October 30th, 2009

Money Is Fun

An Observation

My daughter is only 3, but she is fascinated with all forms of money. She’s familiar with debit cards, credit cards and even those grocery-store discount cards.

She sees paper money on occasion, but she’s more interested in her play money. I think that’s because the designs and colors on princess dollars are more attractive than those on U.S. one- and five-dollar bills.

But she really likes to go through our change cups. She’ll spend a good 30 minutes—an eternity for my daughter—separating the “silver” coins from the “brown” ones. (She now knows that they’re “pennies.” The correct terminology will come soon.) She stacks them, knocks them down, puts them back in the cup—one at a time, of course. Lately she’s big on pretend play: The coins go into her tricycle basket and she goes “shopping.” She came back with a pair of shoes. Who doesn’t enjoy spending coins once in a while?

While on vacation, I tried turning the whole process into a matching-counting game of some sort. She told me, “I don’t want to play that way,” before she turned her back to me.

Point is, she enjoys handling the coins, sorting them into various groups and listening to them drop back into the cup. That’s the whole idea: enjoyment. Sure, you can “invest.” Nothing wrong with that. But to “collect” anything, the enjoyment must be there.

That’s the first step.

The rest will follow.

Blog . Coin collecting . Young numismatists