Introducing Financial Literacy to Toddler: a Reflection

Over the past ten days, Mama incorporated the concept of financial literacy to Alula's activities.

The Journals

Here are the activities that we did:

Day 1: Introduction to coins

Day 2: Introduction to the concept of savings

Day 3: Introduction to the market concept - supermarket groceries

Day 4: Introduction to the concept of buying service - a coin ride machine

Day 5: Introduction to the concept of buying and selling food

Day 6: Introduction to the concept of charity - mosque donation

Day 7: Paying for the train ride

Day 8: Introduction on how the ATM works

Day 9: Buying juice from a vending machine

Day 10: Buying goods and introducing the concept of sharing with the animal

The Challenge

Financial literacy are normally introduced to children once the have develop their cognitive skills. Although this milestone are different in each child, but normally when the child are four years old and above. Thus, this activity seems impossible at first for my 15-months-old Lulu. All the references that I read about introducing financial literacy to kids do not mention any method for toddler. Perhaps, it is just simply not their milestones yet.

However, I always remember what Dr. Maria Montessori said, that at this time, Lulu is in her absorbent mind period. She is absorbing everything like a sponge. Then it was the moment when I tried to create my own version of activities for Lulu. Out of 11 activities that I planned, we only managed to do 10 of them. Hey, it's not bad, right?

I am fully aware that on this age it will be hard to plant the understanding about finance to Lulu. So, I combine some of areas in Montessori method and match them into Lulu's milestone. Hopefully Lulu had fun learning, regardless of what she can absorb from these activities.

What I Learned

From all these activities, I learned that toddler are happy when we trust them to do the 'adult job' - like giving the member card to the cashier aunty at the supermarket, or inserting coins into the vending machine, or tapping the card onto the MRT gantry, and many more.

This is actually align with the purpose of the 'Practical Life' in Montessori method, which what we incorporated in our home learning environment. The practical life exercise like what we have done through these activities aim to help the child gain control in the coordination of his movement, and help the child to gain independence and adapt to his society.

Aside from financial aspect, I found out that playing with toddler is so much fun. As Lulu has been able to say few words, she has been able to convey what she wants and understand what I said to her. In other words, we are communicating and I can understand her more.