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Category: Saving

Adopt a Class or School – Change a Life Campaign

Adopt a Class or School – Change a Life Campaign

We’re working with Sammy Rabbit on his “Adopt a Class or School – Change a Life” campaign. If you’d like to participate, email me. Details are below.

“Adopt a Class Change a Life” Campaign Special

Teach Children SMART Money Habits!

Book + Music + Activity

Strategic Multi media, Multi intelligence approach teaches smart money habits; builds reading and listening skills!

Special (limited time only)

3 Items for price of 1

Get a FREE Story Book: It’s a Habit, Sammy Rabbit!

and a FREE Coloring Book with Stickers Inside

with Purchase of “Dream Big – Set Goals” Audio Song and Story CD (8 Tracks):

Minimum Qty – 50 Units

CDs: 50 x $4.99 = $249.50

Storybooks: 50 FREE

Coloring Books with Stickers Inside: 50 FREE

Add shipping, handling, and tax (if applicable)

Offer valid while supplies last

For more information about the books and CDs visit:

Order or Questions? Email me at:

Teaching Kids Persistence

Teaching Kids Persistence

What is one of the most common traits of successful people? According to a 2007 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, it’s the ability to persist at challenging tasks. And it makes sense. Those who don’t allow obstacles to get in their way have a better chance of accomplishing what they set out to do. But being persistent is not always easy. Here are 7 tips to help develop persistence in our kids:

1. Break the task into smaller, manageable pieces. It’s easier to learn an entire piano piece one measure at a time. 2-3 measures practiced each day means that by the end of the week, the whole piece is mastered. This is true for any assignment we take on.

2. Offer encouraging words. When tasks become hard kids often become afraid of failing. Your positive words of encouragement is often all they need to keep going. Let them know how proud you are of their effort and that you believe they can complete the task.

3. Create an environment conducive to new learning. We learn best when our surroundings are calm, our bellies full, and we’ve had plenty of rest. These give us the energy we need to work on tasks that require a little extra hard work.

4. Don’t bail out your kids. It’s hard for a parent not to want to step in when the I-can’t-do-it’s begin. Take a moment to evaluate the situation. Is the immediate task manageable? Is the environment conducive to learning? If so, then it’s time to offer those encouraging words and let your child struggle a little. There is simply nothing like the sense of satisfaction for having made it successfully through to the other side. That said…

5. Stop when your child becomes too frustrated. There’s no sense in pushing through a task when you can see real frustration take hold. No learning happens this way. Close shop and re-visit it on another day.

6. Look for opportunities to have your child practice persistence. Pull out that 200-piece jigsaw puzzle, grab a bowl of pretzels, and spend the afternoon working on mastering those pieces with your child. Along the way, talk about how overwhelming the project seemed at first, but by taking it one step at a time and being persistent, your efforts are paying off.

7. You. You are your childs biggest role model. Talk about the things you are doing that are difficult and require hard work and persistence. Give examples of how you succeeded in the past. Let them know that you understand how difficult it can be but not giving up is something to be admired.

The Money Connection: A great way to help develop persistence in our kids is to have them create and work towards a personal financial goal. Help them figure out the steps needed to accomplish the goal and offer words of encouragement as they make progress. Let them know you admire their stick-to-it-ness. And when they finally arrive at success, let them know that their persistence and determination got them there. Remind them that persistence is what helps people get what they want out of life.

Money Jars

Money Jars

Learning to save money is an important life skill. During America Saves Week (February) or Financial Literacy Month (April), I like to have small groups of students rotate through the Money Jar Center. I’ve also done it as a whole class activity with second grade and up.

Students do have the option of using a hot glue gun. I go over the rules very carefully. Even so, there are usually a handful who choose not to use the glue gun. And that’s perfectly okay because there are a variety of other objects for them to use like colored sharpies, foam stickers, and regular stickers.

For directions on making the Money Jars:

Materials needed:
-mason jar
-hot glue gun and glue sticks
-fabric scraps
-pom poms
-permanent markers
-any other fun stuff to place on jar

Using a mason jar for this activity is important because it allows your child to watch her money “grow”. In addition, the lids are perfect for customizing a slot where the coins/bills will go through.

1.Remove the metal circular lid and cut a cardboard circle the same size. Throw away the circular metal lid.
2.Cut a slot in the cardboard large enough for a quarter to easily fit through.
3.Use a large enough piece of square fabric to cover the cardboard and have plenty left over to spill over the top of the jar.
4.Cut a slot in the fabric to match the slot in the cardboard.
5.Have your child/students decorate their jar. You can squeeze the glue from the glue gun onto the jar for her. Or, if you prefer, there are plenty of non glue-gun materials you can use to decorate.
6.Glue the ribbon around the rim of the lid.
7.Screw the lid on tight and begin dropping in coins!

Kids and New Year’s Resolutions

Kids and New Year’s Resolutions

Ah, New Year’s Resolutions. Most of us make them. But sticking to them… Here’s an idea. Get the kids involved. They love to know what’s going on in your life. They’re snoopy that way. Actually, they’re just curious about how adults work. So let’s use this opportunity to teach them about New Year’s Resolutions…which is simply a fancy beginning-of-the-year way to say ‘goals’.

It’s usually not too difficult for adults to come up with goals. Most of them have been nagging at us for a while, anyway. It’s really just a matter of bringing them to the surface and acknowledging them. I want to lose 15 pounds. I want to finish the backyard project. I want to volunteer more.

Then call a meeting with your kids and share your goals. Tell your kids that successful people write down their goals along with the reasons for their goals. They also come up with a specific plan and the individual steps needed to be successful. Many even calendar each of the steps to help keep them on track. Having all of this prepared in advance will allow you to get to the fun part quicker. That’s when you get to help your kids set their goals.

Talk to your kids about some things they may be interested in accomplishing throughout the year. I want to read more books. I want to learn to play the guitar. I want to keep my room clean. Okay, that one’s in there for you parents. How about…I want to run a six minute mile.

Note that the younger the child, the shorter the time frame for achieving their goal needs to be. That’s because success is paramount. In fact, it’s paramount for all our kids. Although not achieving a goal can be motivating for some, in the beginning we want them to experience success. This will encourage them to set another goal…and then another…and then another.

Then have them go through the same steps you did in order to write down the reasons and the steps needed to be successful.

The Money Connection: No doubt goals involving money have made it to most adult lists. Things like I need to put more money into savings. Or, I need to rebalance my financial portfolio. Or, I need to figure out what a financial portfolio is. Notice how these goals have subtly changed from ‘want’ to ‘need’. A lot of financial goals are that way.

Having your kids begin making personal financial goals is a great life skill to teach them. Everything from I want to have a yard sale to I want to donate to causes that are important to me to I want to save for a laptop computer are all goals that involve money…earning it, saving it, spending it and sharing it.

With the whole family involved in supporting each other’s goals, the chances of success are greatly multiplied. Besides, just think of the bonding opportunities you’ll get as your kids remind you not to eat that slice of oh, so yummy slice of chocolate cake!

Great Holiday Gifts: Board Games that Teach Money Concepts to Kids

Great Holiday Gifts: Board Games that Teach Money Concepts to Kids

Board games are always great gifts for the holidays.  And board games that teach kids money skills are doubly great!  The key is to sneak in the “money conversation” as you play.

For example, the popular Game of Life oozes opportunities to discuss buying a house, paying insurance, being prepared for unexpected expenses, playing the stock market…

And the lesser known Allowance Game is perfect for discussing wise spending choices, earning interest on savings, and jobs that your kids can do to earn extra money.   Gently tie in your real life experiences with these important money topics as they come up during the game.

We sometimes assume that, through osmosis, kids will make the connections between the money lessons in the game and what happens in the real world.  That is not always true, so it’s up to us to be on the lookout for these priceless opportunities!

Here is a list of additional fun games that help teach kids about money:

Presto Change-o (ages 4 and up)  Making change

Monopoly Junior (ages 5 to 8)  Adding/subtracting money

Pit (ages 7 and up)  Investing, understanding the stock market

Cashflow for Kids (ages 7 and up)  Investing, general financial education

Payday (ages 8 and up)  Household finances, bill paying

Monopoly (ages 8 and up)  Adding/subtracting money, real estate