Money, to a toddler, is meaningless. They have to be taught that money is something we use to exchange for goods and services. This takes time and a little maturation for the young child to begin to grasp the concept, however they will catch on rather quickly as they accompany you on shopping trips to the grocery and other destinations. And as coins can present a choking hazard (and there are more than a few stories from doctors’ offices of pennies finding their way up into nasal cavities,) they are not safe playthings for little ones. This does not mean that they can’t begin to learn how they can amass their very own wealth.
Tooth Fairy Proceeds
Perhaps one of the first real brushes a young child has with money-mindedness and their ability to earn it occurs with the first visit by the tooth fairy. Now, while realizing that some children score as much as twenty dollars per tooth, the standard for tooth fairy exchanges at one time always netted coins not totaling more than a dollar. And once the child has “earned” this money, thus begins their relationship with money and its disposition while in their ownership.
For a long time, piggy banks were the most commonly used formal standard for children to save money at home, and they came in a variety of styles and materials. They were all designed with a slot into which coins were to be deposited for safekeeping inside of the piggy, and some had to be tragically broken to actually access the money within, while others would open with a key.
Big Belly Banks
Delightfully designed Big Belly Banks offer a child a fun and highly unique opportunity to save money. The child can deposit coins in the bank by “feeding” the dinosaur, dragon, moose or flower. They get to observe the coin travel its way back and forth down a windy chute, en route to the “belly” where the contents are visible so that the child can watch as his or her savings grow.
Once It’s Full
Children delight in watching the coins travel down to the belly, and will naturally want to add as many coins as possible to their bank. As the amount grows, parents can discuss the process of saving in an age-appropriate manner, and when the bank becomes full, the parent and child together can decide whether to save the contents or go shopping, or a little of both. Big Belly Banks offer a great way to introduce the value of money while saving it, too.