Living on a single income while raising a family has led me down the road of learning to budget every dollar, and to be accountable for the financial decisions my husband and I make for our family. One of the most important decisions we have made is to introduce the concept of money to our sons at an early age as well as the lesson in how hard work equals money. Our hope is that as they grow into young men and head off into the world they will leave home with a solid understanding of basic finance including the value of hard work and earning an income.
At 5 1/2 KC has already been helping us around the house doing some simple chores like picking up his toys, taking care of his PJs in the morning and dirty clothing at night (I’m a mom not a maid), and helping in Grandma’s garden just to name a few. So pitching in is not a new idea for him. I have also talked to KC about his Daddy going to work to earn money so Mommy can pay the bills allowing us to have a nice house to live in. What is new is showing him the value of the work he does and how that can earn him a paycheck as well.
Dandelions And A Lesson On How Hard Work Equals Money
Last weekend while visiting my Grandma J and Dad, KC had the opportunity to learn the valuable lesson on how hard work equals money. With a lawn full of bright yellow dandelions and a Grandpa eager to be rid of them my Dad made a deal with KC.
The deal was that for every dandelion he picked and brought to Grandpa he would earn a penny. KC looked at that huge yard full of those little yellow flowers and I could just see his mind working overtime. With a big grin and a little bucket he went off to work. A few minutes later KC came bouncing back into the house with a hand full of flowers.
Sitting down at the kitchen table they began to count the dandelions, there were ten of them, and then the pennies. Excited to earn more my little boy took his bucket and ran back outside. A few minutes later he brought back a few more and again the dandelion and penny counting resumed. This time he had enough for a total of 25 pennies. Seeing his pile of money growing gave him the encouragement to go back out into the yard and hunt for more. After an hour of picking flowers, counting pennies, and going out for more KC had collected all the dandelions Grandpa had in his yard totaling 107!
Once KC and Grandpa counted all the dandelions and pennies he was very excited to learn that he had earned $1.07, but the lesson didn’t stop there.
Next Grandpa helped KC sort his money into piles of five coins and explained to KC that he could keep his pennies or trade them for a nickel. Once all of his pennies were turned into nickels Grandpa helped him turn some of them into dimes by showing him two nickels equaled one dime. Next, they traded two dimes and a nickel for a quarter and finally four quarters into a single dollar bill Grandpa had in his pocket.
All the while they were counting and converting KC’s money into something he felt was more and more special. After all a dollar bill is very exciting when you are 5 1/2!
Lesson Learned Through Hard Work
KC learned some very important lessons that day, and they go beyond how hard work equals money.
- Counting 1 through 100 was repeatedly reinforced as he counted dandelions, pennies, nickels, quarters to reach his dollar bill.
- Simple addition was practiced as he added up pennies to equal nickels and dimes and then adding them together to get larger and larger denominations.
- The value of hard work and sticking to a project until it is completed.
Is there a creative and fun way to help your preschooler learn the valuable lesson of how hard work equals money? If so please share in the comments below I would love to hear how your family is teaching this important life and financial lesson to your youngsters!
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