Grace loves to play grocery store at home. She has a little Minnie Mouse cash register, a shopping cart, pretend food, and she even puts a little baby doll in the shopping cart when we play. Her cute little Minnie Mouse cash register came with pretend money and she likes to ask questions about it. Sometimes she’ll say “that will be $43 Mom” or “how much is this money worth”? I like that she asks so many questions and that she is interested in learning about money.
I think it’s so important to teach our children about money and savings at a young age. One thing that I started to do will all 3 of my kids was buy them a piggy bank. I know what you’re thinking……………good one captain obvious but just stay with me for a minute.
Not only did I buy them a piggy bank but we actually use it to learn about money and savings. It just doesn’t sit on their dressers and get a few coins every once and a while.
You are going to love this money and savings activity! It took me about 5 minutes to set it up. Just enough time to grab the piggy banks and go to the car to get some coins from my coin thing (not sure what the official name for it is so I just call it a coin thing). Grace was engaged in active learning with this activity for about 30 minutes! I know you’re excited about that so let’s get started!
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Directions: I took all the coins from my coin thing and dumped them into a plastic plate. I let Grace look at them and play with them for a few minutes before starting the activity. Sometimes it’s good to let your child play before starting an activity. This allows them time to discover things on their own before they have to follow specific directions and this can be helpful when doing an activity with a 3-year-old. Once she had a few minutes I showed her the specific coins and we talked about them for a few minutes. I told her their names and how much each coin was worth. Then I asked if she could sort the coins into pills. I showed her with a few coins before I let her try herself. She sorted all the coins on the floor and then we talked about the piggy banks. We talked about what the piggy banks were for and about how important it is to save money. Then I let her put the coins into her piggy bank. She calls it “feeding her friends”.
How did my daughter do with this activity?
This activity was fun and Grace did well. She had some difficulty sorting the nickels and dimes correctly but differentiating between those coins can be difficult for children much older than her. After she “feed her friends” she wanted to dump the money out and do it all over again. I had to explain to her that the money has to stay in her friend’s belly.
What is she learning during this activity?
- The name and amount of each coin
- Fine motor skills
- Sorting different coins
- How to save money
- Following directions
Extending this activity is so easy!
There are so many things that can be done to extend this fun and easy activity.
- You can extend this activity by adding the bills into this activity.
- You could have your child stack the coins before putting them in the piggy bank. This will increase the fine motor difficulty.
One of the best things I ever started with all 3 of my girls was not letting them break the piggy bank when it gets full. They actually keep them! Once a piggy bank is full we put it on their closet shelf and I buy them a new one. When their turn 18 years old they are allowed to break all of their piggy banks! This is going to help teach them about long term spending. Grace is 3 years old and already has 3 piggy banks that are full and in her closet. I can’t wait to see how much they will be able to save by the time they are 18!
Give this activity a try with your kids and see what great savers they will become!