Understanding money is an important life skill and you can help your children learn about money from a young age.
Here are some free ideas to help get you started.
Always remember our top tips for helping kids learn about maths and money:
- Be positive about maths. Don’t say things like “I can’t do maths” or “I hated maths at school”; your child might start to think like that themselves.
- Point out the maths in everyday life. Include your child in activities involving maths and money.
- Praise your child for effort rather than talent – this shows them that by working hard they can always improve.
If you struggle with maths yourself, use our free online tool the National Numeracy Challenge to improve your maths level.
It’s nearly Christmas, so what better way to finish off the year than with our ‘Christmas Party Time’ activity sheet?
The task is to plan a party within a set budget. What food and drink would your kids like and what can they afford within their budget? Will they opt for a bouncy castle and give out prizes for games?
This activity is aligned to the National Curriculum for Year 4 pupils and is a great way to get junior school-aged children to think about money in a fun and realistic setting.
Don’t forget – if you struggle with numbers yourself, the National Numeracy Challenge can help you to improve!
This month’s tips look at how to explore maths and money with 10-13 year olds. As your child understands more about money, you can use it to develop their maths and personal finance skills. Don't forget to talk to your child about where money comes from and how you can earn it.
• Pocket money. Use this as an opportunity to talk about maths and money – are they saving for anything? How much do they need to save each week to buy it?
• At the shops. When buying a couple of items, ask them to work out how much they will cost together. As a challenge for older children, ask them to estimate what the weekly shop will come to. When you’re paying for your shopping, ask your child to check your change.
• Work out offers in supermarkets together. Ask them to work out which are the best deals.
• Travelling. Ask your child to help you work out whether it's cheaper to drive or take public transport. Are there any deals you can get on public transport?
• If your child has a mobile phone, use it to talk about maths and money saving. Look together for the best plans: does their network sell any extras that would make texts or calls cheaper? Is it cheaper to text or use Skype, Snapchat or WhatsApp?
• Talk to them about getting a bank account. Look together at what's on offer for young people opening their first account and see which is the best deal.
For half term, we’re making two of our activity worksheets available for free – one about money and one with a Halloween theme.
The ‘Supermarket offers’ activity is linked to the Year 6 curriculum and is a great way to get kids looking at the numbers behind the deals. Help them explore the cheapest way to buy a product, and ask them to look out for offers when you’re doing the weekly shop. Are those special offers really such a good deal?
Special for Halloween, ‘The witch’s spell’ activity sheet is linked to the Year 2 curriculum and helps children with addition and multiplication in solving problems. How many creatures’ legs need to go into the witch’s potion?
As your child starts to understand a bit more about money, you can start using it for more maths conversations and activities too. This month’s tips look at how to explore money with 6-9 year olds.
• Estimate. At the shops ask your child to estimate how much 3 or 4 items will cost together.
• Give them small amounts of pocket money. For example, give them 50p a week and ask them what they think they can buy with it or, if they want to save for something bigger, how long will it take to reach their goal.
• Talk about the items you buy. Ask them which are more expensive, which are cheaper, which are heavier and which are lighter, etc.
• Explore quantities by asking them to think about how many different ways they can make 50p. For example, how many 10p coins do you need to make 50p? Or try it with £1.
• When you buy something, get your child to hand you the correct money and check the change with them afterwards.
As always, don't forget to talk to your child about where money comes from and how you earn it.
Our activity this month ties in with the Year 5 curriculum (age 9-10 year olds) and helps children think about saving money as well as learning about decimal places, simple percentages and problem-solving in the context of money.
Help Sophie save for a tennis racquet and get your kids thinking about saving money.
Look at real prices and talk about what your children could buy if they save up for a month or a year.
Don’t forget, if you struggle with percentages yourself, you’re not alone! The National Numeracy Challenge has loads of free resources to help adults brush up their everyday maths skills.
You can help your children learn about money from a young age. This month’s tips look at how to explore money with children of 5 years old and under.
It’s a good idea to show your child how to use money, with real money at the shops or pretend money at home, and talk to your child about where money comes from.
(Note: toddlers may put coins in their mouth, so always keep an eye out!)
• Play the coin game:
o Trace around coins and colour in the shapes.
o Ask your child to match the coin to the image and talk about each one's name.
• At the shops:
o Ask your child to guess how much items will cost together.
o Give your child small amounts of change and ask them what they think they can buy with it.
o Talk about the items you buy; which are more expensive and which are cheaper? Which are heavier and lighter, bigger and smaller?
• Play shops:
o Use items around the house as shop items in a pretend shop.
o You could make pretend money or use Monopoly money for your play shop.
o By 'buying' things with play money, your child begins to understand that different things cost different amounts of money.
This month, we are making one of our Family Maths activity worksheets available for free.
National Numeracy’s Family Maths activities have been developed by a consultant with wide experience in the teaching and learning of maths in primary schools, and they are aligned to the 2014 English National Curriculum and mastery curriculum.
This activity ‘Planning a trip’ is linked to the curriculum for Year 3 (ages 7-8) – but you may find it suitable for other ages too. The activity will help children develop their money and budgeting skills.
Begin your journey to improved numeracy with The Challenge