It’s no secret that I think financial education is important for kids, but it’s not just about learning how much a quarter is worth or how to make a budget. I think a healthy relationship with money is a well-rounded one - it places focus not only on saving and investing, but giving, too. Books and stories are a wonderful way for kids to learn new concepts, empathize with characters, or become inspired to try something new.
When kids start their financial journey with the expectation of sharing and giving some of the money they get, it sets the tone for the rest of their life. The books in this category help kids to see how giving money, things, or time can make a big difference in someone else’s life.
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A colorful, joyful, book, A Little Spot of Giving helps kids open their eyes and hearts to all the ways they can give back to others, spreading kindness and compassion along the way. It’s especially helpful to show kids that giving and caring for others doesn’t always have to involve money.
The Quiltmaker’s Gift is a beautifully illustrated book about a quiltmaker who generously gives away her quilts to others and a greedy king who wants one of his own. Themes of generosity and compassion are woven into the story as the king begins to have a change of heart and discovers the true joy of giving.
The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle
By Jude Isabella
A heartwarming story about a boy in North America who donates his beloved bike, Big Red, and the journey it goes on as it makes a difference in the lives of others across the ocean in Africa. By taking a subject most kids have an interest in - a bicycle - and connecting it to the lives and livelihoods of others, The Red Bicycle is a wonderful book for inspiring compassion and empathy for all the world.
Charities Started by Kids! Books
By Melissa Sherman Pearl
With books like The Ladybug Foundation
, which tells how Hannah Taylor started with various small fundraisers and worked her way up to a multi-million dollar foundation to support homeless shelters, food banks, and soup kitchens to Fund A Field
, which tells the story of two brothers inspired to raise money to build soccer fields in Angola after playing with Angolan fans following a World Cup match, this series of books contains inspiring stories of young children taking action to help address a problem they see in the world.
It’s Not Fair! A Book About Having Enough
By Caryn Rivadeneira
Roxie finally has enough money to buy the chemistry set she’s always wanted, but when she stops along her way to the store to help others who are down on their luck, she realizes too late that she no longer has enough money left. It’s Not Fair! is an engaging story that demonstrates the conflicting feelings of generosity and resentment kids may sometimes feel when giving to others, but ultimately ends with an affirmation in the joy of giving. There’s even a bonus lesson on the importance of accounting for sales tax!