Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Best Books that Teach Kids About Money


By Jessica Streit

Responsible money management skills is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. It is our job, as parents to teach our children how to budget our money, save for items we want an plan for the future. There are many ways that we can ( and should) do this.  

We can provide opportunities to learn about money as well by taking our children shopping with us. We can provide them an allowance and require them to complete chores around the house. We can play games that have money as their theme. And we can provide books for them to learn from and discuss further with us.

There are many great books that teach about money, earning money, budgeting money and much more. Here are a few to have in your library.

Picture Books

Berenstain Bears' Trouble with Money - Stan and Jan Berenstain have written dozens of books on topics that are important to children. They provide a great platform for teaching lessons and providing children with reassurance that they can get through difficult times. In Trouble with Money, Brother and Sister must learn how to manage their money better rather than spending it as soon as they get it. 

A similar book, although not as good as Trouble with Money, is Berenstain Bears' Dollars and Sense  In Dollars and Sense, children will learn how Brother and Sister Bear learned to manage their money after Mother and Father Bear begin to pay their allowance differently.

Alexander, Who Use to Be Rich, Last Sunday – Judith Viorst writes a great series of books about Alexander who often times has a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” and even refuses when his parents tell him it is time to move. My favorite in this series is “Alexander, Who Use to Be Rich, Last Sunday.” Children will follow along with Alexander as he spends and loses his great wealth. This is something all children (and most adults) can relate to and will be a great place to start talking about budgeting.

Chapter Books

Lawn Boy and LawnBoy Returns – These books by Gary Paulsen are fun books to read. They are written about the 4th grade reading level and would be especially interesting for boys. This comedic tale of twelve year old boy who suddenly finds himself the new owner of a lawnmower and a budding business will also teach children a lesson in ingenuity, small businesses and investing.

Lunch Money – Andrew Clements has a gift for tackling important issues that kids face at school. In Lunch Money he addresses one young boy's obsession with money while teaching the readers about running a small business, being selfish, cooperation and teamwork. Kids will enjoy this book and parents can use it to talk about money in a different way.

The Lemonade War – This book by Jacqueline Davies is a funny, realistic story with well developed characters that children can relate to. It tackles real-life problems like sibling rivalry, teamwork, getting along with peers and even business marketing. This is a great read for children in grades 3-6 and is the beginning of a series that tackles more life lessons, like the legal system.

No matter what the age of your child, there are many books available to teach them about earning money, budgeting, investing and saving. This is just a small list of some of the great options out there.  The most vital part of this is list is to discuss (As a teacher, I must also say; read, read, read with your children!) all aspects of financial literacy with your children. 

Jessica Streit is an educator, freelance writer and single mom of 2 boys. Her writing can be found on a variety of topics including personal finance, education and parenting. She blogs about overcoming debt and living a royal life on a budget at The Debt Princess.

(Part of Show and Share Saturday)


 
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