The other day, my daughter had a small pad of paper and a pen and was going around the house marking different things “for sale” and putting a price tag on them: puzzle piece – $88, piece of play food – $1000, a magnet – $5 and so on. Being 6 years old, her concept of money is still developing but she’s at the point where she recognizes that everything has a price attached to it. My son, who is 4, thinks he’s rich if he has 100 pennies. This month, we had the chance to review the Kids Night In box and learn more about money and both my kids really enjoyed it.
This month, we received the Finance Club box from Night In Boxes. Included was a book, play money, a manual and a handful of items needed to make ice cream in a bag. We started out with the book called If You Made A Million by David M. Schwartz. It was a cute book about money and walks you through what each of the coins are valued at, talks a little about how and why interest is accrued and how you could pay for certain items (coins, paper money, checks and loans). It was a great and simple way to introduce the basics of money.
Then we got to do a couple of activities from the manual with the play money. The kids loved pulling it out and pretending to use it. My two older kids were excited to use the money after this activity to play store.
Next, we pulled the ingredients out for ice cream in a bag. At first, I wasn’t sure what this had to do with finance, but as I read through the manual, the idea was to help teach kids that you have to work to earn money. You are supposed to encourage your kids to “buy” certain items from you in order to make the ice cream: milk, sugar, salt, vanilla, ice cubes and Ziploc bags. The activity also gives some key terms to discuss, such as income, earn and gift and what the difference is between each of them. I think this is great because kids need to learn that the things they use aren’t just free and don’t magically appear. Our kids know that their daddy goes to work so he can earn money to buy the things we need and want. It’s not a secret and I think talking to them about this helps them recognize that the things they received are earned as a result of work.
We made the ice cream and the kids had fun shaking it around inside the bag. They thought the idea of ice cream in a bag was so cool. When it was done, we put it in the cups provided, put some sprinkles on top and the kids dug in!
All in all, I thought it was a great activity! I love how everything was well thought out and worked together around a theme. It made explaining money easier too, which I appreciated as a parent.