Teaching Financial Literacy to Toddlers

child putting money in piggy bank



Do you have plans to teach your toddler about money? Toddlers can learn some simple concepts that will help them become responsible adults regarding finances. It is never too early to start teaching them about financial literacy. Here are a few tips for teaching financial literacy to toddlers.

Why Financial Literacy is Important

Educating kids about financial literacy is very important. You can start as early as two years old to help kids understand finances. For example, when kids understand the concept of money and saving, you are equipping them to have success as an adult. Secondly, they will have a foundation of money skills to help them budget, afford things, and create financial freedom. 

Financial Literacy Books

Using books to teach financial literacy is a great idea to start establishing the concept of money. Here are five books to read to your toddler and preschooler this year.

  1. If you Made a Million by David Schwartz
  2. Three Little Piggy Banks: Financial Literacy for Children by Pamela George
  3.  Easy Peasy Money: A Fun Money & Budgeting Book for Kids by Rishi Vamdatt
  4. Isabel’s Car Wash (Money Tales) by Shelia Bair
  5. Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money by Emily Jenkins

Financial Literacy Activity Ideas 

Keep financial literacy activities simple with these easy ideas to expose your toddlers and preschoolers. First of all, discuss needs vs. wants and organize things around the house into piles of what they need and what they want. Secondly, sort picture cards of needs vs. want. 

Also, have students decorate a piggie bank or treasure chest to save coins. Easily use this to teach the names of coins and their features as they add to their piggie bank or treasure chest.

Another financial literacy activity is to demonstrate budgeting. You can do this with dried beans a plastic cups. Write wants on each cup (you can even let them pick), and you can choose five different ideas. Then, grab a larger cup and say, this is how much we have now to do and distribute the beans in the cups. Next, explain how the cups aren’t complete, and that’s why we cannot do everything we want all the time. Furthermore, you can keep it going each month and show them how you budget, and when the small cups are complete, you can do it since you’ve been saving.

Utilizing a Money System at Home or In the Classroom

Furthermore, you can easily set up a classroom reward system with teacher bucks or play money at home! If you are in the classroom or at home, you can pay your child for doing chores around the house with the play money. Then, you can have a store open up every so often (we do once a quarter) and have your child or students go shopping! This works on counting money, saving, and more! Or continue to use the beans to teach financial literacy. 

Teaching your child about money doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with something as simple as reading a book together and implementing these activities into their daily routine. Your toddler will learn that there are many ways to earn, save, and spend money responsibly! How has teaching financial literacy been going for you? Which of these tips do you find most helpful when teaching your little one about finances? Let us know in the comments below, or feel free to reach out to help with any questions.

Which of these financial literacy activities will you try? Do you have more ideas to add to the list?

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My name is Nicole and I am so glad you are here! I have always loved photography and have taken classes. Then I started my teacher journey and fell in love with creating resources for what I needed in the classroom. Now I have combined both of my passions to bring you spectacular resources!