Managing debt, saving, interest and money management are all concepts that most adults struggle to fully comprehend, and with good reason: these are complicated matters. With that said, kids are never too young to start learning about the basics of money.
Parents teach their children about healthy eating habits, sportsmanship and an array of other useful life skills from a very young age. Unfortunately, money management skills are often left to much later in life. In fact, most people only starts learning about the importance of saving and the struggles of money when they enter adulthood and get their first jobs.
It is absolutely possible (and necessary) for parents to give their children a head start in life by teaching them about money from an early age. Luckily, this can be done in a fun way, without scaring them.
Every child’s bookshelf should include at least a number of these 10 fun children’s books about money:
1. Lemonade in winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money by Emily Jenkins and G. Brian Karas
Pauline and John-John are adamant about starting a lemonade stand in winter. This is a heart-warming story about siblings learning about the ups and downs of being entrepreneurs.
2. Bunny Money by Stephen Krensky and Emily Bolam
At Counting Coins we love teaching methods that allow children to participate. This book is not just a cute story, but it also comes with stickers and a fold-out play scene that allows children to learn about money without even realising it.
The story follows four bunnies that need enough money to buy a hat for their mother.
3. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat won the 2000 Caldecott Medal and received great reviews. The School Library Journal described it as “a book bursting at the seams with ingenuity and creative spirit”.
Joseph is a 40-year-old man who loves his striped overcoat. After wearing it too much, Joseph turns his coat into something new. This is a beautiful tale about frugal living and recycling.
4. The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
This is another great example of a children’s book that manages to teach children about money, without losing sight of what is really important in life, like the relationships with your siblings.
Evan and his sister, Jessie, spend the last part of their summer holiday competing in a lemonade war. Both want to sell more lemonade than the other before school starts. Each chapter of the story focuses on a different aspect of entrepreneurship.
5. Money Madness by David Adler and Edward Miller
This is a popular book among primary school teachers. The author asks readers to consider what life would be like without money. The book then continues to explain the history of money, and all the important aspects of money that you should understand.
6. One Cent, Two Cents, Old Cent, New Cents by Bonnie Worth and Aristides Ruiz
The Cat in the Hat is always a favourite among the kiddies. In this book, the Cat in the Hat puts the notion that money grows on trees to rest. It explores the history and value of money by exploring its forms and uses in various cultures.
7. If You Made a Million by David M. Schwartz and Steven Kellogg
Some of the topics discussed in this children’s book include saving and spending, interest, the relationship between accomplishing tasks and getting paid, and more. The book manages to explain these somewhat complicated concepts to kids in a way that is funny, creative and understandable.
8. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
A Chair for My Mother explores a very touching, and very real story about loss and saving. Little Rosa’s family home is destroyed in a fire, so she teams up with her mother and grandmother to save until they have enough money to buy a nice comfortable chair.
This is perhaps one of the most honest lessons about saving that you will find in a children’s book.
9. Once Upon a Dime by Nancy Kelly Allen and Adam Doyle
A farmer discovers a tree on which money grows. The type of money growing on the tree depends on the specific animal that fertilises it. This is a fun story that teaches children a lot about money. And don’t worry, they won’t start believing that money grows on trees.
10. Curious George Saves His Pennies by H.A. Rey
Curious George is another classic favourite among parents and children alike. In this version of Curious George, George wants to buy a new red trainset. Before getting his hands on the new toy he has to go through a series of challenges. On his mission he learns plenty about money and hard work.