Emergency Preparedness & Financial Struggles For Kids

I have felt impressed several times over the past week to prepare my family for emergencies and financial struggles.
  • Our income is never as secure as we think it is, and we've felt that.
  • Our city had a tornado warning, which never happens here.
  • A dear friend stepped outside to find a forest fire headed straight for her home, with only 10 minutes to evacuate.

Preparing children for an emergency and/or financial struggles is easier said than done though.  We had our 72 Hour Emergency Kit ready last year when we left our home because of Hurricane Sandy.  It contained everything we didn't need, and was missing several things we did need.

As I contemplated on how to kick start our emergency preparedness and financial studies for kids unit, I felt it was important to start from the beginning.  Our kiddos have significant anxieties.  Preparing for disasters and money difficulties is stressful enough, but add those anxieties and it can be lethal.
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Here's how we taught our children about these sensitive subjects!

Our Family Budget
The kiddos are fabulous when it comes to not asking for toys etc.  They have wish lists that grandparents use to buy their Christmas and birthday presents. Whenever they see something they really want, they add it to the list.

However when it comes to wanting pizza or going to the play museum, the kiddos have a pretty hard time understanding why we can't go when they want to.  This is why we decided to teach them about budgeting.  We used our own family budget, presented on cards with pictures, so they could understand, and monopoly money.

Since my kiddos are little, I decided to round everything to the nearest five dollar, ten dollar, hundred, etc.  We started with necessities, and then worked our way through the budget. Then wouldn't you know it, we had a house repair that needed to happen etc.  In the end, there was very little money left for things they wanted.

To my pleasant surprise, the kiddos understood all of the concepts I presented.  They even chose to donate their money to the poor, instead of going to get pizza to eat when all was said and done.

Source: I created the printable for this activity.  For your free copy, click HERE.

Out of My Control Cards
 Adults are all too aware of circumstances that are out of their control, especially ones that have a direct effect on their safety, well being, and finances.  No matter how well we budget, life just happens.  I created this activity in a way that I could explain all of those "Out of My Control" scenarios.

There were a couple that were over their heads, but for the most part the kiddos understood.  The cards provided great opportunity for discussion and questions.  We had such fabulous time.

The cards are divided into five themes:

  • Weather
  • Health
  • Education & Occupation
  • Economics, Emergency
  • Repairs
The object of the activity was to have each kiddo separate all of the cards by theme.  Once again, they did such a fabulous job.  The discussions were amazing.

We talked about how each event or circumstance would effect us, what we could do to prepare for it, what we could do in the moment it happened etc.

Source: I created the printable for this activity.  For your free copy, click HERE.

What Is My Role?
The kiddos were pretty somber after learning about all that could possibly go wrong with our budget, especially after doing such a great job counting money and paying bills.  I made this activity to help them with their emotions.  (Hooray for thinking ahead!)

In times of financial struggles and emergency hardships, it's hard for kiddos to understand what their role might be.  Parents are stressed.  There can easily be tension, and there are just so many different emotions.

These cards are divided into three categories:

  • Kids
  • Grown Ups
  • Everybody  
The object of the activity was to separate the roles and responsibilities of family members into the three categories, so the kiddos knew exactly what's expected of them during these times, and exactly what is expected of everyone else.  Princess really liked this activity!

Source: I created printable for this activity. For your free copy, click HERE.

This experience has been absolutely incredible for our family.  I was worried that anxieties would become unmanageable, but they didn't.  The activities provided them with the hands on visual support and understanding they needed, in order to participate in creating a emergency preparedness and financial struggles family plan that meets everyone's needs.

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15 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to hear your husband is back at work, Renae. It's wonderful to read about your kids' understanding of budget. Thanks so much for all the printables you so generously share! I featured your post as the Free Printable of the Day at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and on Pinterest.

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    1. Thanks Deb! I love being able to share my printables. It's a great way to provide service to others. :)

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  2. What a great theme Renae and an important one too. I'm glad I stopped by to see what your family has been up to. :)

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  3. It's great to meet your unique family through an Afterschool blog hop and thanks for sharing your activities with Afterschool!

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  4. What a really neat idea! I'll have to pin it and come back to it when my toddler is older. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Wow - your family has been busy! Thanks for sharing with us at After School.

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    1. Yes, we have been busy! Thank you so much for stopping by. :)

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  6. These are ALL great activities but I'm particularly blown away with the budgeting exercise. My kids struggle with understanding why I say no and I think your idea is simply genius! I've pinned it and am featuring this tomorrow on my blog at the After School Linky Party. I hope you'll stop by and keep on sharing!!

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    1. Thank you so much for your compliments. I hope the budgeting activity goes well with your family. :)

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  7. What great ideas! I love how you taught budgeting to kids!! Thanks for linking up at TGIF! I look forward to seeing you linked up again later today =-)

    Have a GREAT weekend,
    Beth

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    1. Thanks Beth! I love linking up to your site. :)

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  8. Hi Renae! Love the blog, thanks for the printables, the one for budget specifically will come in very handy. I hope things are going well for you! :)

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