They say it takes a village to raise a child — but how many does it take to raise an educated, grateful, and charitable one? Good parenting practices differ from family to family, but one value many parents want to instill in their children is financial literacy.
There are a variety of ways adults can teach children about money management, through games, books, and television programs. As a caregiver or family friend of a child, you may be less than enthused to see the look in their eyes when they realize they have just been given an educational gift (hint: they prefer obvious toys).
However, well-designed literary content can be fun and successfully convey information while keeping children entertained. In fact, the point is for it to be so enjoyable that kids rarely feel they are learning in the typical sense of the word.
Children are constantly growing, developing, and learning concepts, and there is no better time than the here and now to instill morals and financial knowledge they can use for a lifetime. Here are five top children’s books for money lessons that help familiarize beginners with financial management.
1. ‘Financial Peace Junior’
American financial expert, author, and radio host Dave Ramsey has a plethora of top-selling financial books on the market, and adults aren’t his only demographic.
Designed for children ages 3-10, the Junior books offer a way for children to learn about handling money early on, all while being entertained and motivated with colorful cartoons, activity sheets, and much more. Want to teach your kids about spending, giving, working, and saving?
Two popular options are “Financial Peace Junior,” and “Junior’s Adventures: the Boxed Set.”
2. ‘A Chair for My Mother’
Many parents want their children to grow up appreciative of what they have and to be charitable towards others.
As rated by the American Library Association, the Caldecott Honor Book by Vera B. Williams, “A Chair for My Mother,” is a simple but beautiful picture book that describes a young girl after a fire has destroyed her family’s home. In the story, she works to fulfill one goal: to buy an easy chair for all to enjoy.
The tender story tells of the mother’s change from tips and Grandma’s leftover change that are collected into a glass jar to be opened when it is so full, they can afford the comforting armchair of their dreams.
Children ages four to eight will love this book.
3. ‘My First Book of Money: Counting Coins’
This workbook made for young children just beginning to learn the concept of money uses a step-by-step, incremental approach which introduces readers to coins, and guides them through understanding relationships between coins.
Meant for children ages five to seven, by the end of the workbook, children know and understand the names and values of each coin under a dollar.
Parents looking to ease their young ones into money management can start by using this popular educational tool by Kumon Publishing and Eno Sarris and Masaaki Aihara.
4. ‘Bunny Money’
Suited for children ages three to seven, “Bunny Money” is an adorable story in which bunnies Ruby and Max each plan to get their grandmother a gift — a beautiful ballerina box and a scary set of vampire teeth.
Though Ruby has saved a wallet full of money, mishaps chip away at the bunnies’ funds. The reader reads along with suspense as they wonder whether the bunnies will have enough left for the perfect gift in this playful novel by Rosemary Wells.
5. ‘The Sisters 8’
In the Sisters 8 book, “Annie’s Adventures,” a set of octuplets have to figure out how to deal with life without their mommy and daddy, who mysteriously disappear. Suddenly, the responsibilities are upped, and the girls have to cook their own meals, feed their pets, even pay bills and write checks.
This fiction novel by Lauren Baratz Logsted walks children through a variety of chores and tasks that familiarize them with responsibilities that grown-ups take on, and teach the value of being appreciative.
Children ages six to nine 9 are sure to consider this a hit.