Grandma’s Money Camp 2011- Teaching My Grandchildren About Money

Do you want your kids or grand-kids to learn to be financially literate and successful? I do! I hope to someday leave our grandchildren significant resources and I don’t want the grand-kids to be ruined by the money or to squander it. After all, we worked hard and long to put it together!

When my own kids were growing up, I never thought to specifically focus on teaching finances to them – and besides, who has the time? I wanted to do more for my grand-kids, so I came up with the idea of holding a Grandma’s Money Camp each year – to focus on financial literacy.

First Ever Grandma’s Money Camp

This year I held my very first ever money camp for my two grandchildren. I coined this term in my post entitled: Grandma’s Money Camp, Teaching Grandchildren Personal Finance.

My Grandma money camp is basically a week’s worth of fun, activities, games and learning about financial concepts – at age appropriate levels.

I went to their house for a week to hold the camp. We had a great time and they seemed to learn a lot!

That didn’t happen accidentally however. I spent several months on and off preparing for that week of money camp. I’ll tell you more about the actual camp and activities in future posts. In today’s post I want to explain the preparatory work that I found to be beneficial, in case you want to hold your own Grandma (or Grandpa) money camp!

Preparation for Money Camp

Here is a list of things I did to prepare for money camp.

Researched Learning Ability and Standards By Age
I spent about 48 hours over a period of several months doing research to see what kids could learn by age, typically did learn by age, what schools are teaching, what learning standards are out there and what programs are available to meet them.

Built a By Age Financial Concepts Learning Chart
I worked up a spreadsheet about which financial concepts are learned at what age. It has the concept, whether it is a learning standard, if so, what state has it as a standard, activities that can be done to teach the concept, lesson plans to teach the concept and a list of other resources.

Read Books About How to Teach Entrepreneurship
Young Bucks How to raise a future millionaire by Troy Dunn was a winner in this category. It had some great suggestions on earning activities by age that I utilized.

Looked for Web Resources To Use
There are all kinds of resources, free and at your fingertips. I found music videos for my 3 year old grand-daughter, and how coins are made movies for my 6 year old grand-son. There are a bunch of online games to help teach coin and bill identification, entrepreneurship, money counting and other money related concepts. Check out my post What’s Your Favorite Online Financial Literacy Game for some of them.

Researched and Bought Recommended Books to Read to Them
I found books on the idea that some things are more important than money (The Berenstain Bears Big Rummage Sale) on the history of money, on jobs that people do to get money (What Do People Do All Day?  icon By Richard Scarry) , on how you can waste money (Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday iconby Judith Viorst) and more – all at reading levels appropriate for them.

Thought About What Might Be Fun To Do
Since my grand-kids are still pretty young, I thought they would enjoy putting on T-shirts that had “Grandma’s Money Camp” with a stick picture of the three of us. This would also serve to solidify in their minds that we were now in the money camp part of the day, as opposed to the breakfast or play outside part of the day.

They still enjoy being given awards, so I drew up some award certificates using presentation software and we did a ceremony with all the family gathered around them.

I wanted to take them places to demonstrate some of the concepts, like jobs that people do, or saving money so I envisioned that we would go to a store, take a tour of McDonald’s or go to a Bank.

Of course, it would be fun for them to earn some money of their very own, so I conspired with the parents to come up with ideas for chores or special activities for which it would be ok to pay them.

Researched Buying vs Making Tshirts
Since I didn’t really want to spend a gob of money, I did a bit of research to see how much it would cost to order from one of the online shops that let you do custom Tshirts as opposed to buying the blank T and doing an iron on transfer. Doing it myself won out.

Bought Thrift Shop T-shirts and Decorated With Iron On Transfers
To keep costs down even further, I bought the Tshirts at the local thrift store.  I drew a silly stick drawing of the three of us and the words “Grandma’s Money Camp 2011” using paint on my computer, then printed it onto those iron on transfer sheets you can get at Staples or other stores. I actually made 2 sets of Tshirts, a green one and a white one.

Researched Board Games at Age Appropriate Levels and Purchased Needed Ones
I found the Pay Day iconboard game at a garage sale and took it along. They already had a couple of other money type games, such as Cash Flow for Kids and Monopoly <Monopoly iconwhich I knew we could also play as part of money camp.

Prepared & Submitted Questionnaire for Parents
I wanted to see where each child was in terms of knowing money concepts. I made up a simple spreadsheet with specific money related questions and a Y/N answer columns for each kid, and sent it to the parents to fill in. It had questions like “Has been to a bank” and “Understands what barter is” on it. This was a good step and I did get some surprises.

Looked for Local Resources in Area in Which I Held Money Camp
I looked up banks, stores, and businesses I could take the kids to visit. I also asked the parents for their recommendations.

Prepared a Money Camp Guide
I drew up a day by day, hour by hour activity chart with goals for each day and presented it to the parents for their review and approval. This was a guide for me to follow while in the midst of money camp so I could stay focused on the goals I had.
Of course, we did not follow that guide exactly and I always felt free to deviate from it if a better learning opportunity came up.

Sought and Gained Approval From Parents for Guide
I felt it vital to make sure that I didn’t intrude on the parental right to educate their own kids.   I wanted to make sure that the parent’s were ok with what I intended to share with their children.

Preparation Gave Me Confidence
All of the above preparatory tasks were beneficial to the success of my first Grandma’s Money Camp.  They gave me the knowledge, specific activities, goals and confidence needed to stay focused on having fun with my Grandkids while teaching them financial concepts.

How do you teach your children or grandchildren financial concepts?
Disclaimer:  Family Money Values is a Walmart Associate and will receive a small commission if you click on one of the above book links and purchase it through Amazon.

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