How Gift Cards Can Be Toy Credit Cards for Kids

How Gift Cards Can Be Toy Credit Cards for Kids from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Kids love to emulate their parents and other grownups. That’s why young boys try and use their fathers’ shaving kits and girls try on lipstick and makeup like their mommies. Among other things, kids are fascinated by credit cards and bank cards. To them, they are these magic plastic cards that can pay for just about anything. A kid’s interest in credit cards offers a great teaching opportunity. Parents can use their interests to teach them how to budget and manage their pocket money. While handing over your credit card to a 9-year-old is borderline insane, giving them a gift card with credit-card-like features is a much safer option.

Many retail gift cards are designed to look exactly like bank cards. Adding to the ‘authentic’ feel is the fact that gift cards can be swiped or scanned to buy actual stuff. In other words, gift cards make amazing toy credit cards for kids. When ordering a plastic gift card make sure it comes with a magnetic strip. This will allow your child to swipe the card at the checkout counter much like adults pay using credit cards. Following are 3 things kids can learn when using and playing with gift cards.

A Good Math Practice: Here’s a math problem. Here’s a math problem. You have a gift card with $100 store credit and you buy a dancing cactus toy worth $47, how much do you have left? It’s an easy calculation for an adult but these can be brainteasers for kids. Now, because they are using the gift cards to buy stuff they want, this math problem will never get boring. The gift card presents a real-world application of the theoretical math lessons kids learn at school. To make things a little more challenging, it’s best to buy reloadable gift cards. This way your kids would learn both addition and subtraction.

Financial Budgeting: Kids often consider bank cards as unlimited sources of money. Handing them a gift card with a pre-filled amount makes them realize the realities of owning a credit or debit card. When you buy your kids gift cards which can be redeemed at toy stores or ice cream parlors, make them realize that they cannot spend more than a certain amount. It’s also important to tell them that if they save the amount they can use it to buy more expensive things. Once you teach them the basics of budgeting and saving, it’s time to set them free. Take them to the store and observe.  Chances are your kids will voluntarily start reading price tags and find stuff they can afford to pay for using their gift cards.

Cashless Transactions and Accounts: While your parents may have tried to teach you about money by giving you dollar bills back in the day, cash transactions today are increasingly becoming less relevant. This is why it’s important to teach kids about accounts and cashless transactions. Without boring them with theoretical knowledge, gift cards can teach them the basics. Much like a bank card, gift cards are linked to a customer account that contains store cash. Using them to pay for toys, food, and other items, kids would unknowingly and invariably grasp the concepts of cashless transactions and accounts.

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