How Has Money Use Changed And Why Is This Important When Teaching Kids?

How Has Money Use Changed?

Once the pandemic hit, the way we used money also changed. Because of the fear of spreading the virus through touching things, we started to use debit machines and e-transfers instead of cash for most of our transactions. This is not really a surprise, because even prior to the pandemic in many places people used plastic rather than carrying around cash.
One of the problems with using debit cards and credit cards for most transactions, is that kids are not being exposed to cash and its use. Now that things have eased up with the pandemic, cash is being used again. This means that it still needs to be taught so that kids learn how to handle it and use it. We need to help prepare them for using it in the real world.

Learning The Value Of Coins

Sometimes young children think that the number of coins they have is worth more than the actual value of the coins. For instance, a handful of nickels is often worth less than a few quarters. Understanding the value of coins is important.

Counting coins is a great way to better understand how groups of coins work. They learn how many coins are needed to make a dollar. They can also learn about groupings of coins for specific amounts. Making 5 groups of 10 for dimes, 10 groups of 4 for quarters, groups of 20 for nickels, and 5 groups of 10 for pennies helps them to understand how many coins are needed for rolls. From there, kids learn that a roll of pennies is 50¢, a roll of nickels is $2.00, a roll of dimes is $5.00 and a roll of quarters is $10.00. 

Note: In Canada we no longer use the penny, but it is still a good practice to count them because we sometimes we have American pennies or use them when traveling to the States.
​Larger denominations can also be counted. In Canada, we have loonies and toonies, but in United States they have dollar bills. Both countries have larger bills such as five, ten, twenty, fifty, hundred. It is important for kids to learn about these larger amounts as well.

Money Resources To Help

​I have created many different resources for identifying and working with coins and bills in both USD and CDN versions. These are helpful for practicing how money works, but hands-on activities are also important. 
​Creating situations where they can buy and sell things is a a great way to practice using money. My students loved using the school play money and getting the bigger bills for transactions. 

Games like Monopoly are still very popular today and kids love being able to handle the larger amounts of money as they buy property and collect rent. 
If you are looking for a complete unit that includes many different aspects of earning money, saving money, spending money and life skills for using money, check out this unit that I created with my grade 3 class. It turned out to be far more successful than I could have imagined when I started it. 
Kids need to understand money if they are going to be successful with using money in the real world. Check out my related posts below for more information about how kids can be taught to use money in real world situations.
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