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All About Money: Savings and Financial Literacy for Kids

Understanding money is crucial for effective money management. This includes understanding the value of money, how to perform money math, and how to save money. Students should begin learning money skills in the earliest grades for a comprehensive money education. Kids can start by learning the values of the coins and how to add and subtract them before they move on to more complicated material.

Financial Literacy for Preschool, Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First and Second Grade

Teachers should introduce the basic concepts of money to the youngest students. Generally, students will be introduced to coins and currency first so they can recognize items and know their value. Lesson plans may include activities, games, and projects to give students many different ways to learn these concepts.

Lesson One: Making Spending Decisions

Everyone has choices to make, even the youngest children. When children are given the freedom to make simple choices, they learn important skills. Kids can learn valuable lessons about how to make money-related decisions. Games and activities offer both entertainment and opportunities for learning to make spending decisions.

Lesson Two: Spending Plans

Simple spending plans are not out of reach of even preschool learners. By learning these skills in early childhood, students are more likely to adopt responsible money management behaviors that will continue into adulthood. Introduce the concepts of saving, spending, and sharing as they relate to money. Kids should also learn that money is a limited commodity and needs to be divided to use it for different purposes.

  • Start a Spending Plan: A spending plan helps people track the money earned and how it's spent, which can help with meeting financial goals.

Lesson Three: Earning Money

Students need to learn that money is earned to provide for needs and wants. By giving young children small amounts of money to manage, they gain important skills. Children also need to correlate work and money. Introduce children to simple concepts about earning money and how money can help people achieve financial goals.

  • How to Make Money as a Kid: Even elementary students can find way to earn money if they are willing to get out and do odd jobs around the neighborhood.

Lesson Four: What Is Money?

Money is essentially a medium of exchange for goods and services. Coins and bills have different appearances and values, and children need to learn the names and values of the coins and bills. Students must also learn how coins and bills translate into purchasing power. Games and worksheets can help children learn and experiment with these concepts.

Financial Literacy for Grades 3-6

Students in grades three, four, five, and six are generally ready for more advanced financial literacy concepts. Use both lesson plans and activities to help students translate their understanding to real-life applications. If students can have opportunities to manage money, they'll also gain valuable experiences and skills.

Lesson One: Allowances and Spending Plans

Students in this age group will benefit from receiving a regular allowance. Managing this small amount of money can help them learn to divide their funds into save, spend, and give categories. Students should also be encouraged to record how they spend their allowance. Creating a budget is also helpful.

Lesson Two: Money Responsibility

Recording how money is spent is part of money responsibility. Students should calculate how much money is available, how much has been spent, and how much money needs to be saved. Managing money is closely intertwined with record-keeping, which can teach important skills, too. Worksheets can help students practice these skills.

Lesson Three: Saving and Investing

As students plan to save money, they should be given options. Depositing money into a savings account is one way to save money. Introduce the concept of saving and investing money for future use, possibly for college or for retirement. Teach students about investing money to have it grow for future spending. Kids should also learn about financial risk and rates of return as they explore investments.

  • What Is Investing? Investments involve some risk, but it's possible to get a higher rate of return for those who are comfortable with that risk.

Lesson Four: Comparison Shopping

Comparison shopping is part of being a smart consumer. When they're faced with the need to make a purchase, students need to know that it's wise to compare products and services to find the best option. Scrutinizing advertising is another component of comparison shopping. Students should also explore the differences between needs and wants so they can make wise purchasing decisions.

Counting Money and Money Math

  • Count Money: Khan Academy offers a quiz about counting money that allows students to enter answers and get instant results.
  • Counting Money: Learning the value of coins and bills is one of the first steps in learning how to count money.
  • Learn How to Count Money: Counting money is necessary for buying things, and kids can practice these skills with simple problems.
  • Counting Coins Worksheet: Count the coins for each problem, write the value of each group, and check the answers with the key below.
  • Value of Coins: Match each coin with its value by dragging them to the correct boxes.
  • Counting Money: This online activity can teach students the value of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.
  • Money Pieces: Use this workspace to explore different coins and bills to see how their values work together and build on each other.
  • Money Math: Kids can use this money math workbook to gain important money and finance skills.
  • Money Math Activity: This activity designed for kindergarten students can help youngsters learn how to identify and describe coins.
  • Money Math Matters: Financial literacy begins in the earliest grades as students learn about coin and bill value, then progresses to more complex subjects such as budgeting, economics, and supply/demand.
  • Math Game: Money Toss: With buckets and coins, teams toss coins into the buckets and then count the value to determine the winner.
  • Exploring Money: Use this workbook to reinforce adding, counting, and sorting money.
  • Clean Up the Money: Play this game with coins and dice to practice money values and counting skills.
  • Learn to Count Money: This engaging game asks kids to count money to advance to new levels.
  • Money Math: Money math involves learning skills to complete basic financial processes.
  • Dolphin Dash Money Game: The dolphins race while players try to add sums of money as fast as possible.
  • How Much Money Is Shown? Count and add up the coins shown, then enter the correct answer into the box.
  • Use Coin-Based Games to Teach Money and Math Skills: Both teachers and parents can use the games outlined in this list to teach kids money skills.
  • Counting Coins Worksheet: Download and print this worksheet for kids to practice the skill of counting coins.
  • The Money Can: A group of students can practice their knowledge of coins and money value by playing the money can game.