Take the Initiative

25 06 2011

Ask and you shall receive.  I recently ventured into a few banks inquiring if they had learning materials for children and two out of four banks have!  The first place to begin starts with the bank and your child.

I found the resources very helpful for all parents.  Those parents whom are finding it a bit overwhelming teaching their kids can relieve some stress because the materials speak for themselves in many ways.  The items I received were:  activity books,  piggy bank, calculator, gift card for free 4×6 photos (10 maximum) and a cookie cutter.

How can parents begin teaching with just the few items found?  Follow my lead:

  • Activity Books.  The two books found were educational wonders!  Some of the pages contained activities that had children counting and matching correct change to purchase items, pictures of banks to familiarize children and other fun-filled pages containing currency, math equations, etc.
  • Piggy Bank.  The piggy bank, or in our case the square bank, has a clear backing with three levels.  When kids deposit money into their bank they have opportunities to reach 3 levels – “keep going, you’re almost there, it’s time to empty your bank”.  These three phrases are great motivators!  And that’s what children need when learning about money – they want to be excited about learning because if they become discouraged it may cause them to quit the project.
  • Calculator.  The calculator is a handy tool when teaching your children about saving money.  First it will come in handy with school work but also come in handy if they are counting the change in their piggy bank.  Another great activity would include teaching them the value of their belongings.  Take this activity straight to their bedroom – bring the calculator and have the kids total up the value of items in the room (parents will need to help kids figure out the items costs).  Statistics show people respond significantly more responsible when taking care of their belongings because they are aware of the costs involved.  Children and teens may be surprised how much certain items cost and will learn to treasure the value and the item.
  • Free Prints.  The 10 free 4×6 photo prints were an added bonus.  Discuss ways to use the free prints – maybe the kids want to give out photos for gifts (Mother’s and Father’s days, Valentine’s day, Birthdays, etc.).  If they choose the gift route, have them snap photos of items the recipient would enjoy (i.e., horses, flowers, dogs, cats, etc.).  This small activity teaches kids the power of “gaining”.  They gained a free gift without having to put forward money of their own.  Times like gaining can help propel a person’s financial situation – in our case not having to spend money for a gift/holiday occasion.  The free prints can also be used to refresh the kid’s memory as they carry through the activities mentioned – why not take pictures of them in action during each activity?
  • Cookie Cutter. I questioned the cookie cutter but further thoughts brought up ideas of “eating in, making your own food, etc.”  How simple and affordable would it be to bake your own cookies rather than buy pre-packaged boxes?  I think very simple!  It would be a great learning activity for children – learning about saving money and simple culinary skills.

Sometimes parents need a boost forward if they are at a loss for activities and places to begin teaching their children.  I found these items to be the perfect starting point!  Ready, set, go!

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