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Teaching children about money is one of the most important things that parents must do. Not only must our children learn about the mechanics of money, but they must learn an appropriate attitude towards money also. To that end, it is important that parents understand that teaching their kids about money isn’t something that stops once your kids understand how money works. They must have a healthy attitude, and respect, for money. So what are the best toys to teach children about money?
Play Money – Farmer’s Market
One of the simplest methods of teaching children about money is to buy a farmer’s market toy set. Let your child learn about the various fruits and vegetables in their possession. When they have done this, encourage them to set up a farmer’s market, where you will come to buy their food. Start off simple – for example: one coin for one piece of food. This understanding can be slowly built up so that children understand that different things are worth different values.
As a direct follow on to the above, you could introduce your child to a toy cash register. Again, using a farmer’s market set up will allow the child to learn about the concept of change, and of how money is stored after you pay for something. These all feed into the child’s understanding of the mechanics of money and currency. At this stage, you could also introduce the idea of a debit card, and explain how that works. This will be a slow process, but it will slowly start to make sense. You could also take your child with you to the shop and allow them to buy something with real money so that they see a cash register in action.
So your child has learned about money, and how different things cost different amounts. Why not introduce them to Monopoly? It will take some time before they fully grasp some of the concepts, but Monopoly is a brilliantly exciting game for children, and it teaches them about many different aspects of transacting money.
Lastly, perhaps you could give your child an allowance? Give them a piggy bank and either give them a set small amount each week, or allow them to do jobs around the house to earn money. Keep the amounts small so that they must save their money in order to purchase anything worthwhile. This is a method of teaching your child about their approach to money. They already understand the mechanics; now they must adopt an attitude towards it.
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