Teaching your child about money

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How do we teach our children about money when cash is barely used nowadays? In a cashless society, the old-fashioned money box can still have a place in your home. Involving your child in counting out the notes and coins is a great way to introduce numeracy concepts but also to expand on their language and vocabulary.  

Involve your child in the process of opening the money box and sorting through the coins. You might like to look at the different native animals on each of coin and discuss where they live. For example, the platypus is on a twenty-cent coin; it lives in a river or a billabong. It’s also something to talk about while you’re in a waiting room or queuing to pay a bill, and you have a wallet handy!

At home, you can ask them to help you sort the currency and compare their different sizes, colours and values. Recognising similarities and differences is an important early childhood skill, as well as noticing patterns and shapes. Count the money with your little one. You can also add an element of technology by introducing a calculator to help you add up the total.

A grocery store is a great way for your child to learn about money and when to use it. 

Teach children about money with role playing

Setting up a grocery store is a great way for your child to learn about money and when to use it. Role playing helps your child in learning to solve problems, fosters social and emotional development, improves communication and language. Here are some items you may need:

  • Set up the grocery store using a table, chair and baskets
  • Create signs for food sections and price, showcasing the cost of food  
  • Use real coins and notes
  • Aprons with pockets
  • Purses and wallets
  • Select food from your pantry cupboard
  • Toy cash registers, scanners, and shopping carts
  • Grocery bags
  • Clean and empty food boxes

Visiting your local bank is another great way to teach your child about money. Plan a trip to the bank and involve your child in the process of depositing the money or let them see the numbers on an ATM receipt.


To support your child with counting, below are suggested picture books:

  • One Fox, Kate Read
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  • One Woolly Wombat, Kerry Argent
  • Ten Terrible Dinosaurs, Paul Stickland
  • Doggies, Sandra Boynton

Just a reminder, small children needs supervision around items that could be a choking hazard so don’t just hand over the wallet. No matter how much they want it!


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