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Try one thing this summer to grow your child’s money skills

Your children go to school to learn math, reading, history, and more. But all year round, they’re absorbing money habits, skills, and attitudes from you. This summer, we challenge you to try one thing that encourages money conversations with your kids.  

This chart shows ways you can help your children build money skills that can serve them well as adults. Find your child’s age group below and try one of the activities to get started.

Age group: 3-5

Work on patience, planning ahead, and making tradeoffs.

Illustration of coins

  • Pretend play . Get creative, use props, and act out activities and scenarios like going to work or going shopping.
  • Start a conversation about shopping. Explain to your child that you need money to buy things. Point out items that cost money, such as ice cream, gas for the car, or clothes.
  • Read a book like “Lemonade in Winter” by Emily Jenkins. This book from the Money as You Grow book club covers skills like counting money and solving problems. Use the discussion guide for activities to put ideas into action.

Age group: 6-12

Work on understanding the money world around them.

Illustration of dollar bills

  • Talk about what’s on a sales receipt . Show your child how you estimate the price you’ll pay at the register and practice rounding up to include sales tax.
  • Set a goal with your child for something they want and talk about the steps it would take to buy it. We have tips on having a conversation about planning before you spend money.
  • Read a book like “A Chair for My Mother” by Verna Williams. This is another selection from the Money as You Grow book club that covers helping others and saving to meet a goal. After reading, you can create a money jar together or discuss ways your family can help friends and relatives.

Age group: 13-21

Work on real-life choices and comparing options.

Illustration of credit cards

Most people get their money habits and skills from their parents and caregivers. We have tons of resources to help you talk to your children about spending, saving, earning, and borrowing. Visit Money as You Grow for more activities, check out our book club, and see more about what you can do at home.

If these tools were helpful to you and your family, we encourage you to tell your story. Share how you used these tools in your day-to-day life, which activity was your favorite, or any of your own strategies you use to build your kids’ money skills. 

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