Christmas is a great time to teach your children some important lessons about money and personal finance. A hidden benefit to teaching your children these lessons is reinforcing them for yourself as well. Try some of these activities with children of all ages this season.
Christmas shopping provides a wonderful opportunity to practice budgeting. Share your family gift budget with your children and allow them to help you make a gift shopping list that stays within the budget. While you are shopping, let your children keep a running total of your purchases to practice math while keeping you accountable for sticking to your budget. Consider giving your children a gift allowance of their own money to spend on gifts for siblings. Any activity you can provide that involves managing money and budgeting is an opportunity for applied learning.
While talking about budgeting, include the practice of saving and giving in your discussion. One of the best experiences for my children has been choosing Angel Tree children every year. We started a tradition of letting each of our children pick a child off the tree who was about their age. I set a gift budget for each child, and they had to help pick out gifts within that budget. My children learned about budgeting because they had to weigh the cost of each item they chose. They learned lessons about the tradeoff between one big gift or many small gifts. Most importantly, they learned how blessed they are and that the bigger joy during Christmas comes from giving rather than receiving.
If you are a homeschool mom teaching elementary and middle school children, I also recommend incorporating some of these lessons into your math studies. For those looking for a ready-made lesson, try one of these:
How do you teach your children about money, budgeting, and giving during the holiday season?