Teaching money concepts to preschoolers

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Google Doc spreadsheet showing all 250 levels of the Money Game

Make or buy a piggy bank with your child. If your child is very young and doesn’t know the difference between coins, start with pennies. Bring in the game factor! I love running races with any small child in my care because later, they will sleep. (I love games that accomplish more than one purpose.)

So run the race, let the tyke win and give him or her a penny. Do it several times and then count the pennies.

The next day you play, count the pennies, play the games, grab the prizes and count again. Show your child how there is more. The kids will learn beginning coin identification, counting, concepts of more and less and the earliest ideas of accumulating more money.

As your child gets older, start adding nickels (and later dimes and quarters) teaching the new coin, its value and how to count them with the pennies.

Maria Montessori designed special pieces of equipment to teach children math concepts. The first is called a pink tower and it’s 10 pink cubes ranging from 1x1x1 cm to 10x10x10 cm. Even though a pre-schooler may not not know the first number as they stack cubes, it’s their first experience with the decimal system. As they touch, feel and play, it lays the groundwork for more to come. The next step might be to count the blocks.

Likewise, your child doesn’t have to know anything about numbers to enjoy watching you counting the coins, moving them around and using descriptive language. Make a big pile of pennies and a small pile. Point out that one is bigger, the other is smaller. Later use the words “more” and “less”.

At some point, take two pennies and lay them side by side. Say “I have two pennies” and count them.

Then say “Now watch this! I am going to add two more pennies.” Do it and ask them what happened. They may tell you. If they don’t, it’s perfectly fine. Tell them you have four pennies now (count them) and that it’s “more” and then “twice as much”. You have just laid the foundation to help them start learning percentages.

As you play, don’t quiz or test your kids. Just have fun. Between each little thing you show them, take time to tickle, play, wrestle or pillow fight. If you approach it like this, they will love learning with you and in turn, they will amaze you with the knowledge they soak up in a stress-free, fun filled time. Kids want time with their parents more than anything else. If that time is filled with laughter and silliness, it means even more to them. Who knew it could be this easy?

Level Completed: 135 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $656.91
Total Balance: $3,804.41

Our Money Game fund has increased 20.9% so far this month.

$3.75 is needed to reach the next level.

Have fun, grow money and level up!

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