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One thing that’s been on our minds this week is how we can help support parents and educators tasked with providing engaging and fun learning experiences that parents can execute at home. Here’s some of our favorite money activities. Think of this list as a sort of curated resource area where we’ve done the searching and provided the best financial education resources out there! We’ll continue to update as we come across new ideas.
Money As You Grow
What it offers: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Money As You Grow resource center is designed to help parents introduce, teach, and reinforce financial concepts for their children. In addition to lessons and downloadable content, there’s also a “Money As You Grow Bookshelf” area with suggested children’s books and parent/educator guides. The books themselves are not available here.
Why we like it: This resource area is divided by age (younger children, school-aged, and teens) and by category (earning, saving, planning, to name a few). There are activities for each category and age group, usually more than one, so there are lots of fun, creative options to browse.
Do it now:
- Young Children – Pretend Play lays out scenarios to help 3-5 year-olds practice using money. Activities include shopping, going to a bank, and going to work. The downloadable guide includes a printable coin, bill, and coin page.
- School-Aged Children – Surprise Money Gift encourages school-aged children to think about spending. If you were to receive a surprise gift of $100, what would you do with it? A downloadable helps guide parents and educators through the lesson.
- These are two of our favorites, but there are many, many more!
Practical Money Skills
What it offers: A global financial literacy initiative by Visa, Practical Money Skills is on a mission to “help individuals and communities develop their money management skills.” The website provides information to families and consumers, lessons for educators, kid-friendly games, a financial calculator (can I afford that car?) and other resources.
Why we like it: There are so many resources here! Although many are geared towards adults, there is plenty that families and educators can use for free.
Do it now:
- Peter Pig’s Money Counter – Designed for kids ages 5-8, this game allows players to “earn” money by sorting money correctly and adding the value of coins. Kids save a portion of their earnings for the future and can spend some in a virtual store, dressing up Peter Pig. Available for free download in the App Store or Google Play.
- Financial Football – Visa and the NFL have teamed up to provide kids, 11 years old and up, a football-themed game about finance. Educators can also download free lessons that accompany different levels of play. Available for free download in the App Store or Google Play.
United States Mint
What it offers: The United States Mint has a “History in your Pocket” (H.I.P.) website just for kids called Pocket Change. Families and educators will find activities, games, videos, lessons and more.
Why we like it: The site is easy to navigate and very kid-friendly (although we recommend that young people use the internet with adult supervision). Kids can learn about different coins and Mint initiatives like the America the Beautiful coin series, for example. Young learners can play games as part of a lesson plan or just on their own, and teachers and parents can access a larger lesson plan library of ideas for all ages of students. This website seems perfect for elementary-aged students.
Do it now:
- Circulating Coins Coloring Pages – Preschool and lower elementary students may enjoy coloring their own pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, all of which are available as a Pocket Change’s coloring page.
- Counting with Coins – It lacks the pizzazz of some of the other financial education games out there, but this game is completely web-based, no downloading required. Kids answer questions about identifying coins and more to earn badges.