What century-old activity do 80 percent of Americans participate in, both off- and online, that saved them $4.7 billion last year?
The answer, surprisingly, is clipping coupons. These handy cutouts not only reward participants with cash value, but can also serve as fun and valuable teaching tools for children. Coupons provide a great way to teach kids money management skills and responsibility, and are an educational way to learn to read better and gain knowledge of math, money and the calendar.
The Promotion Marketing Association's Coupon Council offers these coupon-related ideas for teaching children as they grow:
$ For pre-K youngsters, reading coupon inserts with them introduces reading as a source of pleasure and learning.
Point out and name familiar things and play a game to encourage the child to spot them first. For example, look for colors, toys or familiar grocery items.
In the store, have them match the picture on the coupon to the actual product. Also, encourage the child to look for specific numbers.
$ For K-3rd graders, looking for numbers in magazines and coupon inserts reinforces reading and math skills, while also introducing them to the concepts of money and dates.
Take the time to talk about money with them: where it comes from, how we get it and what it's for.
Every week, have children look for specific coupons in the Sunday newspaper, in magazines and in your mailbox.
$ Teach children in grades 4-6 responsibility by letting them carefully clip coupons and then organize them by category.
At the supermarket, have them compare prices before and after using coupons. Use the coupon savings as their allowance.
Put coupon savings into a special fund to be used for a toy or other item your child really wants. Have them keep track of the savings.
Have your children help by using a coupon organizer to sort coupons by either product or date.
Have your children help plan the family menu by using coupons. More tips are available online at www.couponmonth.com.
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