When Should We Start Teaching Money?

30th 30/05/18 16:45

    If you haven't already started teaching your pupils or own children about finance, My Money Week runs from June 11th to the 17th and there are tons of free resources for schools and parents to use and share to inspire children. Take a look at their website here

    When should we start teaching our children about money?

    We think that the simple answer is that the earlier we start, the better. Pfeg’s 2009 survey found that the average age for a child to own their first mobile phone was just eight years old, but the average age that children borrow a card to buy items online is 10! The earlier we teach children about the importance of responsible money handling, the earlier we can equip them with skills for life.

    Is ‘finance’ included in the National Curriculum in KS1 and KS2?

    Finance appears in maths and programmes of study for Citizenship and PSHE at Key Stages 1 and 2. Children should develop maths skills and reflect on how their attitudes to money may affect the choices they make.
    Young Money has also developed primary and secondary frameworks that aim to support the planning, teaching, and progression of financial education
    Young Money Primary Framework


    What can parents do at home to help their children develop 'financial literacy'?

    There are lots of easy ways to help children become confident with money at home - here are just a few ideas. 

    • Allow children to handle cash when paying for small items. Get them to count the money required and then work out what change they will need to be given.
    • Work out with your child all the things that you will do over a weekend that will require money. Work out the total cost of the weekend and put that amount of money into a purse. Ask your child to pay for everything using the money from the purse.  Were you able to budget accurately for the weekend, or did you run out of money?
    • Find something that your child really wants and ask them to plan how they will save for it. If they saved half of their pocket money each week, how many weeks would it take to save the correct amount?  How about if they saved a quarter of their pocket money? They could even create a little savings book or spreadsheet to see how they are accruing their savings.

    • Empty the coins from your purse and look at them with a magnifying glass, then discuss the similarities and differences between them.  You could line the coins up from least value to greatest value, or order them from oldest to newest.

    • Have you ever been abroad and brought back foreign currency? Children always find foreign coins interesting.  Talk to your child about how many of these coins are equivalent to 10p, 5p, £1.00 etc. 

    • Put piles of 1p coins next to coins to show their value e.g. 2p would have 2 x 1p coins. Which coin has the highest value?  What is the value difference between two coins? 

    • Why not make a papier-mâché piggy bank – very messy but lots of fun! 

      Papier Mache Piggy 2

    Papier Mache Piggy 1







    What can we do in class to develop our knowledge of money and finance?

    There are always the classic ways of teaching money in the classroom, such as playing shop. 

    PC011 Picture Props-The Cafe

    Propeller PictureProps are ideal for independent learning, whole class teaching, role play, intervention and for all other types of hands-on learning. Every pack comes with a 'Time to Teach' activities booklet full of ideas on how to use the props. Activities include 'How many ways can I pay?' and 'A Range of Change', as well as activities that focus on key number skills, too. 

    Get your own 'PictureProps' The Café set here

    Other ideas include:

    • Why not look at the commemorative coins available for the recent royal wedding. Could the children design their own commemorative event or as an alternative to those shown on the Royal Mint website?
    • Look here to find out how coins are made. Could children write an instructional text using this? Or maybe an imaginative one based around Until I Met Dudley: How Everyday Things Really Work by Roger McGough.
    • Why not let Year 5 and 6 go house hunting in the local newspapers. They can find out how much their dream house costs and then research mortgages.  How much of a deposit would they need? How big does their salary need to be to afford the house?
    • Set your children a budget of £500 and ask them to design and buy everything they need to furnish their room from the Argos Catalogue - they could even detail their spending in a spreadsheet to incorporate some IT. 

    Tell me more about My Money Week by Young Money...

    2018 is the 10th anniversary of My Money Week being hosted by Young Money and it takes place from June 11th to the 17th. This year's themes include primary students exploring raising and saving money and charitable giving, and secondary students exploring mobile phone, insurance and risk. 

    You can see all the available resources, find out more, and see how you can get your school involved in the annual competition on their website here


    Extra Resources:

    There are loads of websites and activities online for working with money. Here are some of our favourites.

    Natwest My Money Sense - visit a virtual bank, download lesson plans, and play games to develop financial numeracy from ages 5-18

    Natwest Children's Savings - introduce young children to the idea of saving money

    Nationwide Education - resources for parents and teachers covering core life skills, numeracy and finance, sustainability, employability and safety

    Values, Money and Me - the UK's first free online teaching resource specifically designed to give young children a head start in live by helping develop their financial knowledge and abilities

    BBC Bitesize KS1 Money - a fun activity to help children learn about money