Financial Literacy Starts in Early Childhood

It’s never too soon to start teaching kids about personal finance. Children as early as pre-school age are learning the building blocks of economics; filling piggy banks, playing store and counting. Money management is a critical life skill that will help them set the stage for their financial future and avoid various money mistakes later in life.

There are numerous resources available for parents, grandparents and friends that teach kids how to earn, save, spend, give and invest wisely. For Financial Literacy Month, we’ve gathered simple tools and tips to help get you started teaching financial literacy to kids in their pre-school and elementary years.

Read to kids about financial literacy

Stories help young children understand concepts and ideas. Start building a library of books with financial literacy themes. Here are a few well-reviewed favorites from Investopedia to get you started:

  • “How the Moonjar was Made” by Eulalie Scandiuzzi, teaches kids about saving, spending and sharing to build their dreams.
  • “Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money” by Emily Jenkins, teaches kids about entrepreneurship, commerce and math basics.
  • “A Chair for My Mother” by Vera B. Williams, teaches kids about budgeting and planning for the unexpected.

By using fun and engaging books to teach children about financial well-being, you will have the opportunity to share knowledge without them even knowing it!

Make learning fun

Games are a great way to encourage learning during the regular course of your weekend and evening activities, and there is a universe of options for kids at any age. Board games, apps and old-fashioned money counting games at home can help develop a child’s understanding of valuable financial strategies and concepts. Engaging, educational games teach kids the basics of investing, earning, spending and cash flow. Four of the top-rated board games on Amazon include Cash Flow for Kids, The Allowance Game, Money Bags – A Crazy Coin Counting Game, and Exact Change.

Apps for tablets and mobile devices are another way to educate kids about money management. USA Today encourages parents to consider downloading apps that will teach kids valuable money skills. Here are a few options geared toward younger children all with at least a 4-star rating on iTunes:

  • Piggy Bot allows kids to earn a virtual allowance and practice saving, spending and sharing.
  • FamZoo Family Finance gets the entire family working together to manage money, understand a budget and save.
  • Bankaroo teaches kids basic money tracking and checkbook-balancing skills.

Simple at-home coin-counting games including playing store and hosting lemonade stands are great activities to boost financial literacy basics. For ideas on simple at-home money counting games, try 17 Fun Money Activities for Kids.

Open a savings account

In a world of online banking and shopping, money management can seem like an abstract concept to young children. One way to make banking concepts tangible is to visit your local OnPoint branch and open a savings account. Developing a savings plan early is a great step toward future financial goals. For more information on how to join in, click here or visit an OnPoint branch location in your local neighborhood.

As you consider these tips, the most important takeaway is to have fun engaging with kids around financial literacy. It’s never too early to get started building the foundation for a successful financial future.

For additional information and resources for raising moneywise kids, visit OnPoint’s Financial Education online resource center, or Learn how your school or community group can receive valuable learning materials, student supplies and get support from volunteers by visiting OnPoint’s community partner Financial Beginnings at

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