Do your kids have any concept of what money is and how much it represents?
Our kids didn’t.
They knew that money existed and that you can exchange these shiny coins for things you really want. Our kids used to get really exited when they received any amount of coins. They had no idea that each coin could represent a different value. A coin was money to them and the more coins, the more money they had, so they thought.
Until kids can count or know their numbers, it doesn’t really matter. But as soon as they can count, you can actually make them aware of what each coin represents and teach them to appreciate the value of money.
This is how our daughter at age 6 came to understand what the value of money really means.
She would fold plastic shopping bags for her grandmother to save space and she would get 1 penny (1ct) for each folded bag. When she folded more than 5 bags, she would get a nickel (5ct) and however many cents she earned.
At first she was not too happy with it because she only got a few coins instead of the number of bags she folded. Then we showed her that the one coin had a 5 on it and that it was as much as five of the other coins.
The first little while she would exchange the nickels for pennys because this made more sense to her.
With a little persistence, we finally got through and now she actually looks at the coins differently. She now knows that 5 cents makes a nickel and 10 cents make a dime etc.
Then, when she got money from the tooth fairy, she knew exactly how many bags she would have had to fold to get that much (the tooth fairy gave her a quarter) and appreciated it so much more.
Over the summer she started her face painting business and for each face she did (or tattoo for adults) she would receive a dollar and a half.
After one day she earned about twenty three dollars. She could not believe the amount of bags she would have to fold for that.
She told us that she likes the face painting much better than folding bags for grandmommy, it was much easier and much more fun. She also realises that this would take her to her goal, a waterbed, much faster.
Make it fun and make it mean something for them!
An easy way to get started is by taking a look at the FREE mini-course: 50+ Fun Ways For Kids To Earn Money.