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Make Learning About Money Fun for Kids

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By Kids.gov

While Financial Capability Month reminds us all that we could do a little bit more to be in charge of our finances, it is also a good time to talk to your kids about how they too can begin to understand finances and how it affects your family.

Kids.gov has smart money sections for kids of all ages, and tips for parents and teachers on how to teach kids about understanding money.

Useful tips include:

  • Get your kids to write down where they spend their money or allowance so they can see how it adds up

  • Talk to your kids about “used” versus “new” and how borrowing a book from the library, or a game from a friend, is smarter than buying something new every time

  • Teach your kids to take good care of their games, books, DVDs and other purchases because it costs money to replace these items

Kids.gov also has a series of comic strips to teach younger and older children about how they can help their parents save money. Children can follow along in a fun and engaging way to learn simple tips such as turning off lights or helping clip coupons to help save money in the long run.

Do your kids prefer learning with games? Have them play money games online to learn more about money. Games such as the U.S. Mint’s Dollar Dive, where kids have to go diving for coins to add more sails to their ship in order to escape a sea monster, help kids understand more about money.

Find more money games.

Parents work hard to make healthy choices for their families. These tip sheets can make your job easier. 

A road trip can be a great family adventure

Going on a long road trip is an exciting experience for both young and old – you get to experience beautiful scenery, walk around in new places and get to know the customs and traditions of each destination you visit.

To avoid any disappointment and enjoy the best trip possible, planning for the journey must begin long before you get in the car. So if you’re planning to take a road trip, consider the following ideas.

Travel budget

A budget will help you manage your expenses properly and can include:

  • Car maintenance. A qualified mechanic can check the condition of your brakes and tires. The mechanic can also tell you if you need any additional maintenance or parts replaced, and if the car is in its best condition for the trip.
  • Fuel expenses. Gas prices tend to vary by location. Find out the actual price of gas and calculate how much you’ll spend during the trip. It’s a good idea to estimate a bit on the higher side in case there are any emergencies.
  • Lodging, food and entertainment. Figure out your food and hotel expenses depending on how many people will be joining you on the trip. Remember to budget for family activities like visiting a museum, a park or a fair.

Routes and safe driving

Before and during your trip it’s important to:

  • Choose your destination. Each state has tourist attractions that are open to the public. America’s Byways has a search engine that helps you find things to do depending on where you are.
  • Drive with caution. Drive carefully when traveling on the road, this way you’ll avoid getting a ticket and you’ll be sure that the people on your trip are safe. Always make sure that your passengers have their seatbelts fastened.
  • Make frequent stops. The car ride itself may be fun, but remember to make frequent stops to stretch your legs, use the restroom, have a meal or just enjoy the scenery.

Child passengers

On long trips, children have special needs. Remember to:

  • Provide safety seats. There are many car seats and boosters specifically for children that can be placed in the back seat of your car. Find the appropriate seat for your child’s age or size and make sure it’s properly installed. Use the Car Seat Inspection Station Locator to find the nearest place where a technician can verify the seat is installed correctly and according to the law.
  • Bring snacks. Pack a cooler with healthy snacks that are portioned appropriately for your child’s age. These snacks help ensure that children are getting enough to eat and drink on the trip.
  • Immunize your children. All children under age six should receive their necessary vaccines (PDF) to avoid picking up illnesses or diseases that could be transmitted through direct contact, or by food and water. Also remember to pack cold, allergy, headache and stomach medications.

Read this note in Spanish.

Healthy Eating Tips for Kids: A Round Up from our Live Twitter Chat

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As part of National Nutrition Month, Kids.gov (@Kidsgov) hosted a live twitter-chat (#NNMforKids) last week to give people the opportunity to share ideas and tips on how to get kids to eat better and live healthier.

If you couldn’t make the chat, we’ve rounded up just a few of the many resources that were shared.

Healthy snacks ideas for your kids

Setting an example for your kids

  • Show kids that YOU like healthy foods too! Try new foods together and share the experience: http://go.usa.gov/KCph (PDF)

  • What you say has an impact! Learn more about phrases that HINDER vs. phrases that HELP: http://go.usa.gov/KCs9 (PDF)

Making healthy eating fun

Why it’s important to eat healthy

  • Eating a healthy breakfast is tied to better cognitive function (especially memory), fewer school absences, & improved mood

  • Good nutrition is important for kids of all ages! Tips for preschoolers, kids, and teens: http://go.usa.gov/KCqP  

Encouraging good nutrition when you’re busy

Understanding nutrition labels

Find even more resources from our live chat for getting your kids to eat healthy and share your own tips in the comments section.

As National Nutrition Month continues, this week we’re focusing on how to eat healthy while in college. Next week, we’ll share tools to help create healthy meals for your family. And finally during the last week of the month, we’ll highlight advice for eating healthy as we age.