Introducing a piggy bank to your kids when they are young is a great way to spark an interest in money and start teaching children financial literacy. Studies have shown that kids as young as 3 can start to learn basic money concepts. By 7, children have begun to form their money habits. So the earlier you can get started, the better.
Why Do They Call It a Piggy Bank?
I had never given much thought to why piggy banks are in the shape of a pig. But it’s a good question … and one that was posed by my curious 4-year-old when I gave him his first piggy bank.
Why a pig? What does a pig have to do with saving money?
According to an article by Acorns, the piggy bank goes way back to the Middle Ages. During this time, pots were used to hold people’s money, and they were often made from an orange-colored clay called “pygg.” These money pots became known as “pygg pots.” As time went on and the English language evolved, the word “pygg” started to be pronounced as “pig.” From this point, you can probably see how the piggy bank evolved to what it is today.
Now if your little one asks why we save money in a pig, you have the answer!
Benefits of a Piggy Bank for Children
Despite all that history, the shape of your child’s first piggy bank really doesn’t matter. You could simply use an old mason jar with a coin slot cut into the lid or make a DIY piggy bank in whatever shape you want.
The concept of the piggy bank is what’s important, and you can use it to teach your kids a number of saving tricks and other financial habits:
- A piggy bank is a cute way to introduce money literacy.
- It’s a way to introduce different coins.
- A piggy bank can be used to teach basic math skills like addition and subtraction.
- Some parents like to give their children multiple piggy banks to teach the fundamentals of saving, spending, and giving.
- The piggy bank can also be used to teach the very important skill of delayed gratification. While it’s easy to slide those coins into the coin slot, it’s not so easy to get them out! Kids have to learn to wait. Not having immediate access to their money is a good way to learn patience and prepare them for a more grown up savings account (when the time is right).
Different Kinds of Piggy Banks for Kids
In addition to the classic piggy bank, there’s a whole whole variety of themed money banks out there. After all, another animal/shape/thing could be better suited to your particular child’s interests. So if your kiddo isn’t into farm animals, see if you can find or make a more unique piggy bank.
If you’re buying a money bank, you can also choose from a number of materials. There are plastic piggy banks (which are great for young kids who are likely to drop their coin bank), wooden options, and even ceramic piggy bank choices for older kiddos.
Initial Piggy Bank
You can find a coin bank that comes in the shape of your child’s initial. She can work at filling up her “A,” “S”, or “Z” bank. This makes the experience a bit more personal and fun. Kids always love when something is customized specifically for them.
Separate Areas to Save, Spend, and Share
If you want to reinforce the concepts of saving, spending, and sharing without having to get three separate piggy banks, some options come with three sections for money.
Spaceship Piggy Bank
For the child who loves outer space! They can save their hard-earned coins in a rocket-shaped piggy bank.
Electronic Piggy Banks for Kids
If your kid is into all the digital stuff, then an electronic piggy bank might be the way to go. An electronic piggy bank is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a piggy bank that is digital. Especially for older kids, electronic piggy banks can be a more modern option … and slightly more entertaining and grown-up than a pink ceramic pig.
You can find an assortment of electronic piggy banks online. These can be really fun for your kids — just remember that the drawback to digital piggy banks is that they require batteries.
Give your kids a taste of reality with a piggy bank that looks like an ATM. This can even prompt a conversation about how to safely use a debit card to make a withdrawal at an ATM. (If they’ll ever use paper money in our digital world, that is!)
Safe Shaped Coin Bank
For kids who want to keep their money extra safe from siblings, you can purchase a safe-themed piggy bank. To get into the safe, your child will have to use a four-digit passcode that only they know.
Puzzle Boxes to Help Kids Save Money
Another cool way to initiate a money conversation with kids is to give them a puzzle box. This is a box that can only be opened by solving a puzzle. It might require sliding, lifting, a pressing motion, or some other kind of brain teaser to access what is inside. A puzzle box is better suited for older kids who will be able to figure it out.
A puzzle box can also be a fun and clever way to give someone money. They can be used to present a birthday, graduation, or Christmas gift. Not only can the box be very beautiful or interesting but you can also tuck some money or a small gift inside. When the person figures out how to open the box, they are nicely surprised with a gift.
While puzzle boxes are the perfect gift box for giving money or a small token like a piece of jewelry, they can also act as a kind of at-home bank account for older kids. Because they require some strategy to get into, they are well-suited for storing money.
Piggy Banks Help Teach Financial Literacy
Give your kids a financial leg up by introducing the concepts of money and saving as early as possible. When your kids are really young, simply putting different coins into their cute piggy bank together can be a fun activity that also helps them learn about money. As your kids get older, you can introduce digital piggy banks or more personalized coin banks to pique their financial interests and give them a fun place to save their allowance or chore money.
–By Jessica Martel