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School-Age Children & Planning

Talking with your child about money can go smoother if you keep the conversation age appropriate. The conversation starters and activities here can help you find the words.

Conversations about planning

  • Ask your child to set a goal for something she wants, and talk about the steps it would take to get it. Over time, check in to see how the steps are going and whether that goal is still important
  • Share your own tips and strategies for how you make plans and get yourself to stick to them
  • Practice making a list before you go to a store or on a shopping trip. Talk about how easy or hard it is to stick to the list
  • Play strategy games like checkers and mancala to strengthen your child’s focus on planning ahead

Activities about planning

Bingo on the go
Bingo on the go
Print a bingo card for each player. Each player will also need a pencil, crayon or pen. Or, place a printed bingo card in a zippered storage bag or in a page protector, and use dry erase markers to play.
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The activity

You can use this activity to talk with your kids about the way money flows through communities, and supports community services and activities. The bingo game cards show some of the common things you and your children might see in your community or other areas. You can talk with your children about what you see, where the money comes from to pay for them, and how important or valuable they are.

What to do

Have kids look for and check or mark off the places, services, and objects on their bingo card as they see them. The first person to cover five squares in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal row wins.

Things to talk about

When you look around in a community, notice the role money plays to support the places, services and things you use.

Many buildings and services in our communities are paid for with public funds. Public funding usually means money the government collects to pay for goods and services. Other buildings or services are paid for with money from private organizations – that is, companies or individuals using their own money. Others are paid for by nonprofit organizations like foundations or charities. Often there's a combination of money from different sources.

Talk about the kinds of places, services and objects use public funding. Consider how the community benefits from sharing these. If it’s not clear where the funding comes from, brainstorm for ways you could find the information. You might ask at the local library, at the town hall or government center, or the organization’s website or toll-free phone number.

Discuss with your child why sometimes it might make sense to use money from a combination of different sources. For example, a hospital might be paid for by a corporation but also provide publicly funded services like Medicare. Or, a playground might use public funds but also take donations from individuals to keep it well maintained or purchase new equipment.


Help your school-age child and preteen reach money milestones...