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Discussion Questions And Activities For Teaching Kids About Money

Updated on February 21, 2008

The Cash-Smart Kids Program helps parents teach their kids about money and business.

It is designed to be used as a fund-raiser for schools, clubs, and community groups, and a portion of the profits are donated to microfinance charities.

These discussion questions are based on the children's story How Now, Cow?, also published on Hubpages.

The story is part of a series of teaching stories from the Cash-Smart Kids Program, and these discussion questions also form part of the program. All rights reserved.

Photo: Skinny De
Photo: Skinny De

Explanation for ages 6-9

Some people own things which help them to get money. Farmer Brown owned cows. A dairy farm is a business, which means there are things that need to be done each day. Farmer Brown can choose to do those things himself, and keep all the money, or pay somebody else to do them, have less money, but have more time. He could also choose to spend that extra time expanding his business, and end up with more money and more time.

The people who work for Farmer Brown can choose to do less work, have less money and more time, or they can choose to do more work, have more money, but less time. They don't have the choice that Farmer Brown has to invest their time to make more money while working fewer hours.

Discussion questions:

What are the different ways that people get money? (most kids will come up with having a job, and some will add having a business - make sure you ask them to think about a retired relative or neighbour, and where they might get their money from)

Why was Farmer Brown's wife angry at the beginning of the story?

What was the problem with paying someone to look after the cows?

How did Farmer Brown solve that problem?

What are the pluses and minuses of having a job?

What are the pluses and minuses of having a business?

Explanation for age 10+

Business owners create value when they employ people. Paying someone to do a routine task means the business owner can spend their time making the business bigger, better, more profitable, instead of just doing the routine task themselves each day.

Discussion questions:

How much value (money) was being created each day at the beginning of the story?

Why was Farmer Brown "stuck" at that level? (all his time was used up looking after the farm)

Was he really stuck? (no, he just thought he was)

What happened at first when he hired an employee? (he made less money)

Do you think this might happen to real world businesses who hire staff?

How did he solve that problem? (bought more cows)

How much value (money) was created each day after he did that?

Learning Materials

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter


Before you begin - allocate 8 houses an occupation each (weaver, spinner, tailor, baker, etc), and a daily dollar value of production. In some houses, place one or two available helpers. In other houses, indicate the dollar value of extra production that could occur if someone helped. Write the information for each house on a "What needs doing" card. (Sorry, I know this is difficult - we do this part for the people in the Cash-Smart Kids Program, and supply the cards as a downloadable .pdf, but Hubpages doesn't support that, unfortunately, so you will need to do it yourself.)

Assemble a village of 8 houses. These can be as simple as 8 solid rectangular wooden blocks, or you could make the village from Lego blocks or craft materials as part of your play time with your child.

Distribute one "What Needs Doing" card to each house.

Help your child to work out who can help someone else, and what value gets created.

Ask your child what they think are the pros and cons of being an employee.

Note that even after all possible jobs are filled, there is still under-employment in the town. Discuss how people survive if they don't have a business and they can't help someone else who has a business. (This is the case for the example village we use - if you don't have helpers left over at the end of your example, then obviously just skip that discussion point.)


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      preeti  7 years ago

      i think its barter sytsem. i am right?