are Curious About Money, Business, and Investing
– Soraya Nasrallah
does investing mean?” yelled the six-year-old son of an acquaintance of
mine. I was at a local café talking with friends about my new book, “InvestorWiz”.
During the conversation a variety of investment-related words came up
which prompted the boy’s curiosity and subsequent interruption.
know much about children, but this boy must have been quite smart to have
picked up on this word. Sadly, the father’s response was a less then
enthusiastic, “You’ll learn about that much later”.
I should have stopped him and said, “Let’s teach him now!” Of
course, that might not have been the best time for a lesson in business
and investing, but the young man’s curiosity motivated me to create
three fun learning activities that can be used to teach kids about money
and business. Please note that this is best for children who have at least
grasped the concept of money and have the appropriate focus and patience.
Candy Bag Sample:
Actually, my mom recommended this one. With your child, take a trip to the
local food store with a pad and pen. Buy a favorite bag of candy. Let your
youngster help out by asking him or her to read and write down the name of
the item and original price. When you’ve returned home, count the amount
of candy in the bag (inventory!). Here’s the crux of the lesson: show
your child that by selling each individual piece (to another family member
or neighbor) for a certain price he or she will end up with more money
than the original cost of the whole bag of candy. Let them make the
calculation of the difference between what was spent and what was brought
in, figuring out the actual profit. By having the youngster write up the
calculations and present those figures creatively (break out the
construction paper, colored markers, glitter, etc.), you can easily give
them a sense of pride and accomplishment.
As always, make them feel proud of their accomplishment! Of
course, eating some of the candy is a nice prize at the end of the
This activity is realistic and quite fun, and it could actually be
profitable. Take your kid(s) to the store and let them have the calculator
and show them how to add the cost of all items while selecting all the
lemonade ingredients from a list you have both made. Don’t worry about
the tax unless they are truly ready for it. It’s very important that
everyone involved carefully record the money spent. The best solution is
to have a color board where all the figures can be prominently posted.
Setting up a creative and colorful lemonade stand is very important so
your kids can really get into it! There are some good lessons in marketing
and retail sales involved, too. Have the kids track the money that is
coming in so that at the end they can add up the sales revenues and then
figure out how close they are to actually making a profit. Even if there
are no profits, calculating the losses is an equally important lesson.
Make sure that there is a nice reward that will motivate them to sell
their lemonade and make more money than what was spent!
Baking cookies for fun, profit, and learning. Making it fun for the
children is very important. Start this project with a good cookie recipe.
Then you and your kids can go shopping and write down the price of each
item. Let them have the calculator so that they can start adding the price
of all the needed items. Include some tissue paper and ribbons so that the
cookies can be packaged nicely. These nicely wrapped baked goodies can be
sold to friends and neighbors or even better, sold at a bake sale. This is
a great activity for a group of kids in the neighborhood. When they’ve
sold the cookies, have the participants calculate the profit. This is also
a good time to calculate the loss for prematurely eaten cookies. Remember
to give them an extra incentive or prize that was promised for their work
in turning a profit! If they concentrate on that reward, they will be
more willing to do the work! Happy Baking!
a great cookie recipe, I turned to my good friend, Cindy. She is a
professional pastry chef who has worked in some nationally-known
restaurants. She also has her own cookbook coming out.
If you want this recipe, email her at email@example.com
have found that American kids are woefully lacking when it comes to
knowledge about money and business. Engaging
your children in business and money matters early in life can give them a
huge advantage as they get older. While
the activities above are more about business, the lessons learned are an
outstanding introduction to the more sophisticated lessons of stocks and
investing. Once your kids grasp the concepts of simple capitalism and
business, their own curiosity might lead them to ask more questions about