Musings From MommyLand

Because sometimes there is more to Mommy…

Craft Time: Save/Play/Give Jars

on February 11, 2012

As a parent, I try to make everything in my children’s lives a little better than it was in mine. Where we live, how we live, how we parent, how they act, what they learn, etc.  I find this particularly true when it comes to my bad habits and making sure that I don’t pass them down to the kids.  One of these, and definitely on of my worst, is money management.  Recently I have been looking around online for something that would help me teach them better financial skills while being age appropriate for a 3 year old.  During my search, I came across this idea on Pinterest that I thought would be just the thing.

Yesterday I made Play/Give/Save jars and set up a chore reward system (still working out the details on this will make a post on this soon) for my son.  What I really like about this is that it is something that can evolve as the kids get older but for now is great for my three year old son  (my one year old may have to wait another year or two).

First, we started by picking out glass jars.  I save jars for my husband who uses them for homemade barbeque sauce so I just went and stole three of these…a pickle jar, a salsa jar, and an olive jar were my choices (I like eclectic though you could definitely go with matching jars.)  My jars were clean but still had labels on them so I let them soak in really hot water for about 10 minutes and the lables came off pretty easily.

Next, I painted a large area on each jar where eventually I could paint the words for the function of the jar.  This took about 3 coats of paint to get it completely opaque.  During this time I was also painting the lids a solid color and this also took about 3 coats.  I chose to be colorful with the jars for my son, but I have seen pictures out there of people who kept it simple with black and white too.

Tip:  Let the paint completely dry between coats or you will be taking off paint rather than adding a new layer.  I found this out the hard way.

I wanted to keep decoration pretty simple and minimal so that my son could still see through the jars and see how much change he was collecting.  I had three smaller round sponge brushes from another project and so I decided to use these to just make spots all over the jars and lids.

After all of this painting was dry, I then took a fine brush to write SAVE on one of the jars, PLAY on another, and GIVE on the last.

Of the money the boy child already had in his bank and what he will continue to earn with his chores I decided that 70% could go to PLAY, 20% would go to SAVE and 10% would go to GIVE.  We took the money from his bank that he already had to get him started and actually used this as a great way to help with counting.  We sorted the coins by their value and then counted out groups of ten from each denomination.  From the group of ten the percentages were easy…7 coins went to PLAY, 2 coins went SAVE, and then he put 1 coin in the GIVE jar.  We kept doing this and counting out our groups of ten until they were all sorted.  We just started this but so far he seems really excited.  He has toy that he wants to save up for and I explained that next Christmas we would take the money from the GIVE jar and go buys some presents for kids who don’t have as many toys as he does.  This seemed like a good way to introduce him to donating and he seemed pretty excited about the idea of picking out a toy for someone else.

He seems pretty excited about this new system and it would seem that we are on track for the kids to learn better financial habits than I had (and sometimes still have).

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