CoinIt-In From A Mothers Idea To A Business

Posted: Friday July 10 2020

By: Abbie Coleman

With it looking less and less likely that primary schools will reopen before September the role of parent as teacher is set to continue. If your child is getting bored with their usual routine now could be a great time to mix it up and build some money skills into their lesson plan. Jackie Swainston, founder of innovative children’s savings solutions, Coinit-In, shows MMB readers how to make finance fun!  

CoinIt-In From A Mothers Idea To A Business

It’s never too early to start teaching children about money and encourage healthy savings habits for life. Just remember two things – make it fun and keep it real! Here are my top tips.


Very young children are too young for financial concepts but it’s still a good idea to get them used to handling money. All young children like the shape, look and feel of money – after all it’s just like treasure. The best way to engage them with money is to keep that excitement alive for as long as possible.

  • As soon as they’re old enough to count, give them pennies to practise with.
  • Show them how to make pound coins shine by dropping them in a malt vinegar and salt solution for 15 minutes and brushing them with an old toothbrush. (Not to be used on copper coins). Then play pirates hunting for buried treasure.
  • Build up a stash of pennies and then hide them around the house for small children to find. Help them count up afterwards to see how many they’ve found.
  • Have a penny stacking race. The tallest tower without falling over in a minute wins!
  • When your child is shopping with you around town make a point of using cash and coins for some purchases. If you are planning a purchase for your child allow them to keep the coins (safely) in their pocket or bag and then hand it over to receive the goods in exchange. This will demonstrate that stuff actually costs money much more effectively that watching you tap a piece of plastic.
  • Give multiple coins rather than notes to young children as a gift or pocket money – it’s more relatable because it’s easier to see how it mounts up. Keep it in a clear jar or see-through money box rather than a piggy bank and heap on the praise each time they add to it.

Primary aged children:

Games and challenges are the best way to engage this age group – they’ll have so much fun they won’t realise they are learning!  

  • At around five or six children can start to understand simple value concepts. Hide different value coins around the house for them to find – using plenty of 1ps, 2ps and 5ps and fewer 10p, 50p and £1 coins. The child whose stash of coins adds up to the highest value wins. Great for familiarity with different coins and understanding the difference between quantity and value. (Why did Polly win if Max found more coins?).
  • If they have their heart set on the latest must-have toy or game, set them a fun pocket money challenge. Set the price of the item as the target and help them work out a plan for achieving their goal by setting money aside. You could make and decorate a chart together than shows how long they will have to save and logs their progress. To help them stick to their goal you could pay top-ups when they hit certain milestones. For example you could offer to top up every £5 they save with an extra £1 – or some other amount that will help them realistically achieve their goal. Start with lower goals to begin with and work up.
  • Board games such as The Game of Life and Monopoly are fantastic for teaching children decision making about money. For tech savvy kids look out for free apps designed to help kids learn money skills.
  • If you give regular pocket money, set daily, age-appropriate chores that must be completed to earn it. These can be very simple things like making their bed, putting toys back in a tub, feeding their hamster etc. Don’t worry too much about how well they do each job – the point is to make them understand that money has an equivalent value and must be earnt.
  • Create a value-based system for age 8+ to help them earn money from optional extra chores. E.g. clearing the dinner table and stacking the dishwasher earns 20p, watering the garden 10p, washing the car £1 etc. (You might need to set a cap for very motivated children!)

Jackie Swainston is the creator of the MoneyBoxTree by – a cleverly designed, flat savings ‘tree’ that takes a hundred £ or € coins. It hangs on the wall and allows children to literally ‘see’ their money grow. It is available in a choice of stylish, fun designs and can be used again and again. 

For more information visit