Are you ready to teach how to count money to your child? Teaching money doesn't have to be complicated. If you begin teaching your children from the time they are very small, learning to count money will become a natural process for them.
Teach How to Count Money to Preschoolers
Once your child is able to count to five, you should begin teaching basic money concepts. You will likely want to stick with dollar bills at first to avoid frustration. The last thing you want is for a young child to grow discouraged with learning how to count money. Utilize some of these techniques:
- Give your child three dollars and tell her she can buy three items at the dollar store. You will need to cover tax for her, but this will begin to help her understand that if she has a limited amount of money, she can only buy a limited amount of items.
- Give your child a stack of one dollar bills in the amount she can count to and have her count the dollars back to you. For example, if your four year old can count to 20, give her 20 one dollar bills.
- Talk to your child about what you are doing with money. Even if he doesn't completely understand what you are saying, the overall concept of counting money will begin to take hold.
- Play games that require the use of money. Tiny cash registers can be used to play store. This will get your child used to handling money.
Teaching Money to School Age Children
Once your child understands basic addition and subtraction, you should begin to teach him or her place values. Memorizing place values and decimals is the first step to truly understanding money.
There are many different programs and concepts that can help you teach how to count money to your child. A few of the more popular programs include:
- Money Instructor (most lessons are free)
- Dave Ramsey's Junior's Clubhouse (teaches how to manage money)
- Apples 4 The Teacher (free online money counting game)
Probably the best way to teach your child to count money is to put money in his hands. Explain how many pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters are in one dollar. Then, have your child count out each coin to a dollar (100 pennies, four quarters, etc.). Next, ask your child to give you different amounts of money, such as $1.36 or $5.22. As the child progresses and understands math and money better, you may want to work on figuring out how much change he should get back if an item costs $5.40 and he gives the cashier $6.00. These are vital skills that he will use his entire life. Like anything, practice will help him get better at counting money.
Money for Older Kids and Teens
Just because your child already knows the basics of counting money doesn't mean you shouldn't still work on this life skill. Not many people today know how to count back change in an orderly way. Others may simply guess at tax or not worry about it at all. Teaching your child these skills can help him in the future when he might hold a job where he needs to keep track of money.
You'll also want to start teaching concepts such as keeping a checkbook register, basic banking and good money management skills. With these tools, your children are certain to succeed in handling money.