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How Memory Scaffolding can Build a Money Smart Kid

I read an article by Erin Walsh that explained, “Memory is one of our brains greatest capacities because it is key to learning.”

Also it mentioned that scientist have learned that babies don’t start creating long term memory until around three years old.

Which explains why my son was able to recite books at age four. He wasn’t a genius, as I first thought!  Haha.

He actually had an incredible memory and knew his favorite books front to back.

I’m sure you’ve experienced this same thing! Scientist call it memory scaffolding where a baby’s experiences connect with one another, which creates memory.

My son used to point to things that he recognized in the books we read, and look at me with excitement, because he remembered them from past experiences.

How does this relate to financial literacy you ask?

I’m a big believer in teaching kids about money, before they know about it! And memory scaffolding is how to do it.

Erin also explains how our brains store our memory in segments. If your child holds up a penny, and you explain that it’s a coin called a penny. They will store the word in the language department, and the visual of the penny in the visual department of the brain.

She explained through story telling, we can enrich our kids personal memories and knowledge about the world. The more elaborate we are in the preschool years, the more brain locations kids can link new information and memories to.

Most importantly she mentions that because memory is such an important brain function we want it to be as robust as possible. We can help babies and toddlers construct extensive scaffolding, which will serve them well in their quest for learning. Thus giving kids a wider range of memory segments to pull from as they get older.

That’s all I needed to read!

I’m a big advocate for literacy… especially financial literacy!

Below are three tips on how you can help build your child’s memory scaffolding and grow their money smarts!

Tip # 1 – The reason why picture books are so engaging to children is because kids can see themselves in the story. They can imagine being part of the characters in the books they read. Money Mama & The Three Little Pigs takes children on a magical journey through the wonderful world of money and engages kids in the concepts of giving, investing, saving and spending. It opens up ideas and concepts of money children have never heard before. Ultimately creating the scaffolding kids need in understanding how money works in the world.

Tip #2 – When children understand that there are only four things you can do with money it makes the concepts easy to categorize and simple to remember. Encourage your kids to ask questions about these four areas.
The key is asking who, what, where, why, and how questions. For example, “Why do you think it’s important to save money?” What type of organization would you like to give to?”

Tip #3 – When we created Money Mama & The Three Little Pigs, I made sure that the journey of the little pigs would be filled with ideas kids can relate to. In giving we reference homeless people, animals and nature. In investing we reference that their money can grow just like they grow their minds in school and so on. We made sure that children could relate to what they already knew in their childhood. When you can teach a child something new, by relating to something they already know, it builds the scaffolding  in their little brains.

It’s pretty cool to know that you can be the one to fill your child’s brain with the ideas and concepts they need to be successful with money and how it works.

As always keep it positive, fun and full of possibilities!

To Make things Fun I created Free Printable Money Activity Sheets

“Money Memory” Activities for you and your kids!

Click here to Print Money Memory and MemoryDollars

Reference to the article : This Is What Memories Are Made Of: Talking, Storytelling, and Other Memory “Scaffolding”


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