Category: Learning At Home

Teaching Kids About Money: Setting A Solid Foundation

Teaching Kids About Money: Setting A Solid Foundation

One of the things that surprised me most about parenting is how many life skills need to be taught directly. Of course, we teach our children to use the bathroom independently and tie their shoes, but we also teach them how to resolve conflicts and help in the kitchen. One of the most important jobs of parenting (in my opinion) is teaching kids about money. I reached out to my friend Heather Farris from The Balanced Mamas to share her best tips with us!

Teaching Kids About Money: Setting A Solid Foundation | teaching kids about money management, teaching kids money learning, learning money management

Money is a tough subject to talk about in some family homes. In fact I came from a home where money wasn’t plentiful. My parents worked hard but they weren’t the best at teaching the kids about money.

I’ve grown up thinking I had to hang on to everything I earn and work myself to death to get it.

That’s not what I wanted for my children. I wanted to teach my children about money in a way that would provide a healthy foundation while still instilling the importance of it.

Money is simply a tool in our household. Teaching kids about money is an important lesson and as parents we get to choose how to do it.

FOUNDATIONS OF TEACHING KIDS ABOUT MONEY 

Teaching kids about money can start at a young age. You can start with projects, looking at coins and talking about what they are. Point out the differences in them and have your toddler repeat it back to you. Make it fun and they will play along.

Ages 2-3

When my first daughter was 2 I went out and bought a piggy bank that she could play with. She was obsessed with our coins and I didn’t want to make it something she couldn’t have because that leads to power struggles.

So I bought the piggy bank, filled it with coins and showed her how to take the bottom off of it. For weeks she would fill it up, take the bottom out and let all of the coins fall all over her legs.

Ages 4-5

Then she got to the point of understanding that when I give people those coins they would give me something in return.

At around 4 she started paying close attention when we would go grocery shopping.

Teaching Kids About Money: Setting A Solid Foundation | teaching kids about money management, teaching kids money learning, learning money management

Learning Activities for Preschoolers

Empty the piggy bank and set a savings goal for the family. Choose what you will spend it on together and get started. Everyone can add to it and you can count how much is in the bank as you add to it. Keep a running tally and let them help with the counting.

Once you reach your goal then head out to spend your money on your prize.

By doing this you’re teaching them the value of money. They will have a certain amount to spend and once it’s gone it’s gone.

Take Them Shopping

One of my favorite activities when I was shopping with my daughter was to take her grocery shopping. I know I’m a little nutty but we made it a thing and she was well behaved.

So as we made our way through the store I would hand her items to hold and feel. I would tell her the item name, color and price. Eventually, she got to where she knew the prices and what was what as I placed it in the cart.

Have Them Pay

Your kids will undoubtedly get cash for their birthdays or other holidays. This is a good time to teach them that what they are asking for costs money. So have them pay for their toys or ice cream.

Teach Them About Work

This could be simply having them do a chore around the house. Kids are funny in they are always wanting to buy something. Instead of telling them no and ending the conversation tell them they have to pay for it once they have earned enough.

Teaching Them Wants Vs Needs 

This can be a difficult topic for preschoolers to understand because they are just learning the concept of buying things that could be considered a want.

For the school-aged kids though this is a great lesson.

Start at the store when you’re out grocery shopping. As you place things in your cart explain to them why you’re buying it.

While mom’s special chocolate that she doesn’t have to share could be considered a need you can take the opportunity to explain why you want it.

Have them help you as you go through the store distinguish what is a want and a need.

Don’t Tell Fibs About Money

Kids respect honesty as much as adults do. If they are at the store and ask for something you don’t want to buy them don’t just simply tell them no because you can’t afford it. Explain to them that you have a budget for toys and it’s not in the budget right now.

They will move on quicker with this tactic than if you simply say no.

Talking to your kids about budgeting will bring awareness that money doesn’t just come and go freely.


Click here to read more of Heather’s posts about money!

Teaching Kids About Money: Setting A Solid Foundation | teaching kids about money management, teaching kids money learning, learning money management


Final Thoughts

Teaching kids about money can be fun if we as parents make it fun for them.

Treat these conversations about money as a teachable moment. Their little brains are soaking up so much knowledge everyday. If you take the time to start them young with healthy money conversations then you will give them that solid foundation they need.

But wait! Money conversations don’t just happen once or twice and that’s it. Continue the conversation as they get older.

Build your bookshelf with books that include subjects around money. (The Intentional Book Club is a great place to go for book recommendations! You can click my referral link and try it free for seven days.)

Continue the conversation and get them involved! 

How are you teaching your kids about money?


Teaching Kids About Money | A Guest Post from Heather of The Balanced Mamas

Heather is an entrepreneur, blogger, and mom of two. She and her husband live in the Midwest where he is stationed in the Air Force. On her blog, TheBalancedMamas.com, Heather helps other moms build a balanced home and enjoy more quality time with their families by building systems and routines. She does this by providing practical solutions that moms can implement quickly so they can get back to spending quality time with their family.

13 Best Learning Toys For Kids: Indoor Version

13 Best Learning Toys For Kids: Indoor Version

We began our minimalism journey when our oldest child was three years old. As first-time parents, we had bought into the myth that our baby needed ALL the things from the infant aisles at Target. When we moved from a three-bedroom house (with a basement!) to a two-bedroom apartment, we realized things had to change. Over the last six years, we have focused on finding and keeping only the BEST learning toys for our two girls.

The key is finding learning toys that will grow with our kids though several ages and stages. Now that our girls are 6 and 9, our toy collection is pretty much complete!

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you.You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

Learning toys for babies:

  • Bristle Blocks

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations
We got this set of bristle blocks for our younger daughter’s first birthday! Little ones love to grab the blocks, the bristles are great for teething, and they are a fantastic quiet toy for read alouds when kiddos get older.


Learning toys for toddlers:

  • Mental Blox

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

Mental Blox are one of our favorite building materials. The blocks are made of a light plastic, small enough for older babies and young toddlers to play with. Preschoolers can sort the blocks by shape and color, or use the enclosed picture cards to recreate structures. Older children can use the blocks for geometry lessons, to discover the differences between circles and spheres, squares and cubes.

  • Kitchen + play food

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

We bought this kitchen on clearance at Cracker Barrel (similar) the year our younger daughter turned 2. Four years later, it’s still a toy that gets played with whenever we have friends over. Our girls love to play restaurant and hotel, and having a kitchen gives them some fun opportunities for imaginative play.

  • Melissa & Doug cutting set

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

Our cutting fruit is a toy that has been well-loved for years. We have a cheaper, plastic version, and I wish we would have invested in a wooden set from the beginning. Toddlers love the Velcro sound when the pieces are separated, plus they are great for learning vocabulary, practicing matching, and having fun making silly combinations.

  • Wooden Blocks/Jenga

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations
Our girls have a set of wooden blocks (similar to these), but they have more fun with our Jenga set that we bought at a thrift store. Last spring, I painted them in gradient patterns for an extra layer of learning.


Learning toys for preschoolers:

  • Dress-up clothes

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

Starting a dress-up box for your kiddos will provide hours of fun! We like to buy individual pieces that can be mixed and matched to create new scenarios: masks, hats, vests, and scarves that can be used in a variety of ways.

  • Train set

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

I never expected my kids to enjoy having a train set, but we slowly added pieces over the years and it is now one of our favorite winter toys. The girls have gone from watching us build a configuration to creating their own.

  • Trampoline

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that we used to live in a two-bedroom apartment. Having an indoor trampoline has been a lifesaver on days when it is too hot or too cold to play outside. Our version (similar) has a handlebar that is easy to remove, making it fit perfectly under a twin-size bed for easy storage. (It also makes a great addition to our reading nook.)

  • Busy Farm

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

Any type of animal counters will serve your children well. From counting, to sorting by color, to using for imaginative play, we have loved our little animals.

Easel

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

We bought our easel from IKEA, and it has provided hours of fun. From drawing to writing messages to each other, it’s the perfect size for toddlers and preschoolers to discover their inner artist.

  • Playdough + cookie cutters

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

Making homemade playdough is one of our favorite activities! We have had this set of cookie cutters for years; it includes letters, numbers, seasonal items, and a variety of shapes. I love that our girls can use them for painting and tracing as well.

  • UNO Cards

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

There are so many fun educational games for families to play, but I picked UNO specifically because of its versatility. I wrote more about the ways we like to play with the cards in this post: 7 Must-Have Math Toys for Every Family


Learning toys for kids:

  • Marbleworks

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

There are a number of marble runs available these days, but we are partial to the Discovery Toys version. The quality, durability, and guarantee are SO worth it! We have gotten more than our money’s worth over the past five years or so.

As we enter the holiday shopping season, I would love to hear YOUR family’s favorite learning toys!

Come join the discussion in our private Facebook group, Adventures in Learning at Home:

Come join the discussion in our private Facebook group, Adventures in Learning at Home!

5 FREE Pumpkin-Themed Invitations to Play

5 FREE Pumpkin-Themed Invitations to Play

October has arrived, and so have the pumpkins. On Saturday, we took our girls to go apple-picking, and the farm was full of families heading to the pumpkin patch. Grocery stores and home improvement warehouses are setting up their displays, leaves are raining down from the trees, and little ones are counting down to Halloween. Today, I am excited to share five FUN, free, EASY pumpkin-themed kids activities for your family.


Scroll down for our freebie!

And if you are a homeschooling/tot-schooling family, be sure to click here for our list of FREE (and almost free) pumpkin activities for the month of October.


In case you missed the introduction to our invitation to play series (click here), let me give you a brief introduction to how we structure these fun, simple activities at our house.  

  • Maybe you are looking for some play-based learning ideas for your toddler or preschooler.
  • Or you are trying to help an older child with homework or get dinner on the table. 
  • It could be you are a WAHM searching for a quick activity that will engage your little one while you send an e-mail or film a FB live video. 

An invitation to play is an easy, open-ended activity that uses just a few materials found around the house. Keeping these learning activities set aside for special times keeps them interesting and intentionally engaging for when you need 10-15 minutes to get something else done! Best of all, these simple materials can be mixed and matched for countless other activities throughout the year.

This week, I have a freebie for you: a download with FIVE simple pumpkin-themed invitations to play, including a materials list!


Here’s a sneak peek at some of the skills found in our pumpkin-themed kids activities:

  • Fine-motor and hand-strengthening
  • Object transferring
  • Object stringing
  • LOTS and LOTS of learning through open-ended play

See one of the activities here:

If you want even more, be sure to join our Facebook group for 31 days of pumpkin-themed kids activities!


Five FREE Pumpkin-Themed Kids Activities (Toddlers and Preschoolers) | tot school, preschool at home, learning at home, tactile activities, wahm kids

Just fill out this quick form to let me know you want the freebie!

Melissa @ Rolling Prairie Readers

Don’t forget to share this freebie with your friends. Hit the Facebook button below or pin this image:

Five FREE Pumpkin-Themed Kids Activities (Toddlers and Preschoolers) | tot school, preschool at home, learning at home, tactile activities, wahm kids