Back to articles Financial Literacy for All Learning Styles

Categories: Parenting

Literacy can be defined as the ability to understand all forms of communication, be it through reading, speaking, listening and viewing.
Literacy works hand in hand with the three basic learning styles namely visual, auditory and kinesthetic. For most children, one style will stand out above the rest and when teaching young ones financial literacy it can be helpful to recognize your child's unique learning style.

Visual Learners

Visual learners gain knowledge through seeing. Using actual coins and paper bills is a great place to start teaching monetary value. Identifying coins and teaching basic counting skills and coin value will help visual learners recognize and begin learning the early math skills needed to add and make change. In addition, flashcards and worksheets will also aid visual learners in becoming financially literate.

Simple budgeting skills taught through the use of piggy banks will assist visual learners in their financial development. Using brightly coloured transparent piggy banks or jars that are clearly labeled for the things children need to budget for is a great place to start. We like to use four piggy banks which children can budget for SPENDING, SAVING, SHARING and SCHOOLING. This way they have money to SPEND on smaller purchases, money to SAVE for more expensive things and money to SHARE or donate to help others. Their SCHOOLING piggy bank is a great tool to use as an investment strategy for post secondary school education. It enforces the importance of education and gives a great long term investment goal which in turn can be used to top up a registered education savings plan. For more information on RESP's and the government?s education savings grant, check out

Auditory Learners

Auditory learners understand through hearing and listening. Visiting your local library can be a great resource to find books and videos that will aid auditory learners in mastering financial literacy. It's important for auditory learners to talk about what they are learning. Reading a book out loud together and asking questions will help greatly in grasping new concepts.

It is essential that auditory learners be given the opportunity to talk about and explain what they want to budget and use their money for. Helping them set goals and teaching them how to budget the money they receive from an allowance, for gifts and for extra jobs will aid in financial planning. Discussing money and finances with your children will also give you some insight as to what your child's financial goals are and where their priorities are, allowing you to come up with a system to help them achieve success.

There are a number of websites that can also assist auditory learners. A great site that we've used with our children is Planet Orange created by ING direct. There's a wealth of financial information and fun activities for children, parents and teachers and best of all, it's free.

Kinesthetic or Tactile Learners

Kinesthetic or tactile learners are taught through experience and by doing things. Playing games that teach financial skills such as Monopoly and the game of Life offer a way for children to have fun while learning about money.

Kinesthetic learners will also benefit by using play money to simulate buying things from a store or visiting a bank. Once they master these skills they can try them out in the real world using some of their own money to make small age appropriate purchases and making deposits into their own savings account.

The best way for tactile learners to become skilled at using money and understand what it means to be financially responsible is to let them use it. Setting up a budgeting system with piggy banks or jars like the one mentioned earlier in the article and allowing children to set goals and use their own money will set them on the path for making smart financial decisions throughout their lifetime.

Jeanette Ramnarine is a mom, educator, award winning author and creator of the 4 Piggies Financial Kit for Kids. Her dedication to teaching and inspiring youth has been recognized by The Government of Canada. She continues to share her message through writing, speaking engagements and media interviews. You can contact Jeanette through her website at