ownership of it. We then then explained to the girls how they could earn money & we could then save it up in the piggy bank. We personally believe in giving money to God off the top & then from there they can decide the different things they would like to do with remaining money after that. The girls have been saving up their money for a few months now, periodically earning more & more to add to their savings. Along the way we contune to teach them not only the monetary value of each coin & dollar, but how beneficial saving it is. Recently, we decided to give the girls a whole new experience with money. Plenty of times at the grocery store we have let them experience the self checkout where they can scan the items themselves & pay the machine as well as the experience of paying actual cashiers for our groceries, but now it is time to grant them a lil' independence with this new activity.
Now that their money has accumulated to billions of dollars in a toddlers eyes, we are going to finally let them venture down the pathway of selecting by themselves what they would like to purchase with their own money & atcually pay for it. A great place to make your child feel very powerful while shopping with a lil' amount of money is the "Dollar Spot" at Target. Could they pick out something that you might think is kind of a waste? Maybe, but the point of this activity is to let them feel independent & decide what they want to buy & how much of their money they want to use. (We are engaing in this activity Thursday, so I will have to let you know how it goes).
In addition to this activity, we are going to continue doing activities with the girls to teach them the monetary value of each coin & bill. Right now we also really try to focus on giving when it comes to birthdays for other people. We make sure they are active participants in selecting gifts for someone else & not just always focused on their own wants in needs. Giving should be a big part of money because although sometimes we may not think we have a lot of it or enough, there is always someone with a whole lot less. The holidays are definitely the easiest time to engage in thinking about others & giving, but I want it always be at the forefront at my girls' minds. Future activites will also include learning to balance checkbooks, setting up saving accounts, field trips to the bank, understanding the pros and cons of credit cards & so forth.
There is so much that goes behind the topic of finances, but as parents it is definitely our responsibilty to provide them with the best foundation possible.
(The rest of the AZ Science Center pictures tomorrow)