There are many different opinions when it comes to giving children allowances. Paula Robinson, a mother in Holly, Minnesota, shares her reason why kids as young as three should receive an allowance. “Children learn counting and math skills when they play with their own money,” she says.

Her two children learned to count coins—and understood what they were worth—before they entered school.

Paula has taught her boys a fun game that helps them learn the value of each coin. It’s called “Trade for Keeps.” One child combines coins to add up to one dollar and then offers a trade. The hitch—the trade is “for keeps.” So traders make sure they’re trading away a group of coins that exactly totals $1.00.

Now at the Robinson household, you’re likely to hear, “I’ll trade you two quarters, two dimes, four nickels, and ten pennies for your dollar.” The children are having fun . . . and learning at the same time.

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