Fun with Finances: 5 Activities to Share with Children This Summer

If you’re looking for ways to keep things interesting for your children this summer, the next few months may just be the perfect time for some lessons in money management.

After all, they may be out of school, but children can keep learning all summer! The key is making the learning simple and fun.

With these five activities, your child will begin learning money management skills the easy way:

1. Let them handle some of the shopping.

Whether you’re just running a few errands or grocery shopping for the entire household, financial lessons are everywhere – you only have to look!

In fact, the grocery store is the perfect place to learn such skills as how to shop within a budget or determine which items are a better buy according to their unit price.

For children who understand coin and dollar values, try giving them a small amount of money, say $2-3, and let them pick out something for themselves or select what fruit or cereal to buy for the household. Make sure they know they have to stay within the allotted money.

Older children may be assigned part of or the entire grocery list – again with the idea of staying within a budget.

For younger children, take cash to the store to show them the dollars and coins that make up the price of a few items. It’s an easy way for them to begin learning coin and dollar recognition and values.

2. Set a summer savings goal.

If your children have been saving their money or allowance for awhile, summer may be a good time to assess how they’re doing.

Have them separate their money into different piles – for example, how much to save or keep saving, how much to spend and how much to share or donate to charity.

For an additional challenge, have them come up with a summer savings goal for a big-ticket item such as a toy or trip to a theme park at the end of the summer. This teaches children how to save and plan for the future.

3. Open a lemonade stand.

Summer is also a great time for bored (or industrious) children to take on small jobs.

Depending on the child’s age, small jobs such as babysitting younger siblings, washing the car, or opening an old-fashioned lemonade stand are great ways for children to learn responsibility and the satisfaction that comes with a job well done. They can also learn how to manage their earnings!

For more summer job ideas visit

4. Celebrate their first paycheck.

For older children or teens with summer jobs, receiving that first paycheck can be an exciting milestone. It’s also a great time to discuss what to do with that paycheck.

How much should they save, spend or invest are all great discussion points. And if you’re saving for their education, that’s also the perfect time to talk about how much you’d like them to contribute – if anything – to their college fund.

5. Talk about the future.

Speaking of college, many parents involve their children in the saving and planning for their future by opening a Future Scholar 529 College Savings Account and tracking the growth of those savings together.

While some parents may be reluctant to discuss finances with children, studies show that children whose parents actively teach financial skills at an early age grow up to be more financially prepared.

And when paired with what they want to study or be when they grow up, such a conversation can be an excellent way to start them on the path to planning for a brighter future.

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To open a Future Scholar account today or learn more, visit