My husband and I delved into the world of personal finance shortly after we were married. In 2012, coincidently the year we had our two children, we got serious about money. We ditched our student loan debt and vowed to be good stewards of our money. While we have discussed various ideas for incorporating financial education into our children’s lives, we have not formed a concrete, formal plan.
Fortunately, this month’s Mother Goose Time “On the Go” curriculum provided several opportunities to discuss money outside of our casual discussions at the grocery store. By far, one of the favorite games was “Bus Stop.” The bus stop game included four bus stop signs, bus tickets for each destination, and pretend money. The kids help me hang the bus stops in the kitchen and den. We assigned a price for tickets to each destination and talked about how typically longer distances cost more. We also packed bags for our trip and I told them anything they packed from their rooms was free but they had to “pay” for items from the playroom, where the cash register was set up. The ‘payer’ (my kids’ term for cashier) was given the bus tickets and we took turns planning our journey, purchasing our tickets, snacks, and books, and then ran from stop to stop delivering our bus tickets.
On the third day of the game, my son wanted to pretend he was the dad and my daughter was the baby going on her first bus ride. Unfortunately, I was trying to prep meals and couldn’t play. My son was disappointed there was no cashier. Then my daughter suggested they make bracelets out of the money so they could ride as many times as they wanted, like at the zoo. She made one for herself and doll and then showed my son how to make one. I was so proud of her creative resolution! Many imaginative adventures unfolded through this little educational game.
Once again, Mother Goose Time provides the framework for truly effective learning that my kids love to do over and over again!