Ages 5 to 8
Help your kid to sort a jar of coins into different piles.
Count out five pennies and then ask her for one nickel, explaining that a nickel is worth five cents.
Ask your kid to count out an additional five pennies plus the nickel she just got and exchange it for one dime. Explain that a dime is worth 10 cents and that it is worth twice as much as a nickel.
Give your kid a quarter, explaining that it is worth 25 cents and more valuable than a penny, nickel or dime.
As she gets older, the games can become a bit more challenging:
Ask her what combinations of nickels and dimes she’d have to give in exchange for a quarter.
Move on to the loonie and the toonie, which are especially appealing to her because of their size, shape and colour (and their relative value).
Describe the loonie as being worth 100 cents or one dollar and challenge your kid to find different combinations of pennies, nickels, dimes or quarters that would add up to one loonie.
Ask if she can guess what the toonie is worth, based on the sound of its name!
Ages 9 and up
When your kids do save up to buy something with their own money, make the time to debrief about it afterwards with the following questions:
Did they think it was worth the money?
Was it worth the effort involved in earning it and saving for it?
What did they enjoy or dislike about the shopping experience?
What, if anything, would they do differently next time?
Excerpted from A Parent’s Guide to Raising Money-Smart Kids by Robin Taub, CA. Published by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants as part of their Financial Literacy Series. For more information, or to buy a copy, log on to CAstore.ca/moneysmartkids.