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Teaching Kids the Value of Money! Tips and 5 Awesome Children's Books Introducing Financial Literacy

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

At what age did you first learn about the value of money?

When I was a young child, I found a five-dollar bill on the ground. I took it home and drew all over it with a bright blue pen. Feeling proud of my new work of art, I showed it off to my parents only to be scolded. That was the moment in which I learned that money had more value than simply being a canvas for my artwork. I was devastated to learn that I had ruined this 5 dollar bill, but I learned an important lesson.

What if, however, we could teach children about the value of money in other, more uplifting ways? Well, we can!

How Can We Teach Our Children to Make Smart Money Moves

Let your kids play with educational money toys.

Toys that expose children to money can teach them valuable lessons while keeping them entertained.

  • A great option for a money toy is a pretend cash register. This can introduce kids to the various dollar bills and coins. It can also help children learn about the idea of making a transaction when they realize that certain items have a different price than others. Plus, your child will have lots of fun pressing all the buttons and opening the drawers of the toy cash register.

Introduce an allowance to your kids.

  • Children can learn about the value of money when you give your child an allowance as a reward for doing chores, for getting good grades, or for whatever you see fit. When kids earn their money, they are more thoughtful about how they spend it. They have a solid understanding of how hard they had to work to get that money in the first place, so they will think twice before spending their allowance.

Take your children to go shopping with you.

  • Kids are curious. Many would like to be included in their parents’ shopping excursions. Bringing them along with you on your journey to the grocery store or local boutique can also introduce them to the value of money. Be sure to ask your child questions and keep them engaged while shopping. They can look at the prices of items, talk to the cashier, and ask questions that may arise throughout your shopping trip. Bringing your child to go shopping with you can help them understand how much items cost and could lead them to become more conscious buyer in the future.

*Tip: If you find any coupons in the newspaper or mail, ask your child to help you cut them out before you go to the store. You can bring them with you and they can learn about ways to save money when making purchases.

Read books that discuss money with your children.

There is a growing number of books being released that talk about how you can spend, save, and give money.

There are so many benefits to using children’s books to teach your kids the value of money. It can be a bonding moment for you and your child. Reading together can make it easier for you to help clarify things for your little reader.

Plus, you can ask them questions about the book and add your input where you see fit. Reading books is also important for development. Your child can learn about money, while also further developing their reading skills.

Another benefit to reading children’s books about the value of money is that some eye-catching illustrations go along with these important lessons. These illustrations captivate young readers and can help them more easily remember the book’s valuable lessons.

Here are five of the best children’s books for reaching your kids about the value of money.

1. A Penny In My Pocket

Sometimes, even a little penny can make a big difference. A Penny In My Pocket is about a young boy named Stevie who goes to the grocery store with his mother. At the store, Stevie is faced with decisions not only about which items he wants or needs to buy but also how we can give to the less fortunate. This journey helps him understand the value of money and the true power of a small act of kindness. This popular story is also available in Spanish and is a perfect story for the holiday season.

2. Haisley’s Birthday Money

Have you ever received money as a birthday gift? Well, Haisley’s Birthday Money tells the story of a young girl named Haisley who is gifted money by her birthday guests who gather to celebrate her special day. She learns that she has to make decisions about when to spend, save, and give her money. This playful rhyming book is a great gift for boys and girls who are celebrating a birthday or who are even opening their first bank account.

3. The Plastic Rectangle

“Money is important in life, it’s true. But nothing is more important than you!” If you feel that that is an important quote to live by, then The Plastic Rectangle is the perfect book for you and your child. This book teaches kids about the various forms of money and the different ways in which it can be used. What’s special about this book is that it discusses how no one is defined by how much money they have, and money is not the answer to everything in life.

4. Not Enough Lollipops

This isn’t just a silly tale about a girl and her candy. Not Enough Lollipops tells the story of a young Alice who wins an enormous amount of lollipops, but she has trouble deciding how to share her reward with others. Although there is no real money involved in this story, kids can learn an important lesson about generosity and connect Alice’s lollipops with the way money works in real life.

5. A Penny’s Worth

If you want to teach your kids about US currency, this is the perfect book for you. A Penny’s Worth is a book about a penny, appropriately named Penny, who feels left out when she sees that she is the only one out of all the coins and bills that are not being spent. This is a great story for helping kids learn about the different bills and coins that make up currency in the US, while also teaching children an important lesson about self-worth.

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