Teaching your children to be thrifty is something you can start at an early age. In fact, the sooner you begin these life lessons, the better. Kids that understand how money works on a basic level will be much better placed to use it wisely later. You can talk to older kids in quite a specific way about this; younger kids might learn better through play.
One of the key lessons they need to learn is money awareness – kids at a KS1 stage may have some fun (and learn some useful lessons!) from the BBC Igloo Shopping Game. This can teach them about spending and the way that money is made up (coin and note denominations). It’s also a good way to boost their overall Maths skills which is never a bad thing.
The aim here is to help Molly as she visits the igloo shop, run by Pablo. Molly wants to buy various items and you have to make sure that she gives him the correct change. So, Pablo pops out with an item and you have to pick out the right coins to make up the money before she can buy it. There are three levels of play here – medium, hard and really hard. Each new level introduces more coins (and then notes) and comes with trickier totals. Although this is a simple and easy to understand game, you can also extend it past its basic level by talking to your child about how money fits together to make a total.
So, for example, they might click on two 10p pieces to make 20p to start with. You can then also encourage them to put that amount together out of other coins. You can use the lessons learned here when you are out shopping as well. Try popping into a shop to buy something small and encourage your child to find the right money from a handful of coins.
This game is a great way to introduce the basics of money and how coins and notes are used to pay for stuff. Other games on the Bitesize site can also help with basic number, addition, subtraction and division skills at both KS1 and KS2 levels, so they may also be worth a go. The games here are pitched at a young age group and are fun and easy to use. Most kids won’t even notice they are learning!
You can play Igloo Shopping free on the BBC Bitesize website.