5 practical ways to teach your primary-aged children and grandchildren about money

My Money Week, which runs from 10-14 June, is a national activity week that provides opportunities for children to develop skills, knowledge, and confidence in managing money.

Sadly, a survey by the Money and Pensions Service that canvased school-aged children found that less than half had received a meaningful financial education at home or school.

With this in mind, if you have young children or grandchildren, now is an ideal time to pass on some of your financial wisdom while spending valuable time together as a family.

So, read on to discover five fun activities you could use to teach primary-aged children in your family important lessons about money.

1. Set up saving, spending, and giving jars or envelopes

Budgeting is a key financial skill that could help your child develop financial confidence and independence. Everyone, no matter what their age or circumstances, needs to budget.

While there are many ways to teach your children or grandchildren about setting and sticking to a budget, younger children often benefit from active learning.

To allow them to interact with an activity – rather than passively listening to someone talk – using budgeting jars or envelopes can be an effective teaching tool.

Set up jars or envelopes for “saving”, “spending”, and “giving”, or any categories you feel are relevant, such as “needs” and “wants”.

Encourage your children or grandchildren to decorate their containers as they wish. This may help to instil a sense of ownership and responsibility.

Jars often work well for younger children because they can see their money mounting up. Older children may prefer envelopes. The principle is the same whichever option you choose.

Whenever the child receives some money, be that their weekly allowance or a birthday gift, explain that they are responsible for dividing it between the different containers.

In this way, you can teach the children in your family how to live within their means, set goals and save towards them. It’s a simple, yet extremely adaptable idea for teaching budgeting basics.

2. Play money-themed games

As you may know from your own experiences, people of all ages tend to learn better when they’re having fun.

So, playing money-themed games is a fantastic way to get children excited about financial matters.

Board games allow the whole family to get involved in the teaching process, which could present additional opportunities for learning and discussion.

Examples of popular money-themed board games include:

  • Money Bags – Suitable for the whole family, this is a simple game that teaches children how to recognise the value of different coins and how to count money.
  • Pop to the Shops – This game teaches children aged five to nine about handling money and giving change by pretending to go shopping.
  • Pay Day – The action takes place on a calendar with each day representing real life scenarios such as paying bills and getting paid. This is a great game to help children aged eight and above learn about managing their money.

There are also plenty of online games to choose from, such as The Change Game and The Coin Cruncher. These could be a useful way to provide education on the go, for example on car journeys. Many young children love the bright colours, lights, and sounds of interactive games, which make the learning experience more engaging.

3. Provide opportunities for earning pocket money

This could be especially useful for older children who may not be far off starting secondary school.

You might choose to reward a child for completing household chores or for showing positive behaviours, such as sharing toys with their sibling.

They must reach an agreed target number of rewards to “earn” their money.

A visual reward chart can be highly motivating for primary-aged children. For example, you might award a sticker for each achievement so they can track their progress towards the ultimate target.

What’s more, you could combine this activity with the use of budgeting jars or envelopes by encouraging your child or grandchild to divide their earnings between their containers.

This activity provides a lovely, real-life lesson in understanding the value of money.

4. Involve them in budgeting for a day out or special event

This is another valuable real-life money lesson.

You could use any event for this activity, such as shopping or preparing a family meal. However, involving your child in budgeting for an event they’re excited about could boost their interest.

For example, you could give your little one the responsibility of budgeting for their birthday party or a family day out.

First, ask them to create a list of all the costs involved, such as petrol, parking, lunch, entrance tickets, and so on – they may need some guidance.

Perhaps set a budget they’re not allowed to exceed. This is a great way to teach your child how to prioritise their spending.

If they go over budget, support them to find a solution, be that to cut or reduce an unnecessary cost, or find a way to boost their budget – perhaps by doing more chores as discussed above!

5. Open a bank account in their name

Giving older children a sense of independence and responsibility may pique their interest and motivation to learn.

As a parent or grandparent, you can usually open an account in your child’s name and manage it on their behalf until they reach age 16 or 18. You might also want to consider setting up a Junior ISA.

This could be a useful gateway activity that helps develop your child’s or grandchild’s money skills as they progress to secondary school and beyond.

What’s more, they could start building a savings pot to help them fund future costs, such as university tuition fees.

Get in touch

At Aspire, we can work with you and your family to create a financial plan that meets your unique circumstances and needs.

Please get in touch either by email at helpme@aspirellp.co.uk or by calling 0117 9303510.

Please note

This article is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

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