Ahh isn't it funny how kids find our most mundane tasks so interesting! Those everyday tasks we complete and it's so easy to forget our children are watching our every move! Through carefully observing our day-to-day habits, our children learn how to interact with the world. We are their first teachers and they are learning so much from us.
It's also really interesting to think how the world is changing and how it is changing our daily habits too. Thinking about the day-to-day tasks I would have watched my parents complete some ahem...30 years ago will be very different to those my son observes me doing today.
Technology has played a big part of this as it evolves to make our lives easier, it also means our children don't see us completing some of those simple tasks which help to teach basic life skills. For example, I realised I keep writing my shopping list on my phone purely for convenience that I know I will have my phone with me when I go to the shops. However, by completing this task on my phone my son rarely sees me pick up and pen and piece of paper to write down the items I need. This means he does not see me writing for a purpose, demonstrating context for writing or notices that I list goes down the page rather than across like a letter. And this can also be the same for online shopping compared to walking down the high street to visit specialist shops. Our daily habits are changing and so are the things our children see.
I have always recommended to parents, if you want your child to be a reader, they need to be brought up in an environment that nurtures reading. A household that not only reads for neccessity but also for pleasure. Where books are valued, shared and discussed and where a child will often see their parent choosing to spend time reading.
And the same goes for money, if we want our children to fully understand the concept of money as a lifelong skill, they need to see how we use it. And understanding money is not just spending it in shops! Money also includes earning, buying, saving, investing, budgeting and donating. However, something that strikes me as we quickly move towards becoming a cashless society, how will our children see us interacting with money is they don't see us using cash, coins and notes? Does your child see you handling money? Where you get it from? What you do with it?
As you know, dealing with money relies heavily on mathematics. Lots of counting practise, number recognition, understanding value, addition, subtraction and loads of mental arithmatic. It's really important our children are given the opportunities to handle and explore money in playful situations to gain a good understanding. Play is a really effective tool for introducing anything new to children as well as books, especially something so abstract like money.
Below I have created a FREE downloadable sheet with 10 simple ways you can set up opportunities for your children to play, explore and learn about money. Please click the picture, download and enjoy supporting your children to learn about money through play!
This blog post and downloadable activity sheet has been created in paid partnership with F&C Investment Trust. Click here to visit F&C Investment Trust website for more information about research and products.