April 16, 2020
With parents spending more time at home with the kids these days, coming up with educational activity ideas to keep little ones entertained requires every creative bone in our bodies. So here’s one for you: an original way to introduce your children to savings. We all know the use of a piggy bank, but why not revisit the concept and multiply the piggy by three?
Not One… But Three Little Piggies
Although the image of a cute piggy bank always comes to mind, glass jars will do the trick perfectly; no need for fancy piggy banks! The idea is to have three containers: one for Spending, one for Saving and one for Sharing.
With the first container, kids can spoil themselves and indulge in some small luxuries.
With the second, they accumulate money to make a bank deposit or purchase a bigger gift.
The third container will be used to collect money for a donation to support a cause of their choice, or share with their siblings. This last container is particularly important because it instills the value of sharing.
Now that you’ve got your trio of containers (Spending, Saving and Sharing), you can teach your child to set goals for each of them.
What do your children want to offer themselves in the short term with the money from their “Spending” piggy? How do they wish to pamper themselves? A toy, a piece of clothing, an app on their tablet?
What objective could be set for the money added to the “Saving” jar? How much should be saved? It can be an opportunity to tell your child about his or her RESP if you have one. Since this is an amount saved for a long-term goal, you can ask if your child would like to chip in for this project.
And finally, what charity or people would your child like to support with the “Sharing” jar? Is your child fond of animals, or perhaps particularly sensitive to the situation of the homeless? Help your kids find a cause close to their hearts based their interests and guide them in defining a financial goal to support this philanthropy.
Making Choices… And Appreciating What You Have
One of life’s lessons with the most influence on our happiness is gratitude: appreciating what we have and being thankful for it.
A moment ago, we suggested you teach your child how to set goals. Yes, it’s important, but it’s even more important to appreciate what you already have. Don’t let your child fall into a constant spiral of longing and dissatisfaction. It’s perfectly healthy to want things, but there needs to be a balance and an understanding that you can’t have everything.
In life, we all have to learn to make choices and prioritize certain things over others. For instance, you can teach your child that by spending less on immediate indulgences, such as sweets and small toys from the dollar store, they could save up to buy a bicycle, which will provide more enjoyment in the long run.
Whether your child keeps their three little pigs for a long time or the project is short-lived, the important thing is the lessons learned!