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Every year, local banks across the country mark a day in late April with their annual “Teach Children to Save” day. And since 1997, 11.1 million young people have participated in bank-held presentations, lessons and workshops aimed at making kindergarten through 8th graders more savings and financially savvy.

Teach your children to save programs focus on teaching students the fundamentals of personal finance through age-specific activities and interactive scenarios. Lessons typically cover the basics of saving, and topics like how to make choices that distinguish between wants and needs.

This year, with Covid–19 keeping everyone at home, banks across the country, including ours, will not be giving presentations or holding workshops.  But with kids becoming accustomed to online learning through their schools, we thought it would be a great substitute to point the way to several online resources to help spread the word and continue the mission of teaching children to save.

Locally, Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County has wonderful online resources for all ages, students and educators alike, and you can find them on the JAGFC site.

For the youngest kids, games and activities that introduce the concepts of coins and money are good start. The United States Mint features an educational site featuring activities and videos about coins – how they’re made, what they mean and coin collecting.

Slightly older children can get an understanding of earning, saving, spending and giving money, there are some activities found here.

As kids approach their teen years, they’ll begin to want to have their own money to do their own things – go to movies, play games online, get food with friends. They may even think about working to earn money on their own. More age appropriate details on the basics, including investing, debt, and tracking can be found here.

And for parents who are just beginning to talk to their children about money, a few “pointers for parents” can be found here. Here is another article with 7 important things to teach your kids about money, written in honor of financial literacy month.

In addition to online activities, with parents and children all at home together it might be a good time to have conversations about money. Teaching your children your values and experiences with money will provide them a forum to ask you questions.

If you haven’t already, setting up a chore chart (many sources online) is a great way to give kids a “job” or simply an “allowance” where they can begin to understand taking responsibility to make money.

And with all the online shopping going on during our time spent at home, now is a great time to teach kids the difference between needs and wants.  Something they simply had to have yesterday might be all but forgotten today.

Finally, one of the best ways to teach your kids about money is to open up a savings account at a local bank  – so that they can learn hands on money management. They can make deposits to save for things they’d like, or save simply for getting in the habit of it.  Here at Union Saving Bank, we even have an account for young savers, specially designed to help them get started.

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