Who doesn’t like Sesame Street? I grew up watching it and now I watch it with my kids (the little one loves singing Elmo’s World). Not only is it fun to watch, but they do a great job of teaching children as well.
Sesame Street has teamed up with PNC Bank to produce For Me, For You, For Later – First Steps to Spending. Sharing, and Saving™.
The site, part of the SesameStreet.org website, provides instructional materials to help teach children about money and saving. In it you will find videos, songs, and printable materials.
Children may not always get a formal education in money and saving but what they do get is the example we set as parents. The materials in For Me, For You, For Later help parents talk to their children about the basics of money.
As well as the kid’s materials, there is also a parent’s guide (in pdf format) to help you share information with your child. It’s broken out into the following categories:
Choices – Help your child build confidence by teaching them about choices and how their choices can affect their finances.
Value – Teaching your child the idea of value and what something is worth.
Saving, Spending, Sharing – Three ways your child can learn about what to do with their money.
Money Questions – Transform your child’s questions about money in to learning experiences.
I haven’t gotten into everything on the site yet but what I’ve seen so far is pretty good. I’ve already printed out the play money pages for the little ones to color and cut out. My son was excited to have different dollar and coin values to play with.
There’s also materials for educators so they can teach the concepts in their classes.
Why is all of this necessary?
As I said earlier, most schools don’t teach about money, especially at a young age. Most of what kids learn about money comes from us. Without realizing it, we may be teaching them bad habits or confusing them about what money is, where it comes from, and what it’s used for.
It’s easy for kids to think that ATM’s spit our free money or that credit cards are magical pieces of plastic that can give you anything you want. Buying something means typing some words on a computer. You get the picture.
What do your kids know about money, banks, credit cards, saving, and work?
If you don’t know ask them. Really. Show them a credit card and ask them what it is and how it’s used. The answer may surprise you!
I try to let my kids know the basics of money. If I’m buying something for my son, like a chocolate milk for example, I’ll give him the money to pay. We used to have our daughter pay the diner bill (we gave her the money) and then count the change for us. Little things like that we’d do so our kids would be familiar with money and start to understand what it is. (We’re not perfect in teaching them about money, but all we’re trying).
You should see how excited my son, 4, is when he finds a coin! Then he comes home to feed his frog bank which ribbits when it gets money.
If you’ve been wondering how to introduce the concept of money and saving to your child then this site has some great materials for you. You may even learn a thing or two yourself!
Have you seen For Me, For You, For Later? What do you think?