Money and maths – making learning easy
Three fun and interactive money lessons you can enjoy with your kids, even if maths is not their favourite subject.
Maths is one of those subjects that kids either love or hate. For some, maths comes naturally, but for others, success takes work. Even if your child doesn’t enjoy or excel in mathematics, there are steps you can take to ensure their financial literacy develops strongly with fun money lessons.
Here are some of the different activities that I used with my children to try to help make learning about money fun.
1. Divide and conquer
Getting to grips with the idea of monetary value and the different denominations of bank notes is a financial lesson you can gently introduce once your child knows how to count. Sit down with your child and show them two items of varying values – for example, a toy car and a bag of lollies. Supply them with different numbers of $1 and $2 coins, and $5, $10 and $20 notes, and make sure the total amount of money covers the cost of both items. Challenge them to divide the money into two parts – one part for each item – ensuring that each of the totals could buy them the allocated item.
2. Go shopping
Once they were around the age of five, I found giving my children fun shopping responsibilities was a great way to improve their financial education. It’s an interactive way to practise addition whilst sticking to a budget that they helped create.
Give it a try by cutting out some pictures of your child’s favourite foods – these can be pictures from magazines or ones you’ve found online. Use a marker pen to write an estimated dollar value on each of the items. Tell them to imagine they are going to the shops and give them a budget. Then, get them to glue the items they can afford onto a sheet of paper.
3. Count the coins
Learning how to add coins can be tricky for any child, and particularly children who aren’t confident in mathematics. Create a pile of coins, with as much variety in the denominations as possible. First, get your child to sort the coins into $2, $1, 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c piles. Then, challenge them to make a dollar in as many different combinations of coins as they can think of. For extra motivation, tell them if they can come up with more than three they can spend those three dollars on a treat.
Visit The Beanstalk for more advice on teaching your kids about money.