Granted, this will make some of your tasks take a little longer, but you’ll be doing two things in the process:
- Keeping your kids occupied.
- Teaching them money lessons and keeping their brains engaged.
As your kids take a break from school, slip in little math and money lessons along the way. You don’t have to drag out worksheets necessarily, but focus on showing them how math is used everyday in the real world during school breaks.
Here are some great ways to find teachable money moments for your kids:
- At the grocery store, have them add up your purchases as you put things inside your cart. Include them on decisions about what you should buy. Instead of asking them what they want, ask them to find the cheaper option. You may have to point out coupons you have or explain how to find the price per ounce.
- Are they working on fractions and percentages? Have them figure up how much their clothes will be with the discounts and coupons applied.
- Start a shopping trip by telling your kids the budget you’re working with. Show them how they might be able to buy three new shirts on sale, or one new shirt at full price. But, let them make the ultimate decision (at least some of the time).
- Is your child always asking to bake something? Let them help you make dinner tonight and be in charge of the recipe. Even if you don’t need a variation of the recipe, ask them to double or half the recipe. Give them scenarios about what you would do if you decided to make this recipe when guests come over.
- Need to distract them on a long drive? Ask them to count things as you’re driving. Here are some examples: Count certain things that they see, like red cars or number of cars with more than one person inside.
- Planning a vacation? Let them help with the math! Ask them to calculate your gas mileage for the trip. If they can’t figure out the equation on their own, then write it out for them.
Total Trip Miles/MPG = Total Gallons Needed for Trip
Average Gas Price x Total Gallons Needed = Cost of Gas for Trip
- Share your overall vacation budget and help them decide what you will do. If you’re deciding between different activities, let them be in on the decision process.
- Create a simpler version of your normal, household budget for your kids to understand. When they ask for money for something, get out the budget and help them see the funds available. If you don’t have a budget, start one now! This booklet has a budget template and great tips for sticking with it.
Use this time to show your children why they need to learn and retain their math skills. By starting early, one day they will be better equipped to handle their own finances. Let’s work together to help them prosper now and later in life!