Small Children and Money

I mentioned earlier that we’ve been selling old toys and clothes on FB flea markets shedding the things we move with, and I’ve asked to be paid in coins so that our children can get money for what they sell for their piggy banks. This has been fun for the and they have been happy to let go things they don’t play with any more. But it also made us realise that our kids don’t see nearly as much money as me and my husband did when we were kids, simply because we always pay by card and rarely have cash.

Of course our kids get a few coins to put in their piggy banks every now and then but we don’t have anything regular going on in that section, and on flea market events like the Cleaning day we have occasionally given them a coin or two to use as they please. But they have no understanding of it (as I suppose only few 3-4 year old kids have? Or?) and they don’t even recognize the coins we use from foreign ones.

So I decided it was time to get a bit familiar with money while we were drawing anyway: we put them under paper and then lightly (or less lightly in some cases…) coloured over the paper letting the picture of the coin emerge (like we did with leaves last autumn). Our kids loved this! While doing that we looked at the coins and put them in piles. The older was happily agreeing when I showed that with one 2 euro coin you can buy as much as with two 1 euro coins in a store. But she was quite confused when I said that five 20 cents or ten 10 cent coins will buy you as much as one 1 euro. How can 10 be less worth than 1? (I am impressed by the logic in the question though!) Any way, it was a start, and shortly after when we had some foreign coins (we are slowly but constantly cleaning and packing the house finding many interesting things) lying on the table and they both commented on them being different. So they did learn something!

…and then the children went on putting other stuff, feathers, erasers etc under the paper and checking what pattern will emerge when they are lightly coloured. Not a bad outcome for something so simple, free and fun time together.

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At what age did you get a weekly/ monthly allowance from your parents/ did you start giving it to your kids? Was that tide to some chores? How much is reasonable in your mind?


  1. […] prised outdoor pools in Helsinki), that closes off a street, Limingankatu, for the flea markets. As I’ve  been paying more attention to exposing our kids to money, I gave both kids 2e each. It’s not a big surprise my daughter bought a Barbie, barbie bike […]

  2. For our family, we don’t dish out rewards for doing the chores. Everyone in the family has a part to play in keeping the house clean. 🙂

    1. Good to hear another thought on this, thanks for commenting

  3. Great idea! Z gets an allowance usually when I empty my coin wallet. It is not the same amount ever or very consistent, but she has bought her own things on occasion with her own money at markets and such. We also pretend here at home by playing shopkeeper and shopper. 🙂

    1. We also pretend to be shop keeper but we should have “real” play money in the game! Now we just pretend to pay… great idea, thanks!

      1. Z loves it! I am sure your little ones will too

  4. This is a clever way to learn about money 🙂 I have also joined Fb flea markets about 3 weeks ago.I have also been selling some books and toys and a few clothes. BB#1 is 7 years old and still does not get a weekly allowence. He does see our coins sometimes but I also pay with the bankcard alot.

    1. Good luck with fb flea markets sales and purchases!

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