Financial education is important at all grade levels. However, teaching financial literacy to kids can often be a challenge — for both teachers looking to include financial literacy in their curriculum, and for students trying to grasp and practice sometimes very complicated concepts. What you need are actionable and engaging lesson plans and activities that make it easy to teach financial literacy to your elementary school kids.

The Importance of Financial Literacy for Elementary School Students in Particular

In 2021, an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Money Masters found that only 64% of American adults are financially literate. Additionally, the survey found that the financial literacy rate among younger Gen Z adults is only 42%. Financial literacy is undeniably important to ensure that we can successfully manage our money and financial security. These recent findings are startling and shed light on the serious need for additional financial education for elementary school students.

One of the reasons a financial literacy curriculum for kids is so important is that financial attitudes, habits, and norms begin to develop between ages 6 and 12, when students are typically in first through sixth grade. Recall your earliest money memory. Do you remember tagging along with adults to the grocery store or visiting a bank to make a deposit or even overhearing your parents discussing their budgeting plans? From our earliest memories, we have witnessed the importance of financial literacy for kids even if we didn’t realize it at the time. Teaching kids about money, and healthy money habits, at this age can have lasting impacts.

Whether remote, hybrid or in the classroom – we’ve got you covered as you help your students build foundational financial literacy skills this year.

That’s why elementary schools should look to include the basic fundamentals of financial literacy for kids, like financial responsibility and money management. This added curriculum will help kids begin to both learn how to handle their money and start to build lifelong spending and savings habits that they can carry into the future. It’s during these early elementary years that we’re able to begin building the foundation for healthy financial decision-making.

What Should a Financial Literacy Curriculum for Elementary School Students Cover?

Teaching financial literacy to elementary students can be challenging in part because money isn’t something that they manage day to day. That being said, there are a handful of financial skills that are perfect for younger students. Some of these include topics like:

  • needs versus wants in fiscal responsibility
  • creating budgets to manage money
  • responsibilities that come with borrowing money
  • different ways to contribute to savings and investing

Topics like these and others can help young students begin to understand the importance of building life-long, responsible financial habits.

Finding Free Financial Literacy Programs for Kids

You’re in luck. We offer free, pre-built, easy-to-access programs specifically tailored to elementary students’ needs. Our Financial Literacy for Kids course offers free, interactive, online learning lessons designed to promote financial literacy for elementary students and teach financial education skills to young learners. Our literacy course includes easy-to-understand concepts and modules that encourage students to practice their newfound financial skills.

Vault - Understanding Money for Elementary Classrooms

Are you an elementary school teacher? Register today for free access to Vault- Understanding Money.

  • 5 Gamified lessons for in-person or virtual learning
  • 15 Minutes per lesson
  • Teach in English and Spanish

Looking for more free financial literacy activities for elementary students?

If you’re an elementary school teacher looking for additional resources aside from our kid’s financial literacy course, we’ve got you covered.  When you register for free on our teacher platform, you get automatic access to all our courses as well as free online financial education resources for your students. There is a myriad of other free financial literacy activities for elementary school kids including the following:

Financial Education FAQ

Why Financial Literacy is Important for Kids

Teaching kids the fundamentals of money management can aid in the development of the abilities needed for subsequent success in the financial world. Early financial education can offer your students an advantage when it comes time for them to make more important financial decisions. These lessons can include everything from saving and investing to setting and adhering to a budget.

What is the Best Way to Teach Kids About Financial Literacy?

For teachers, incorporating financial literacy into your curriculum is a great way to highlight its importance and instill its findings while students are in their learning environment. Use real-life examples and make it fun by using online tools such as EVERFI to keep students engaged. Remember, the key is to make the lessons age-appropriate and to regularly reinforce the concepts you’re teaching.

Do elementary school students understand financial literacy classes?

Yes, elementary school students can understand financial literacy classes when the concepts are presented at an age-appropriate level. At this age, financial education often focuses on basic concepts such as understanding the value of money, distinguishing between wants and needs, and beginning to grasp saving and spending.

Games, stories, and interactive activities can be effective teaching methods for these foundational concepts. While the financial matters they deal with will become more complex as they grow older, the understanding and habits formed in elementary school can provide a strong foundation for future financial learning and responsible behavior.

Do children benefit from financial education programs in school?

Yes, children indeed benefit from financial education programs in school. Such programs introduce them to fundamental financial concepts like budgeting, saving, investing, and understanding the value of money. Early financial education can equip children with practical skills that are crucial for their future financial decisions. It can foster financial responsibility, help them avoid debt, and understand the necessity of planning and saving for future goals.

Moreover, it prepares them for real-world situations involving money, providing them with tools to make informed decisions. Thus, incorporating financial education in the school curriculum can contribute significantly to a child’s long-term financial well-being.