ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

So - you want to teach your Kids Economics?

Updated on March 27, 2015

Fun and Easy Ways to Teach your Kids Economics

I am sure every parent will agree that their children need to learn the basics of economics. Our kids will grow up to be the leaders of our cities, counties and country - and if they don't have a firm grasp of economics, we will all suffer. But economics sounds like such a boring subject, and perhaps you know little about it yourself. So, how can you teach your kids economics and make it fun at the same time?

1. Use the news!

Economics happens all the time. A company downsizes and a friend loses their job. Talk to your kids about it. Explain why a company might need to downsize, and the effects it has. Explain why prices are going up and why some things are relatively more expensive than others. Use ordinary English to explain, and they will understand.

2. Read

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? A Fast, Clear, and Fun Explanation of the Economics You Need For Success in Your Career, Business, and Investments (An Uncle Eric Book)
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? A Fast, Clear, and Fun Explanation of the Economics You Need For Success in Your Career, Business, and Investments (An Uncle Eric Book)

This is a brilliant book which gives simple clear explanations of basic economics. Students as young as 5th grade will understand it - and high schoolers will also profit from it.

 
Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics
Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics

This is high school level and beyond and is well-known as an excellent book on the subject. It isn't long and I would suggest that you read it with your students / children and discuss as you go along.

 
The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance
The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance

Yes, this really is a novel about economics. Both my son and daughter read this in high school when they studied economics - and both enjoyed it. It is not heavy on the 'romance', but manages to weave a lot of economics into a good story.

 

Duck Tales Inflation Lesson

Gather your kids round you and watch this one together - it is superb! You may enjoy it enough to watch it a few times!


3. Watch movies

Many movies have elements of economics in them. You can find a long list on www.moviesforecon.com but many are only appropriate for teens, or are not appropriate at all, so I am just selecting ones you can watch with the whole family to highlight. It's a Wonderful Life and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are two that come to mind that fit the category.

4. Play Board Games

Playing board games with economic themes is a great way to reinforce concepts with students. They won't even think about how much they are learning because these games are a lot of fun. While playing students get to use economic terms - and understand their meaning. And because they are "using" the terms and not just learning them by rote from a stuffy text book, they are more likely to remember them and make them part of their vocabulary.

Made for Trade
Made for Trade

This is set in colonial times. Bailout and Puerto Rice are two other board games that have economic principles as part of the game play.

 

5. Let them 'play' the Stockmarket

The Stockmarket is a great tool to teach your kids about economics. And you can do it without spending a cent of your money. How the Market Works is a free website that allows you to invest a 'pretend' $10 000 in the Stock Market and see how well your investments would do. You can open accounts for all members of the family and turn it into a mini contest over a defined number of weeks.

And if your children enjoy this, find a few more kids their age and register them for the Stock Market game. Read more about it at Contests for Students

Any other good ideas to share? Were these ideas helpful?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 

      5 years ago

      Some good ideas. They don't teach much about economics in grade school.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      6 years ago from Ljubljana

      I found out it is best to use kids' natural curiosity. When they ask a question, I try to provide clear and honest answer. a lot of people don't want to talk about money with their kids, but they are missing great opportunity. Thanks for your ideas:)

    • profile image

      justinulrich 

      7 years ago

      Nice article. I had an Austrian Economics professor that told us he used a funny approach with his 12 year-old son. He called it the "Bank of Dad." He would let his son "deposit" money, and give him a high interest rate of about 8% a month. This way he could actually see his money grow, with out getting burt out for the wait. If his son forgot or didnt have the money for something, he would also lend money at a high rate, to show just how detrimental getting into debt can be. Pretty cool lesson, I thought.

    • MerylV profile imageAUTHOR

      Meryl van der Merwe 

      7 years ago from USA

      @anonymous: Thanks - I am going to order both those - they look great!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Great article. Thanks! I love both Penny Candy and The Invisible Heart. You might also want to list An Island Called Liberty by Joseph Specht and the Striker Jones economics book by Maggie Larche. They're both great resources.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 

      7 years ago

      Very informative and great looking lens. Awesome job!

      If you have time maybe you can visit our lens: Homeschooling 101: Guide to Free Curriculum and Other Resources.

    • MerylV profile imageAUTHOR

      Meryl van der Merwe 

      8 years ago from USA

      @joanhall: Great idea. Kids remember what they are taught if it is related to real life and isn't just a bunch of theories. Playing the Stock Market Game has often given my students 'aha' moments as they see a stock price rise or plummet because of something that happens in the world eg Hurricane Katrina

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles

      Great lens!

      One of the things I do with my kids is talk about the economic implications of things we do in our daily activities. The question we discussed the other day was "How does it benefit GameStop when they give you this discount card?"

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I think teaching kids economics is very important as this is a lack in our own education. Good that you highlighted it here.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)