Explaining money to children

Explaining money to children
Explaining money to children

The other morning, for one of my rare appearances at bat, I tried to explain money to my children. Why am I working so hard…


Actually, I wanted to follow up on what I wrote here not so long ago in my post I work too much.

I pulled out some old pennies and asked my three daughters to bring the following toys:

  • a good man
  • a good woman
  • a house
  • two cars
  • a fruit
  • a chair
  • a zebra
  • a fence

Excited, they turned the living room upside down to find all the toys on my list. Like three little Tom Cruises, they succeeded in their impossible mission!

I placed before me the good man and the good woman:

“They represent mom and dad. »

In front of them, on the other side of the kitchen table, was the rest.

“The house represents our house. The cars are our cars. The plastic banana symbolizes all the food you buy at the grocery store or restaurant. The chair represents the objects that we must buy, such as your school supplies, clothes, toys, pay for daycare… And the fence symbolizes the renovations that we must do on the house or on the land.»

So far they follow me! You?


Then I put a pile of 15 coins in front of the male Playmobil figurine, and another 15 in front of the female.

What's that daddy? »

“This is the money mom and dad make with their work. They have to pay for the house. »

I remove pieces from each pile and place them in front of the toy house.

“There are also the cars you have to pay for and the gas you put in them. »

Other pennies leave both stacks.

“The food we eat is not free, so we also have to pay for it. We always have stuff to buy. As I told you earlier, there you will start school, so you have to buy pencils, notebooks, clothes. You have to pay for the phone, the TV, the internet…”

Under the six watchful eyes of my daughters, I take off more pennies, to put them in front of the little plastic chair that represents this category. My daughters look is changing.

“There's almost no money left! »

“You are right, my dear. You should also remember to keep some aside for the unexpected. If the roof of the house breaks and it needs to be repaired. We don't want the rain falling in the house! You need money for that too. »

I place pennies behind the end of the fence.

The Extraordinary

“And the zebra daddy? »

“The zebra represents special activities, outings, travel, camping, the zoo and all the other craziness you canTO DO! That's why mom and dad have to work! To succeed in paying tooouuut what I have just shown you. »

And I show the house, the cars, the food, the objects…

“Do you understand a little better why now? »

“Yes. »

“The role of mom and dad is to work so that you don't miss anything. It's a bit like school or daycare for you. Your job is to learn things and make new friends! Everyone has their own job! Team work! »

It worked!

The piggy bank

The girls got it, I think! They put the toys away and my middle daughter came to see me a few moments later.

“Dad!? Can I have some money to put in my piggy bank? »

“Yes, my owl! »

“Thank you. That way when I've had enough I'll be able to buy my toys myself and you won't use the money you make with your job. It's going to be my teamwork! »

I smiled. I kissed him. I gave her a big hug and said, “I love you my beautiful girl! You are fantastic! »

“Me too Daddy! »

I squeezed it tight again. A long time. Too long I think, because she said to me:

“Dad, can I go put my money in my bank now? »

“Yes my dear. Go ahead. »

They got it I think.


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