FINANCE FOR PRESCHOOLERS (4-5 YEARS) - Part 2

This is the second part of our financial lesson dedicated to preschoolers. We are spending more time on this age group compared to others because research tells us that financial habits are formed already by the age of 7, much earlier than everyone previously thought.  Sometimes even earlier than children begin to be given  pocket money to manage.  

In our previous post Financial Education for Preschoolers - Part 1, we identified some key concepts that can and should be learnt at this age, and focused on the first two points. This week we are presenting you the remainder.

    1. The difference between "needs" and "wants"; 
    2. The concept of trade as a basis for the way our society works and the role of money as an intermediary;
    3. An appreciation of the benefit of delaying immediate gratification, in exchange for a better outcome in the future; and
    4. The maths involved in using money.

 

Playful ideas to learn financial responsibility: Part 2

3. THE MARSHMALLOW TEST

 It is difficult but extremely important to teach children how to delay gratification. This is not only the concept at the basis of saving and investing but it is the motivation behind every form of hard work and sacrifice. It is a training in self-discipline that has been proven to make a huge difference in life. 

Psychologist Walter Mischel led a series of studies in the 60s and 70s following the life of children whom he evaluated for the Stanford Marshmallow's test. Children that were good at delaying gratification were found in follow up studies to have better life outcomes. 

To help you preschooler develop this precious self-discipline, you can play the Marshmallow test itself or any variation of it. 

Using marshmallows, M&Ms or candies, tell your child he can have one now or 2 if he or she waits a certain time, for instance 10 minutes. Always follow up on the reward and use short time intervals or your child will understandably lose interest in the game. As they get used to short time intervals, you should increase the time. It is important that you give them a good deal, the delayed gratification should be double or more of the immediate one and you should make a lot of fuss if they make it through. 

Another very effective way to teach self discipline is through a game similar to the Advent Calendar. It does not need to be Christmas, you can set a certain fun event ahead in time (a trip to the zoo, a day out in a special place) and create a calendar where each day is marked out by your child. This is a nice exercise to allow kids to learn to manage excitement and expectation. Count with them the days that are left, mark special days (-1 week or -1day for instance) with a special sticker and help them voice their excitement and impatience.

 

4. "TRADE UP, OWL!" GAME 

Download HootLoot's very own money maths game for kids FOR FREE! Click here to download the printable PDF files:

Owl Game 1

Owl Game 2

I read somewhere once that to learn financial responsibility you don't need any specific financial training so much as a good understanding of maths. Although I don't completely agree with this statement (there are also some strong psychological and cultural forces that affect our relationship with money), it is definitely true that a strong understanding of the maths behind money is a great aid for success in one's financial life. 

There are many games out there to introduce the maths of money to young children but we couldn't find one that met all our requirements. We have therefore created our very own Money-Maths game for children that is perfect for preschoolers! We called it TRADE UP!

You can download the PDF file hereby attached (it's FREE!) and print it out to play with your kids. Read the instructions on the sheet, it's very simple and fun. There are two versions that differ from each other in the type of coins and composition.

All your kids need to play the game are coins, a dice and a page of the print-out for each player !

Click on the images below to download the printable PDF !

With "TRADE UP, OWL!" children start learning that a quantity of different coins equate in value to other coins eg ten 10p are worth £1. They will be able to practise counting and get familiar with the names of coins and their money value. 

What a fun way to teach your children financial responsibility! I bet you did not expect it to be so easy.

 
 

 

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