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Give Thanks for Economic Education

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

By Maria Hasenstab, Public Affairs Staff

During the holiday season, I generally shower those near and dear to me with gifts. (It’s the giving season, which usually means spending, too.) That opens the door for valuable opportunities to talk about savings, spending, how to pay for things and more.

That’s why I’m thankful for economic education resources from the St. Louis Fed. They offer free, useful lessons not only for kindergarten-through-college educators, but also for parents, consumers and everyone else. Anyone who visits our award-winning economic education resources can browse through more than 400 lessons, articles and other activities to learn more about personal finance and economics.

Here are a few personal finance and economic education items I recommend to check out during the holiday season.


What’s the best way to pay for the most wonderful time of the year?

Check out the pros and cons of different financial services with this infographic, which also contains associated videos.


Show your teenager how to invest that mistletoe money and reach big goals with this “Life Goals” video. It’s part of a video series designed to help middle- and high-schoolers understand stocks, bonds and capital markets.

Online Tutorials

  • Worried about paying off your merriment in the New Year? The earlier children learn about credit, the more likely they are to use it responsibly as adults. Introduce your elementary-age kids to the uses and costs of credit with the Give Ell Credit online course.
  • If your Christmas to remember includes a shiny new car with a giant red bow, check out this refresher on all the elements of buying a car.

Activities with Companion Books

As a parent to young children myself, we read books every day, often as part of our bedtime routine. These Parent Q&As and other lessons offer opportunities to share great books with my littles and hopefully plant the seed of personal finance and economics. So snuggle up with some hot cocoa for a story-time that’s fun and educational for curious kids.

About the Activity Format Concepts
Teach your kids they can’t ask Santa for every toy on their list with a Q&A based on the book Betty Bunny Wants Everything by Michael B. Kaplan. Parent Q&A Choice, scarcity, wants
Searching for the hottest Christmas toys? Check out our Q&A to accompany The Berenstain Bears’ Mad, Mad, Mad Toy Craze. Parent Q&A Consumer goods, prices, earning money
Parents, why not add a side of economics to your sweet potato pie? These activities are based on the book Sweet Potato Pie by Kathleen D. Lindsey. Lesson Production, specialization, division of labor
Elementary kids can learn about trading with a lesson based on the book How to Make an Apple Pie by Marjorie Priceman. Lesson Natural resources, trading, travel
Christmas cash? Children can learn about saving, spending, decision-making and opportunity cost with activities based on the book Glo Goes Shopping by Cheryl Willis Hudson. Lesson and Whiteboard Spending, decision-making, opportunity cost
Baking Christmas cheer? With Messy Bessey’s Holidays Lesson, 5- to 7-year-olds can learn about factors of production, natural resources, human resources, capital resources and intermediate goods all while baking cookies. It’s based on the book Messy Bessey's Holidays by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack. Lesson and Whiteboard Factors of production, resources, intermediate goods
Maria Hasenstab 

Maria Hasenstab is a media relations coordinator with the St. Louis Fed. She works in Public Affairs.

Tagged maria hasenstabecon edeconomic educationchristmasthanksgivingsavingspendingteacherparent