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Teaching Children To Save

Tax time is the perfect time to talk about saving money.  Everyone has big dreams for their refund checks--including children.  How do you begin to teach the little ones in your family the value of saving?  Stories are a perfect way to introduce concepts and start talking.  In Tía Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina, a little girl and her aunt dream of buying a car big enough for their whole family and perfect for driving to the beach.  It's hard because they are also saving "helping money" to send to their family back home.  One of the great parts of this story is that the little girl and her aunt work together to save for the car.  It's important for little ones to know that even they can help make a difference.  If a car seems too big, then try one of the other titles below to find the right one for you and your child.

After sharing some stories, the Credit Union National Association suggests the following activities to teach young children about saving.  Help your child choose something they would like to buy.  Pick something that they can’t purchase right away, but also something that they will be able to save for quickly like a paperback book, a small toy or stickers.  This experience might also be a great time to start giving your little one an allowance.  Parents Magazine recommends that parents give young children are able to earn the allowance for jobs beyond their regular chores.  Your next step is to start a savings chart.  Younger children will have better success with coins so use quarters or dimes to chart their progress.  You can design the chart any way you wish.  It can just have boxes to be colored in or it could be a basket of eggs with 25 cents written on each egg.  The important part of the chart is allowing your child to mark their savings success.  You can also have your child draw or cut out a picture of what they want to save for and attach it to their savings chart so they remember why they are saving.  When they reach their goal, take them out to buy their item and celebrate.  Congratulations, you’re growing a saver!

I am always amazed at the clever ideas parents come up with for helping their children learn difficult ideas.  How do you teach your children about saving money?


A Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban
AmazonHeather M. Says: A Bargain for Frances
Amazon Says: One day Thelma tricks Frances into buying her old plastic tea set. Thelma says there are no backsies on the bargain. Can Frances come up with a plan that will change her frien more...
Amazon Says: One day Thelma tricks Frances into buying her old plastic tea set. Thelma says there are no backsies on the bargain. Can Frances come up with a plan that will change her friend's mind? Outstanding Children's Books of 1970 (NYT) less...
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A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
AmazonHeather M. Says: A Chair for My Mother
Amazon Says: This classic and award-winning picture book was written and illustrated by the celebrated Vera B. Williams and was named a Caldecott Honor Book by the American Library Associa more...
Amazon Says: This classic and award-winning picture book was written and illustrated by the celebrated Vera B. Williams and was named a Caldecott Honor Book by the American Library Association. "A tender knockout . . . it's rare to find much vitality, spontaneity, and depth of feeling in such a simple, young book."—Kirkus ReviewsAfter their home is destroyed by a fire, Rosa, her mother, and grandmother save their coins to buy a really comfortable chair for all to enjoy. A Chair for My Mother has sold more than a million copies and is an ideal choice for reading and sharing at home and in the classroom. "A superbly conceived picture book expressing the joyful spirit of a loving family."—The Horn Book Supports the Common Core State Standards less...
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Little Croc's Purse by Lizzie Finlay
AmazonHeather M. Says: Little Croc's Purse
Amazon Says: When Little Croc finds a purse full of money, he and his friends have all sorts of ideas about what they could spend it on. Should Little Croc keep the money for himself, or t more...
Amazon Says: When Little Croc finds a purse full of money, he and his friends have all sorts of ideas about what they could spend it on. Should Little Croc keep the money for himself, or try to find the owner? When he decides to return the purse, Little Croc learns important lessons about sharing, saving, and spending. Lizzie Finlay pairs charming and humorous illustrations with this light-hearted tale that will have readers rooting for the resolute Little Croc as he overcomes pressure and does what he knows is right. less...
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Max's Bunny Business by Rosemary Wells
AmazonHeather M. Says: Max's Bunny Business
Amazon Says: Bunny business? Funny business! Max?s sister, Ruby, and her best friend, Louise, are in business. They have big plans for the profits from their lemonade stand, and they defin more...
Amazon Says: Bunny business? Funny business! Max?s sister, Ruby, and her best friend, Louise, are in business. They have big plans for the profits from their lemonade stand, and they definitely don?t want Max to help or share. But trust Max to have plans of his own. He just might show Ruby that he has a better way to run a bunny business. Everyone?s favorite bunnies, Max and Ruby, appear in a popular television series on Nickelodeon. less...
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Pink by Nan Gregory
AmazonHeather M. Says: Pink
Amazon Says: Vivi is dizzy with wanting pink — the kind the rich girls have, beyond the budget of her beloved truck driver dad. One day in the window of a fancy toy store she sees somethi more...
Amazon Says: Vivi is dizzy with wanting pink — the kind the rich girls have, beyond the budget of her beloved truck driver dad. One day in the window of a fancy toy store she sees something that’s just right — a bride doll in a dress of perfect glistening pink. Vivi wants it more than anything. She saves and saves for it, walking the neighbors’ dog and running errands for them. However when she takes her parents to show them the precious doll, something surprising happens. Nan Gregory's touching story about what’s really important features vibrant images by illustrator Luc Melanson. less...
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AmazonHeather M. Says: Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen
Amazon Says: I can pop a wheelie, I can touch the sky, I can pedal backwards, I can really fly! Sally Jean was born to ride. And her bicycle, Flash, is just about her best friend. But one more...
Amazon Says: I can pop a wheelie, I can touch the sky, I can pedal backwards, I can really fly! Sally Jean was born to ride. And her bicycle, Flash, is just about her best friend. But one day something terrible – and wonderful – happens. Sally Jean grows. Suddenly she finds herself too big for Flash. What’s a Bicycle Queen to do? Finally, by collecting old bicycle parts to make a new bike – and giving Flash to a young friend who longs for a bigger bike of his own – she rides again! With exuberant art that’s just the right match for Sally Jean’s new found freedom, this joyous text celebrates growing up, learning new skills, and giving back to the community. Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year. less...
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AmazonHeather M. Says: Start Saving, Henry!
Amazon Says: Henry?s finally old enough to get an allowance, and he can?t wait to spend it every week on giant jawbreakers, a huge pencil, and other silly things. But when Henry finds some more...
Amazon Says: Henry?s finally old enough to get an allowance, and he can?t wait to spend it every week on giant jawbreakers, a huge pencil, and other silly things. But when Henry finds something he really wants, he discovers that saving money can be more difficult? and more rewarding?than he ever imagined. With candy-bright artwork, a popular main character, and a story that every child will relate to, Nancy Carlson?s new book makes perfect ?cents? for young readers! less...
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