Teach Budgeting: Preschool Style

Create fun and engaging choice exercises to help your children build budgeting skills that last a lifetime.

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We’ve all been there—do we pick item A or item B? Budgeting is a skill we constantly practice and strengthen. Learning to live within our means and be okay if we don’t have everything we want right at this minute is a skill learned at an early age. Budgeting for little children is simply the realization that, well,  we can’t have everything we want! Sometimes we just need to make a choice between items.

Try this make-believe game with your preschoolers to begin teaching about budgets:Nov_WouldYouRather.jpg

Imagine…there are two equally wonderful toys. Your child wants both. Explain that he can only have one because he only has one coin.

Give him a coin or other manipulative and ask him to put the coin on the picture of what he would like to have.

You can take this further and use the “Would You Rather Cards” included in the Mother Goose Time Kit or set up a pretend store with different items and empty containers. Have children decide which items they would rather have to stay within their budget. 

If desired, you could implement this type of decision-making during snack time. Offer two snacks and have the child pretend to buy the one he’d like to enjoy.

Children build civic and economic skills while strengthening number concepts when deciding which items are in their budget. Continue creating scenarios where children have to choose between items to further instill budgeting concepts.


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