How Can You Keep Kids’ Minds Sharp This Summer?
educating-myself | Read Time: 4 minutes
By Bob Juliano | Published: July 2020
School is out for summer! While it’s a time to rejoice for children, it can leave many parents wondering how to keep their kids learning in between ice cream cones and dips in the pool.
Now is as good a time as ever to teach children about financial literacy, a topic that can often be overlooked in the classroom.
Here are some tips to keep your kids learning about money and to bring financial literacy lessons to life.
Introduce your children early to fun games to keep them engaged when learning about money and spending habits.
A great way to help kids learn about money, and build their financial confidence, is to play board games that involve money. It’s not only a great way to introduce kids to money concepts such as counting, adding and subtracting and the cost to purchase something, but counts as quality family time too!
Use Chores, Household Tasks and Playtime to Teach More
Give your child an allowance once they’re old enough to start pitching in with chores around the house to learn about the value of working for their money. With the added free time summer provides, children of all ages can pitch in, whether it’s picking up their laundry, mowing the lawn or skimming the pool – between having fun in the sun, of course.
Many younger children love to play imaginary or role-playing games like “restaurant” which provides an excellent opportunity to help acquaint them with using money. Role play with them, using coins or play money to make purchases for the food they are selling you. Another popular role-playing game for young children, “house,” can incorporate pretend bill paying for utilities, mortgages and groceries.
For older kids, have them sit down with you when paying bills online and placing online grocery orders - or take them to the store with you – pointing out the family’s savings from planning, budgeting, seeking out sale items and using savings tools like digital coupons.
After a few rounds of shopping, give your kids a budget to build the grocery list and apply what they’ve learned, finding ways to save and building their confidence in managing money and budgets.
Focus these activities on earning, spending, saving and the importance of budgeting at a young age, when children are free from financial burdens, but also stress the value of living within their means.
For older children, encourage them to find summer jobs or start a business such as mowing neighbors’ lawns to earn some extra spending money for summer activities or to save for a large purchase like a car.
Use the money they’re earning as a chance to talk to them about a financial plan for different stages of their life, whether it be attending college, buying a home or saving for a rainy day.
In the current environment, summer jobs may be a bit more difficult to come by for teenagers. If you’re a parent working from home, check with your employer about opportunities to have your child assist you as an intern.
Internships provide invaluable on-the-job learning for many students and this could be a chance for your child to test the waters for a future career field.
It’s never too early to introduce your children to ways they can build a solid financial foundation. Once children are old enough to count, their lessons should begin. And don’t forget to set a good example for your children with how you handle money as well.
While summertime can be a great chance to kick back and unwind, it also provides plenty of teachable moments to keep your children’s minds sharp for when school is back in session.
About the Author - Robert Juliano
Bob Juliano is Vice President, Director of Corporate Giving & Financial Literacy at WSFS Bank. He is a financial education expert for the Bank and has taught K-12 financial literacy to thousands of children.
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