Rainy Day Fun (Just Don't Tell Kids It's Educational)

Rainy days, cold and snowy days, too-hot days.  If you have kids, finding ways to keep them amused on such days that doesn't involve a slew of Barney videos or the Wii can be a bit challenging at times.  Why not take an indoor kind of day and turn it into an opportunity to have fun and learn a bit about money?  Here's an idea for a game that most kids will like and will also sneak in a bit of financial education to boot.

What You Need

Besides you and the Juniorettes as players, all you'll really need for this game are some coins.  Get them from the depths of your purse or raid the spare change jar.  If you're playing with more than one child, you might want to make sure that you have the same number and kind of coins for each child (such as two dimes for two kids; six pennies would work well for two or three kids); this will help eliminate the inevitable no-fair-he-found-more-than-me syndrome.   Also have handy a piggy bank, jar or other container.

How to Play

Remember playing hide-the-object when you were a kid?  A friend or cousin would hide a rock, small ball or just about anything, and then you would try to find the object.  This is the same idea, only you're hiding coins.  Have your kids hide their eyes or go into a room and shut the door.  You then take the coins and hide them throughout the house.  After you're done, release the kiddos and watch them go to town finding money.  Take a cue from Katy Perry and use the "hot and cold" encouragement technique: the closer to the coin the kid gets, the "warmer" they are; further away is "colder"; right on it and still not seeing it is "hot!"   After the coins have been found, have them deposit their booty into the piggy bank.  That's pretty much it.  You hide the coins, they find them.

Where's the Education in That?

Here's where you put in a bit of learning with the fun.  For the younger set, say the preschooler/ kindergarten set, use the game as an opportunity to reinforce the different kinds of coins out there.  Ask Sally what she's found - penny? nickel?  Get in some numbers and counting by having Sally count each coin as she drops it into the piggy bank.  Have older kids?  Ramp it up a notch and use the game for teaching how to count change.  Ask Junior how much he has after fiding the first three coins.  Or, let him know how much change is out there to be found and periodically ask him how much he has left to find.  When he's found all of the coins, ask him how much money he has.  You could even use your child's allowance for the week in coins for the game.  After the kids have gotten the hang of it, have them do the hiding and you the finding.

A Few Tips

Tip one: If you have more than one child playing, you might want to hide two kinds of the same coin in each spot, and explain to your kids before they start looking that they each have one coin to find in each spot. 

Tip two: Be prepared to play this over and over, especially if your kids are on the younger side.  I recently played this over and over with my twins one Saturday morning; they loved the hiding, the finding and the dropping of the coins into the piggy bank.

Photo Source

Anonymous's picture

The Kids-and-Finances Guide for Parents | MomVesting wrote:

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 21:45 Comment #: 1

[...] This fun indoor activity is a great way to help young children learn about money. [...]

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