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'Take advantage of this time at home to teach your kids how to make smart financial decisions.'

COURTESY PHOTO - Erin MooreWith 197 Oregon school districts closed for the rest of the school year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us are home with our kids doing our part to stay home and save lives.

As a mom of two boys, I know keeping the kids busy is a full-time job in its own right. If you're anything like me, you may be running out of new ideas to keep kids learning. That's why I've compiled some ideas for using items you have around the home in simple activities to engage your kids on money and finances, along with an online resource for guidance on how to talk to kids about money.

These activities connect your kids' mainstay school subjects with financial literacy:

• Art: Have a full recycling bin? Spend an afternoon designing the ATM PIGGY BANK featured on the Just5Mins YouTube channel. Fill it up by making your own money using cardboard for your coins and paper for your dollar bills.

• Math: Teach your kids to add or subtract using the money you just made. Have a contest to see how many different ways you can make $1; write "prices" on plastic cups and have the kids put the correct change in each cup; or use your homemade money to create a new masterpiece and ask them to add up the total value of the money they used.

• English: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers a reading series on kids and finances. The Money as You Grow Bookshelf is a curated reading list for children ages 4 to 10. Though the CFPB does not provide access to the books themselves, it does offer thoughtful, downloadable reading guides for parents and caretakers to generate discussions on popular titles like Bob Merrill's "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?" and Barbara deRubertis' "Cuenta Con Pablo," also available in English.

Engaging your kids about money now, especially during this time of uncertainty, will instill responsible habits early and empower them to take control of their personal finances, even if it starts with their weekly allowance. Take advantage of this time at home to teach your kids how to make smart financial decisions. They will thank you when they are adults buying a home, saving for retirement, and most importantly, are prepared for the next economic downturn.

For more tips and tools to help you achieve sustainable financial wellness, visit

Erin Moore is education program manager for OnPoint Community Credit Union.

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