This is FABULOUS! Kids at Switch has created an entire mini economy, with play money, shops and banks etc for kids to play and learn in. The children can even start a business, pay taxes and make investments. Love it! (via Childhood 101)
We did something similar but on a different level in a high school consumer education class. There are so many things that I think kids will learn better and more quickly outside of a traditional classroom environment, but I think money is really better taught with some kind of practical learning.
We have a lovely local candy store a block away and a couple of weeks ago, I popped in there on a Saturday to buy some sweets for my cousin’s minis. In Sweden, children only have candy on Saturdays – “Saturday Candy” – and there were a ton of children in the shop getting their weekly stash. Apparently smaller children are just given a small bag of candy, while older kids have a candy budget to spend on a Saturday. The children in the store were probably just five years old or so, but they were really doing math at a high level and practicing all kinds of practical, money-related skills. It was so cute to see the smallest ones proudly hand over the money for their candy bags. Learning is so much easier with a bit of sweet incentive!