Crafts and Projects · Writing Appearances

A Craft to Teach Kids Budgeting and Giving

I love teaching my daughters, which is probably a good thing considering I homeschool them.

There are definitely days that don’t go as planned and I second guess what I am doing, but I am so thankful for the opportunity to be able to homeschool my daughters. It’s amazing the amount of information I learn (or relearn) alongside them.

Earlier this year I talked about a fun craft to teach kids financial responsibility that my daughters and I had done together.

That craft was a “bank” divided into four sections: spend, save, invest, and donate.

I had mentioned these banks in an article I had written entitled How to Quickly Boost Your Child’s IQ, which had been published on A Fine Parent.

Fun craft to teach financial responsibility

I recently wrote another article that was published in The Old Schoolhouse magazine (winter 2018) entitled Hands On Math: The Hungry Jar that discusses the benefits of a simple activity which focuses on donating. My family calls it “the hungry jar”, which my daughters “feed” once a week.

Within the article, I explained how the hungry jar can teach philanthropy while instilling some important math and life skills. I discussed how this simple hungry jar gives kids the opportunity to count coins, add and subtract money, comparison shop, budget, estimate, and help others.

At the end of the article, I stated “Maybe your family would enjoy creating your own hungry jar…”, so I thought I would share with you how my daughters and I created ours.

I got the main concept of the hungry jar from a church my family once attended. During the offering time of the service, the kids walked around the sanctuary collecting coins and dollar bills from members of the congregation to insert into a large glass jar near the pulpit. The money from that jar was then donated each month to a different chosen cause.

We stopped attending that church, but we didn’t want to stop feeding a hungry jar, so we decided to create our own “hungry jar”.

Create a Hungry Jar to Teach Math

First off, our jar isn’t technically a jar. It’s actually a clean oatmeal container.

We decorated the oatmeal container with a wallpaper sample I had found at a rummage sale for free. We chose this particular wallpaper sheet because it had bears at a picnic, so we thought it fit with being “hungry”.

Create a Hungry Jar to Teach Math

We put glue on the outside of the oatmeal container, wrapped the paper (cut to fit) around the container on the glue, and taped the edges together to hold it in place.

Decorative paper or construction paper may have stuck better than the wallpaper sample, but we were able to get it to stay in place.

We have been feeding (and emptying) our hungry jar for a few years now, and it is still holding together.

Create a Hungry Jar to Teach Math

Once we had the paper wrapped around the container, I cut a hole large enough to insert large coins and folded bills in the lid of the oatmeal container. Then, I wrote “Hungry Jar” on it.

Create a Hungry Jar to Teach Math

That was it!

Each week my daughters “feed” a set amount of money to the hungry jar. After some time, they count the money, comparison shop, and purchase items for a local food shelf using only the money they had added to the hungry jar. Afterwards, they subtract the money they had spent.

Sometimes, we have the opportunity to deliver the items and help at the food shelf. Otherwise, we donate the food during local food drives/collections.

If you would like more information about how the hungry jar teaches math concepts, you may be interested in reading the article I wrote entitled Hands On Math: The Hungry Jar that was published in The Old Schoolhouse magazine (Winter 2018).

Do you have any hands-on math ideas you’d like to share?

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