4 Very Effective Banking Activities for Kids to Help Build Money-Smart Habits

I am prepping for our Ticket to Save Tour of New Hampshire public schools with our Money Mammals troupe. It’s sponsored by Service Credit Union, one of our terrific partners. Our live shows bring kids face-to-face with The Money Mammals and help get them excited about financial literacy.

That’s right, the shows actually get kids EXCITED about becoming money-smart. This made me think that it might be a good time to post some banking activities for kids. These activities can extend the learning that starts to happen when kids become engaged with the topic of financial literacy. Following are just a few activities and materials that I think can really make an impact.

1. Money Mammals Teaching Guide – Ok, so this one is pretty obvious for schools. The Teaching Guide is particularly useful for teachers whose students just enjoyed one of our live shows. This free, downloadable guide is chock-full of activities that help provide lessons in financial literacy for kids in the early elementary classroom.

2. Save Jar Label Maker – It’s all about goals! This simple game/activity walks kids through setting up a goal for which they can save. You may have heard or read that goals need to be SMART. This program helps kids create those SMART goals, which include the following criteria: Specific – the exact item they want, Measurable – the cost of the item they want, Attainable – something that is reasonable in cost, Relevant – yes, please, Time-bound – the time it will take to save.

3. Needs vs. Wants App – Distinguishing between these two is one of the three core concepts that we consistently address in our products and on this blog.  This newest offering in our growing line of apps helps early elementary and preschool-age kids learn the difference between needs and wants in a fun environment hosted by Joe the Monkey.

4. FamZoo – Enough about us! FamZoo is the program kids can use once they’re ready to move their money-smart learning into the digital domain. I do think it’s very important to stick with the three analog money jars (labeled “Share,” “Save” & “Spend Smart”) for your kids’  first few years of money-smart learning (for example, through age 9 or 10) because kids need to see the money about which they are making choices. But as Bill Dwight, FamZoo’s intrepid founder, pointed out to me, kids will eventually need to learn how to deal with money in the digital domain.

Ok, I’m going to get back to our exciting New Hampshire tour. Maybe we’ll see you on the road!