What Toddlers Think: Your toddler is like a sponge, constantly absorbing messages, behaviors and attitudes by watching what you do -- and that includes how you handle money. When you’re out shopping, he might beg you for the toys he sees in the store, and doesn't understand why you can’t buy him something new every time.
The Lessons You Can Teach:
Explain to your toddler that he can get a new toy or candy on a special occasion, like his birthday. When you go shopping, bring along one of his own favorite toys and point out how much he likes it while you’re there. That way, he’ll begin to learn that something doesn’t have to be new to be fun.
Use your child's attraction to shiny coins as an opportunity to teach him the names and values of each coin as he learns to speak and count. (Be sure to supervise -- coins are still a choking hazard!)
Teach him how to be a consumer. When you buy something in the store, hold the coins in your hand and ask him to pick out "5 pennies" or "2 quarters." Let him hand the quarters to the cashier.