Buying Pocket Money Toys: Children Money Management
Spotlight On – Pocket money toys (toys under a tenner).
The New Year is a great time to start thinking about how to help children manage money. Pocket money is a great way to introduce them to the world of financial management. Children can learn a lot from managing their own money, but it’s easy to get carried away so most families start with a modest amount of pocket money that children can spend on what they choose. It’s beneficial for children to be able to earn extra money by doing jobs and this can be from as young as 5 or 6 years of age. Encouraging children to earn their money promotes a sound work ethic and appreciation of their toys that doesn’t come if children are continually given things by adults.
‘Giving children responsibility for small amounts of money is a great way for them to start to learn about budgeting. It increases confidence, helps them to develop a sense of responsibility and enhances their decision making skills’
When children have their own money they have more control over what they spend it on. They may decide to save up for a special toy or get more instant gratification from cheaper toys. Children often enjoy buying individual pieces of collectible sets and building the collections over time.
It’s important not to confuse low price with low play value. There are plenty of good toys that are under £10, but make sure they are all compliant with safety standards and not just cheap because they’re sub-standard.
The important factors influencing purchasing decisions (value for money, individual interests, values etc) don’t alter when products are cheaper, but the decision maker is more likely to be the child than the adult, so it’s important to help children develop critical thinking skills and sounds values so they’re not easily swayed into buying things they don’t need or can’t really afford.
Pocket money toys are aptly named for school age children, but pre-schoolers who don’t yet get pocket money also get bought low cost products. Many parents have £10 as a psychological cut off for spontaneous purchases and consumable, single use products as well as travel toys (these are seen as more disposable than toys kept at home).
Toys in the ‘under £10’ category can be stocking fillers and are also popular for birthday presents for children to give at parties that they are invited to. It is increasingly common for children between 2 and 7 years of age to go to lots of classmates parties and the gifts can be expensive.
Here are some pocket money products we’ve evaluated. Click on the images to find out more information about each of the toys.
This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer