Kids believe in a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Probably because the fairy tales have happy endings. It’s great to keep the optimism going, as long as we also keep it real – especially in money matters!
Help the kids to believe in their financial future by helping them to create it now. A pot of gold can be tricky to find, so it’s best to make your own.
Easter eggs are nest eggs
A traditional Easter egg hunt can turn into a pot of gold for kids. Hunting for plastic eggs filled with money is fun. Even as an adult! Found money is good money. It can be used to build a financial nest egg by saving the money. Piggy banks are fun but nest eggs are better because they suggest saving for a longer term goal.
To keep your kids happy, have a little chocolate and traditional sweets handy!
Tooth fairy money
Tooth fairy money under the pillow is magic that only goes so far. At a certain point reality sets in … and the kids realize that Mom and Dad are the one’s footing the dental bills and the tooth fairy money fund.
The value of the tooth fairy is in teaching that good dental hygiene saves money in the long run. Sure, you can find affordable dental care… http://www.nyparenting.com/stories/2012/2/fp_affordabledentalcare_2012_02.html but let’s focus on avoidable dental care with regular flossing and brushing.
Maybe the tooth fairy gives a little more money for a “good tooth” that was loved, flossed and brush. Okay, this may be stretching it… but,how much better is life is with good teeth and lower dental bills? That’s a pot of gold right in savings right there!
Money for now and later
Kids want money now, but they need to save some for later. Teaching the time value of money is a hard one! A good visual reminder to save money is when kids outgrow their clothes. Like at the end of summer, just before school starts… Last year’s pants are suddenly a few inches too short! The same thing can happen to money when we don’t keep saving more of it. We come up short!
Seeding the future</p>
Spring is here and seeds are great for teaching kids about money. They can help kids learn about the cycle of money – plant, feed, weed, wait and enjoy.
Planting money is taking the birthday and holiday money and putting it away so that it can grow. Weeding is removing wasteful spending, like blowing the money on cheap toys and candy. Getting rid of the budget busters helps to keep a healthy amount of money that grows. Feeding money is adding more money to it, even in little amounts. Watering the money is letting it grow over time, and in the end the money that you grow brings satisfaction that makes the whole process worthwhile.
Preparing for our future selves – ours and our kids – is the best way to find the pot of gold and a happy ending.
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Candi Sparks is the author of children’s books about money Can I Have Some Money?, Educating Children About Money, Max Gets It! and Nacho Money. She is the Brooklyn mother of two and is on Facebook (Candi Sparks, author) and Twitter (Candi Sparks, author). Her website is http://www.candisparks.com.
As an extension to the “Nest Eggs” activity you could have them buy the chocolate from you with the money they find – or they could choose to put the money in their piggy bank – or they could do a combination of both.
Thanks for reading the blog Cindy – that’s a great idea to add value to the lesson (pun intended)!