Learning & Development

How to Teach Pre-schoolers About Money

By Montessori Academy02/11/23


In the modern world, having financial literacy is a crucial skill for children to navigate life successfully. While it may seem early to teach pre-schoolers about money, introducing them to basic concepts in a Montessori-inspired way can lay a strong foundation for their future financial understanding. This blog will explore fun and engaging methods to teach pre-schoolers about money while staying true to Montessori principles.

Start with the Basics: What Is Money?

Begin by explaining to your pre-schooler what money is. Keep it simple – money is used to buy things we need or want. You can show them coins and bills, emphasising their different values. Use real money to let them touch and feel, helping them connect the concept with tangible objects. In a world that is becoming increasingly more digital, and we’re often we may not even have cash with us, the use of actual money is important for a pre-schooler. Throughout your child’s Montessori experience, they have used concrete objects that they have manipulated in order to develop their understanding, so you need to use actual cash for them to understand what is happening.

Introduce Saving and Spending

Teach your child the basic idea of saving and spending. Use clear jars or piggy banks to represent these concepts visually. Allocate a portion of their pocket money or gift money for saving and another for spending. This hands-on approach allows them to see capital accumulation physically and understand that saving for the future is as important as spending.

Teach the Value of Money

Pre-schoolers may need more time to grasp the abstract value of money. To help them understand, use everyday situations as teaching moments. A targeted shopping trip where the child has actual cash to purchase something they would like is an ideal opportunity to show them how money is exchanged for goods and services. Explain that when we spend money, we use the coins and bills we’ve saved to get something we want.

Practice Counting and Sorting

Money can also be a tool for teaching math skills. Engage your child in counting and sorting coins. Make it a game by arranging coins in order of value or grouping them into sets. These activities reinforce mathematical concepts and help them become more familiar with different types of currency.

Encourage Decision-Making

Allow your child to make simple spending decisions. Offer them choices within a budget, such as deciding whether to spend money on a small toy or save for a bigger one. This empowers them to understand the consequences of their choices and the value of delayed gratification.

Discuss Needs vs. Wants

Help your pre-schooler distinguish between needs and wants. Use everyday examples to explain that food, clothing, and shelter are needs, while toys and treats are wants. This understanding sets the stage for responsible spending habits later in life.

Lead by Example

Children often learn best by observing their parents. Be a good financial role model by demonstrating responsible money management. Discuss your financial decisions with them, emphasising saving and making thoughtful choices.


Teaching pre-schoolers about money in a Montessori-inspired environment is an investment in their future financial well-being. By starting with the basics, introducing saving and spending, teaching the value of money, practising counting, and sorting, encouraging decision-making, discussing needs versus wants, and leading by example, you can empower your child with essential financial skills while fostering independence and responsibility. Remember, it’s never too early to plant the seeds of financial literacy.