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Teaching Preschoolers about Money (34+ Money Activities for Preschoolers)

Let's go over introducing money to kids, teaching preschoolers about money, money activities for preschoolers, and so much more.

preschool girl excitedly shaking out piggy bank, text overlay "34+ money activities for preschoolers plus books for money (pre-k)"

Introducing money to kids at an early age is such a great idea. In fact, the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability starts their recommendations in the preschool age range of 3-5 years.

Not only that, but studies are showing that kid's financial habits are actually rooted in place by the age of 7 (yikes!).

So, you're smart to get started early with teaching your preschooler about money.

Let's go over what money lessons you should focus on, and fun money activities for preschoolers to teach them what they need to know.

Preschoolers and Money – What Do they Need to Know?

Before we move onto money activities for preschoolers, let's talk about what your preschooler needs to know and which lessons they should be learning at this stage in their money education.

By the age of 5, the Advisory Council says your child should know the following four things to be on track to living a “financially smart” life:

  1. You need money to buy things.
  2. You earn money by working.
  3. You may have to wait before you can buy something you want.
  4. There's a difference between things you want and things you need.

That means this information needs to be covered in the Pre-k years, which is precisely why I'm writing this article covering teaching preschoolers about money.

But you know what? I don't think the Advisory Council's list is thorough enough.

Because by the age of 10, the same Advisory Council says your child should know:

  1. You need to make choices about how to spend your money.
  2. It's good to shop around and compare prices before you buy.
  3. It can be costly and dangerous to share information online.
  4. Putting your money in a savings account will protect it and pay you interest.

Do you see that glaring gap of missing information your kid needs to learn by the time they turn 5 in order to go on to learn the lessons they need to know between the ages of 6-10?

For example:

before your preschooler can make choices about how to spend their money, or before they can shop around and compare prices (which they'll need to do between the ages of 6-10)…they have to learn the basics of coin values, how to recognize different coins, and how store transactions work. Yet none of those are included on the preschool-aged list above.

So, I'm adding to the list above. Here's the list of money lessons you can cover with your preschooler (based on their own capabilities and stage of development, of course — but this gives you something to shoot for):

  • Learning the names/recognizing each coin, and then each bill
  • Work on coin values and bill values
  • Work on how a store transaction works (making their first purchase, with cash!)

Let's get started, shall we?

Money Activities for Preschoolers

I'm going to take each of the  money lessons from above, and break them down into actual money lessons and fun money activities with printables so that you know how to move forward.

Money Activities for Coin Recognition

I've got a few really fun ways to get kids to recognize the different coins. Check them out, below!

Psst: you'll also want to check out these coin recognition and identification games, and best counting money apps.

  • Coin Collection Activity (4 Months, or 4 Weeks): Either at home, or as part of a class, get a set of coin collection folders (you might think they only have folders to collect quarters, but there are actually coin collection folders for each type of coin). Each week or each month, focus on ONE type of coin to collect. Take your kids on walks, where they can look for loose change on the ground. Let them rifle through the couch cushions, and let them find coins anywhere else they can. Each time a child finds a coin for a specific slot in the folder, make a big deal out of it (if identifying the various state quarters or other series is too difficult, just fill in the slots with each found coin)! Here is a Penny collection folder, a Nickel coin collection folder, a Dime coin collection folder, and a Quarter collection folder.
  • Coin Spin & Cover Game: Here's a cute, easy-prep (and free game) for your preschooler. Kids use real or pretend money, spin the spinner, and then pick the right coin to cover one of the matched coins on the sheet of paper.
  • Peter Pig's Money Counter: Visa created this free game for your kids to download and play (for ages 5-8). It's all about identifying coins, and touches on a few other money lessons. Your preschooler will likely need help reading through it, FYI.
  • Coin Name Recognition Game: This free printable is a fun coin-recognition game that will help your preschooler learn the names of each of the coins.
  • Coin Magnet Play: We have a fishing set, where each pole has a magnet on the end. Instead of using the fish with something like this, use magnetic fishing poles to have your child magnetically pick up the coin that matches what you say. Spread a bunch of coins out on the ground, then ask for a quarter, then a dime, then a penny, etc.
  • Play a Coin Recognition Game with Your Change Jar: Set the timer for 30 seconds or 1 minute, dump your change jar out on the ground, and pick one type of coin to focus on with your preschooler. Whoever picks out the most amount of that type of coin, wins!
  • Money Maze Coin Recognition: These money mazes are pretty neat, and they're free printables.
  • Coin Bingo: Here's a free coin bingo game.
  • Coin Coloring Pages: It's worth noting that there's lots of great money coloring pages that will help visual learners and all kids get more awareness about coins (and bills).
  • Read aloud books about money for preschoolers

Also, these large magnetic coins for teaching money can help with your lessons!

Money Activities for Coin Values

Once your kids can recognize the names of each coin and/or bill, you'll want them to start learning the value of them. At first, that looks like knowing how much each is worth (so, a quarter is worth $0.25, a dime is worth $0.10, a dime is worth more than a nickel, etc.).

That kind of coin value is foundational to learning that one type of coin is valued at more than another type of coin, and to eventually learning that money has value based on what it can buy you.

But, first we crawl, then we walk, then we run…right?

  • Use Actual Money in Your Classroom Store: I'm a HUGE proponent of getting real money into your kid's hands, as soon as they're old enough to no longer want to swallow it. I love the idea of a classroom store where preschoolers and kids earn tickets or points to get items at the end of a semester, week, year, etc. However, why not just take your coin jar into class and use that, instead? You can keep each of the kid's earnings in envelopes or use some other system (like a classroom banking system), and once the kids pay for their rewards, you get your money back. Pssst: Your kids' eyes will probably pop out of their heads when you introduce this to them, by the way, as they're likely fascinated with money at this stage of the game.
  • Play Cash Register Games for Kids: Grab this free starter pack for pretend cash registers that includes printable name tags for a customer and the cashier, helps the customer make a shopping list (which they can use pretend money to pay for), and helps the cashier learn to price their inventory. Some cool pretend play! Psst: Here's my article on the best cash register toys for kids.
  • Play a Round of More Than, Less Than: I created this free printable that will help teach your child the value of various amounts of money. They'll list out a bunch of food items from grocery stores with their price, then decide if a food item costs more than or less than a different food item.
  • Turn Dinner into a Cafe Experience: Preschoolers looooovvvveee pretend play. I've got one right now, and it's amazing what they come up with! Choose one dinner night to open up a restaurant with your preschooler. Have them help you name it (write it on a chalkboard or piece of paper), create the menu choices, and ask them what they should charge for each item. Grab a set of pretend restaurant checks, or write your own, and have them collect money from the customers. Soooo fun! A cash register toy works well for this as well.
  • Play the “Fair or Not Fair” Game: This looks like a lot of fun — each player gets a pile of coins. Players then try to make deals with one another, and they can either shout out “fair” or “NOT fair” to accept/not accept the trade. For example, if one player takes two dimes and a nickel and tries to trade it for a quarter, that would be a “fair” deal. But if a player took 20 pennies and asked for a quarter, that would be a “NOT fair” trade. 
  • Money Matching Count Game: Here's a free printable for a money matching counting game. Could be a little advanced for your preschooler, but would work well for closer to the age of 5. You know your child, best!

Psst: definitely check out my article on 14 money counting games for kids, and books about money for kindergarten.

Money Activities for Understanding Difference Between Needs and Wants

About every parent on earth wishes their kids understood the difference between needs or wants (or maybe that they cared, more). Not only that, but learning the difference is foundational for when your kid starts prioritizing their spending, at a later stage of their money education.

That makes this an important section! Let's look at money activities for preschoolers that help teach the difference between needs and wants.

  • Teach “Needs Vs. Wants” Using Your Pet: Kids love pets. And sometimes? Instead of telling them about needs vs. wants when it comes to people (which means you're probably telling them “no” a lot and they're tuning you out), you can use the context of a pet. Detail to your child what your pet needs (water, food, containers for their food/water, medicine, collar, etc.). Then, talk about what “wants” your pet could have, or your family could have for your pet (such as a cat toy, a pet sweater, a pet bed, etc.). Next, take your preschooler on a trip to the pet store. Have them go up and down a few aisle, and tell you which things your pet needs, and which things your pet might want, but doesn't need. It takes the pressure of you having to tell them “no”, yet again, for something that they want, and makes the conversation a bit more fun.
  • Play a Game of Needs Vs. Wants Bingo: Get blank bingo cards, and fill each box in with a variety of needs and wants (or, have your kids choose the objects/items they put into each square). For example, you could have a bottle of water or a banana as a need, and you could include a chocolate bar and a toy for wants. Instead of playing bingo the traditional way, just roll a dice. Even numbers are “needs” and odd numbers are “wants”. The first preschooler to correctly identify enough needs and wants from the numbers rolled to get bingo, wins!

Money Activities for Understanding Money is Earned through Work

Where does money come from? Does money grow on trees? No. We know this, but does your child? Probably not at the preschool age.

No worries — we'll work on that with these money activities.

  • Add Payday into Pretend Play Scenarios: Kids love pretend play at this stage. Keep them doing their pretend play, whether that's playing donut shop, restaurant, veterinarian, and whatever else they can come up with, and add in a payday element to it. Explain to them that after they complete X, they will earn a certain amount of coins. You can use pretend money, or real money — your choice.
  • Read Career Books with Them: There are several career exploration books for preschoolers that I've detailed in my article on career books for students.
  • Elmo's The Job Song: Working Hard and Earning Money: Check out all of Elmo's financial videos (you can click to specific points, such as earning money through work, on the side area).

Money Lessons for Understanding You Need Money to Buy Things

Your preschool-aged child needs to start understanding that items in stores are not free. In fact, anything they want or need generally costs money. These money lessons will help teach just that.

  • Play the Price is Right at the Store: The fun thing about this free printable game? Your whole family can play it (in fact, it was created as a group date for couples). You want to print out a game card for each person in your family. Then, you'll help your preschooler estimate how much they think each product costs. The next time you go to the grocery store, take your game cards with you. Find the actual products on the card, record the real price, and see who was closest (without going over)!
  • Have Your Child Complete First Store Transaction: You can gear your kid up to complete their first store transaction by talking them through it, using play cash registers at home, and then reading some of the books I'll detail below.

Free Printable Pictures of Coins

Not ready to introduce real money to your preschooler? I've collected a list of free printable pictures of coins, below.

  • Printable Play Sheet of Coins: I love how you can customize this free printable before you print it out (meaning you can choose the number of each type of coin you'd like to put on the sheet– between 1 and 30 — and if you'd like to include both the “heads” side and the “tails” side, or just one).
  • Coin Coloring Pages: This site offers you free PDFs of each type of coin currently in circulation. Your preschooler can color the large coin in.

Free Coin Sorting Worksheets

Break out your change jar, or let your kids hutn around your home (and on walks) for lost coins. Then, introduce one of these free coin sorting worksheets:

Books About Money (Pre-K)

Moving from cash register games for kids to that very first store transaction. You know, where your kid actually hands over money (perhaps their own, perhaps yours) to buy their very first item.

It’s exciting! It’s nerve-wracking!

And it’s also a key milestone in your child’s money development.

Because one day, Mama Bear, they’ll be making ALL the transactions in their life by themselves. And you want them to be prepared for that, right?

I’ve curated 9 money books to read your child in prep for their first store transaction. Also included are a few talking points for you to help associate what they’re reading with what they’re going to do eventually themselves.

Money Book #1: Sheep in a Shop, Nancy Shaw

Age Range: 2-3 years old

This is the perfect book to show your very young kiddo what the purpose of a store is for: to go with money with something specific in mind that you want to buy.

A group of sheep are on the mission to purchase a birthday gift. Unfortunately, they don’t have enough in their piggy bank for what they want to buy. So, they learn to barter for it!

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: The real money lesson here is that things in stores are not free. You can also discuss that saving up to buy something is best…or else you might have to barter something like your own fur! In other words, stores do not operate under a barter system anymore, and money is the means to pay for something.

Store Money Activity: For the next birthday-buying occasion in your household, walk your child through the process of buying a gift for someone either with their own money (if you’ve figured out an allowance for kids, or if they’ve figured out how to make money for a kids). Talk about how much money to spend for the gift (in relation to how much they have), then brainstorm several ideas with them before heading to the store. Once you get to the store, walk them through the process. Let them choose from the shelf something close to one of the brainstormed ideas, as well as price compare if there are similar items. Ask them if the item is under the agreed-upon budget. If not, look around for another item. Have them put the item up on the counter at the cashier, and if you’re ready for it, have them hand over the money. Walk them through accepting the change, getting a receipt, and picking up the bag.

Money Book #2: Bunny Money, Rosemary Wells

Age Range: 3-5 years

Bunnies Ruby and Max want to buy the perfect birthday gift for their grandmother: a beautiful music box with skating ballerinas. They’ve saved up their own money to do so, and head to the store for this one purpose. However, things start happening, and temptations arise that cost them some of their money. Also, they didn’t research the cost of what they wanted ahead of time, so they didn’t have enough money to buy it to begin with.

They end up making a pretty bad spending decision − purchasing glow-in-the-dark vampire fangs that cost them their bus ride fare home. In the end, they spend their last $0.25 calling their grandmother to come and pick them up.

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: Talk about why researching what you want to buy before you head to the store is a good idea (so that you can make sure you have enough money would be the most immediate one, as well as finding alternatives that are less expensive for when you can’t find what you had originally wanted). Another great lesson is to prioritize your spending for needs first (a bus ride for home), then wants. Otherwise you might get stuck somewhere!

Store Money Activity: Have your child go through each item the bunnies spent their money on, and tell you whether it was a want or a need. Let them defend their answers before telling them your answer.

Money Book #3: Paddy’s Payday, Alexandra Day

Age Range: 3-8 years

Wondering how to teach kids about spending money? A great introduction to the most common way for money to get into a person’s hands is a good place to start. Paddy is an Irish Terrier who performs for a living. It’s his payday, and he’s got a long list of ways to spend his money.

The message that I don’t like in this book is to spend, spend, spend on your payday.

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: With payday money, you need to spend money on both needs and wants. To truly get this lesson, you’d have to add that in, though, because Paddy seems to spend, spend, spend (without any remark on how he’s spending his paycheck away!). You could turn this around by opening a discussion about which of the things Paddy spends on that are needs versus wants. Think: Boston Cream donuts, haircut, movie ticket, dinner at a restaurant, a bouquet of flowers (Paddy’s on track to be poor before his next payday!).

Store Money Activity: Take a few minutes to discuss with your little one where you and/or your spouse work. Discuss some of the ways you use the money you get on payday to keep the household going, and which stores you make purchases from for needs for the household.

Money Book #4: Apple Farmer Annie, Monica Wellington

Age Range: 3-7 years

What I like about this book is that your child will start to get an idea of the process involved in the other side of a store: the supplier. This is through the farming process (psst: I get exhausted just thinking back to my cow-milking, hay-making, silo-filling days on the dairy farm where I grew up).

Annie, an orchard farmer, takes your child through (though in a really cursory way) how a product gets to market. From picking the apples, sorting them, producing sweet apple cider, applesauce, various baked goods, to actually selling the most beautiful of all of them at the farmer’s market.

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: When you grow your own food, you can keep some for yourself to munch on (or bake really yummy things with), and then you can sell the excess and make some money. This is also a great opener for discussing with your child your own job and how it enables you to earn money. Which you then spend on needs + wants for the household.

Store Money Activity: There are Annie’s recipes in the back. So, you could extend the study by picking your own apples (or making that the first store transaction for your child), sorting them, then making a recipe together with your child.

Money Book #5: Pigs Will Be Pigs, Amy Axelrod

Age Range: 5-8 years

The Pigs will be Pigs series, including this book, has been designed around the National Council of teachers of Mathematics’ Thirteen Standards.

But that’s not the fun part about this book (nor did that sound fun, right?).

This pig family has eaten through all their groceries from the morning (yes, pigs will be pigs!), and they’re hungry for a snack. The problem? There’s only a dollar between the lot of them. So, they go about hunting for money in all kinds of peculiar places around their home.

Then, they’re presented with a menu with prices, and so your child gets a chance at the end to figure out what else they could have bought from that menu.

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: Have your child add up their own pot of money (if they’ve got one) and see what they could afford on the menu, as if they were actually going to buy it.

Store Money Activity: At your family’s next restaurant visit, have your child choose something based on price. Give them a budget to work with, then ask them how many different combinations they can come up with from the menu and still stay under that budget.

Money Book #6: Follow the Money, Loreen Leedy

Age Range: 4-8 years

This book will give your child a great overview of money circulation + different ways that money can be used (like in a vending machine or as a donation).

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: There are a few calculations your kiddo is asked to make, such as how much change a customer should receive. Make sure they understand the concept of change after they do these calculations.

Store Money Activity: You can practice change-making with your child by setting up different-costing transactions, having them pay for these pretend transactions, then seeing if they change you gave them is correct. A change jar is really helpful for this exercise!

Money Book #7: Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, Judith Viorst

Age Range: 4-8 years

In this book your child will see that Alexander used to be rich (and by rich, he means he used to have $1 his grandparents gave him) until he spent his money a bit foolishly. Honestly, what barely-out-of-a-car-seat-kid wouldn’t?

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: There are always “opportunities” to buy things with your money. But sometimes, they’re not opportunities at all. Like a one-eyed teddy bear.

Store Money Activity:  Have your child identify what they think are “wants” that Alexander spent his money on. Now, add up how much each of these wants cost Alexander. How much money would he still have if he had not spent on all his wants? What else could he have done with that money? Your child can go through an exercise of identifying 5 of their own wants, then pricing them out to see how much it would cost them at a store.

Money Book #8: Jenny Found a Penny, Trudy Harris

Age Range: 5+ years

Jenny has her eyes set on purchasing something special (though you don’t find out what it is until the end). She needs a whole dollar, so she sets out to find all the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters she can. She also earns a dime from sweeping her grandfather’s porch and sidewalk − this is one determined gal! Unfortunately, she’s thrown for a loop at the cash register when she learns that not only does she have to save up for what she wants to buy, but also for the sales tax that is assessed on it.

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: Something you could talk about from this book is an alternative way to get that plastic piggy bank without her having to spend all her savings on it (such as making one from a two-liter soda bottle, or from a mason jar. Just look on Pinterest for ideas). Also, your child will be introduced to sales tax in this book, something that may well have confused them before (especially if they’ve paid attention to the price tag on an item + how it is always more at the register).

Store Money Activity: Discuss sales tax with your child, and the idea that it’s different in different states and areas. Look up the sales tax in your own area for reference. Are there any items that are not assessed a sales tax?

Money Book #9: Those Shoes, Maribeth Boelts

Age Range: 5-8 years

Whether we like to remember this happened to us as tweens/teens or not, there is a lot of peer pressure when it comes to having “cool” clothes. And often the “cool” clothes cost more than parents’ paychecks can support.

That’s why I like this book. A boy gets transfixed by the newest trend of shoes at his school. His jealousy is palpable. Unfortunately, his grandmother can only afford to get him shoes that he needs − winter boots.

Even worse, his own “everyday” shoes fall apart at school. A helpful guidance counselor gives him a pair to have, but they’re what’s considered “baby” shoes and he gets embarrassed.

What happens? He finds that the one boy who didn’t laugh at his “baby” shoes actually was worse off than him. When he actually finds the shoes of his dreams − albeit one size too small − from a thrift store, he ends up gifting them to this other boy.

Mama Talking Points to Extend the Money Lesson: Definitely discuss buying used versus buying new with your child. Also, point out how strong the grandmother was in unabashedly told him what they could and could not afford instead of racking up a charge she didn’t need on her credit card to satisfy a current trend.

Store Money Activity: Have your child talk to you about something that they want that they cannot currently afford. Then ask them to think about ways they could get what they wanted for less money so that they could afford it sooner. Give them some hints to help this exercise along, especially if they’re not used to finding discounts for items.

Introducing Money to Kids – A Cool Idea

When introducing money to kids, you're probably thinking along the lines of ways to get them to count their change and make their first store transaction.

Great places to start, but how about we go one step further than that?

Many parents who try to instill the value of saving money into their young kids run butt-up against the problem of how to get them excited about money that sits in a savings account.

I mean…it just sits there. They can’t touch it, or hold it, or use it to purchase new things in their lives.

True, they can see the growth on a savings account statement if you were to show it to them, but let's face it: numbers lay pretty flat on a page.

So, perhaps you’ve gone the money jar route.

With money in their pockets or in a clear money jar, they can at least see whether their dollars seem to be growing “bigger” or not. And if they take money out to buy a new video game, then they can physically see that the money jar is now much emptier than before.

However, there are two issues with the money jar. First off, money sitting in a jar is not earning interest (a missed money opportunity + missed money lesson opp). Also, money in a jar becomes quit tempting to tap when the ice-cream man jingle rings.

Psst: Check out the most unique piggy banks for kids here, in case a piggy bank is the way you want to go!

But getting them really excited about money growing in a location they can't physically see or touch − a savings account − let alone the amazing effects of compound interest, is pretty difficult.

What Gets Kids Excited About Saving Money

What's going to get your kid excited about saving money is a lot like what gets adults excited about saving money: seeing the numbers go up.

Except for one difference: adults drool over savings statements, understanding that money increasing in value is exciting.

But kids? Well, that's a different story.

They drool over holding money, having some sitting in their wallet, being able to touch it, and being given the power of choice.

Savings Statements are 1-D

Kids live in 3D. They want tangible things, and they don't necessarily latch onto abstract concepts like compound interest working for them around the clock.

Actually, lots of adults don't latch onto that either.

On top of that, kid savings accounts typically grow at a smaller rate than adult ones. It's not like they're out there working from 9-5, right? So, they have less money to fund their account.

This is why getting their savings statement every so often − when you actually remember to show it to them − isn't going to be really exciting.

I mean, who would jump and holler over $0.10 in interest earnings (well, besides money geeks like me)?

Let’s work on linking your kid’s savings account money with a different kind of visual so that they get interested in saving their money from the start because they can associate it to actual growth.

Nail this, and they’ll send a lot more of the green stuff to their bank account.

Pairing a Growth Chart with Money Growth

I've got a really cool idea for how kids can track their savings growth right alongside their own growth, all at the same time.

It’s using a Growth Chart.

You know, that nifty, giraffe-like chart you swore you’d fill out with them on a regular basis as they went from crawler to walker to runner?

The idea is: just as kids are excited to see how much they've grown from month to month, watching their savings account grow with a vertical visual is going to up the cool factor on saving money.

Psst: your kiddo doesn’t have a bank account yet? No worries. Here’s my article on setting up bank account for baby (even if ‘baby’ now wears braces).

How the Money Growth Chart Works

Use your growth chart as an actual growth chart, but make one minor adjustment.

On the other side, create tick marks evenly spaced apart, all the way up.

monster growth charts with red, orange, green, and yellow colors

I’m using the Monster Growth Chart from Oh Bessie, which conveniently has those tick marks already laid out — click on this link and use the code MONEYPRODIGY15 for 15% off your order!). At the top of this column, write in, “Money Growth”.

Each tick mark on this side is worth $5. You can write this in (use pencil if you think you might want to change it).

Here are the steps for using this Money Growth Chart:

  • Pick a Consistent Time Duration: Choose a consistent time duration to do this, such as once a month, twice a year, annually, etc.
  • Log Into Your Child's Savings Account: Before you get ready to use the growth chart, log into your child's savings account online and find out their new balance.
  • Mark their Height Measurement: On the right side of the growth chart, you'll chart your child's growth just like you normally would. Record the date and create the tick mark. Your child will be amazed by how much they've grown since you last measured their height!
  • Mark their Money Measurement: Each tick mark on the left side of the chart is worth $5. I chose this small amount because it's helpful for them to still see some progress even when their savings isn't growing really rapidly. Mark where their new savings account balance is with a date next to it. Let them color in the column you just created. Have them watch you go through the entire process – as in check the amount of their current savings statement, then count up the tick marks and estimate where they’re at – so that they can associate the idea of money being able to grow just like they grow.

Pssst: Is your child beyond the age of thinking you measuring + tracking their growth is cool? Then high-jack their growth chart and use it solely as a money growth tracker! They’ll likely get more excited about that.

Ideas You Can Use to Make this Even Cooler

There are several ways you can adjust this chart for your own use + make it even cooler for your kiddo(s).

For example:

  • Use it for a Specific Money Goal: Use the area on the growth chart to fill in for a specific savings goal that your child may have, such as a video game, a charitable goal, a trip to the bookstore, etc. You can write this savings goal out (I would do so in pencil, as their savings goal might change and you want to be able to erase!). Not sure what they want to save for? Help them come up with the best savings goal for them with this one-page savings goal guide
  • Visually Separate Out the Free Money they're Getting: If your kid sees compound interest in action, then they're going to get pretty excited. Explain to them that since their money is at the bank, the bank pays them for it. So, fill in the savings money growth from actual money they've contributed, then use a different colored pen or marker to show them the free money the bank paid them for their own money (you can put the extra money earned in a different color on top of the other color – like the icing on the cake).
  • Time Your Measurements with a Trip to the Bank: After updating the money growth side of the chart, take advantage of your child's peaked excitement over how their money has grown by having them gather up all their loose change and dollars to physically go the bank with you and make a deposit.

Display their Money Growth Chart in a prominent location, where they can see both their own growth progress as well as that of their savings account.

Who knows? This one step might be just the thing that turns your child into a savings growth monster!

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Amanda L. Grossman is a writer and Certified Financial Education Instructor, a 2017 Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Money Prodigy. Her money work has been featured on Experian, GoBankingRates, PT Money,, Rockstar Finance, the Houston Chronicle, and Colonial Life. Amanda is the founder and CEO of Frugal Confessions, LLC. Read more here or on LinkedIn.