The 5280 field guide to taking your child’s learning outside of the classroom—and into the world.
—Jan Von Holleben / Trunk Archive
Is your tech-savvy youngster ready to add founder and CEO to her name? Sign her up for Camp Inc.
Kids are idea factories, but turning those inventions into reality can be a challenge. Enter Camp Inc., a two-and-a-half week camp in Steamboat Springs for sixth- to 12th-grade entrepreneurs. Director Josh Pierce says the program—an extension of programming from the Jewish Community Center in Boulder—launched 22 startups in 2014. These mini-moguls pitch apps, tech, and business ideas in a Shark Tank–esque arena—all before they can vote. Says Pierce: “These kids have ideas that rival those of professionals.”
The Idea: An implantable glucose monitor that would eliminate painful testing for diabetics and could communicate with a phone app and insulin pump.
Company: Sun Defense
The Idea: A pay-by-use sunscreen application structure that would be available at public pools, amusement parks, music festivals, and more.
The Idea: A removable zipper that would attach to pant pockets (like athletic shorts) to secure a cell phone and wallet inside.
—Courtesy of (top-bottom) Kaylie Stenhouse, Eytan Markman-Raffeld, Haya Yedidy
Show your kid just how far a dollar stretches.
- Take a week’s worth of your household’s wages out of the bank in dollar bills.
- Stack the money on the kitchen counter.
- With your child’s help, sort out enough moola to cover seven days of your mortgage payment, violin lessons, and other fixed bills.
- For the rest of the week, use cash from the counter for all purchases. Let your little one play banker—accepting withdrawals and deposits—each day to track the dwindling pile.
- At the end of the week, count what’s left—and fill out a deposit form for your savings account together.
In a world where kids don’t see money very often—we’re too busy swiping our credit and debit cards—we should start talking to our kids early about the monetary values of things at the grocery store, at a football game, or even at the kitchen table. “It’s important to open the lines of communication with your kids about money just like you do with anything else,” says Rachel Namoff, a financial literacy expert at Denver’s Arapaho Asset Management and a mother of two. “Parents have the opportunity to expose their children to the ideas of saving, spending, investing, giving, credit, and debt. All of these things will impact their financial health in the future.” To get started, Namoff suggests showing your children the benefits of saving and investing. We decided to show the lesson using terms they’ll certainly understand—burritos.
Burrito = $10
Parents invest $100 (10 burritos) in a mutual fund with an annual compounding interest with a six percent rate of return when their child is born. Each month for the next 18 years, $10 (1 burrito) is added to the investment.
After 18 years, $2,260 (226 burritos) has been deposited, and the account balance hits $4,113.57 (411 burritos and some extra guac).
If the child decides to take the money, they’ll be able to finance a few months of traveling abroad in Europe (if inflation doesn’t skyrocketed).
If, instead, the $4,113.57 is reinvested in a mutual fund with an annual compounding interest with a six percent rate of return for 47 more years—with no future contributions—until the child reaches the retirement age of 65, her walk-away balance on the initial $2,260 investment tops out at $63,620.13 (6,362 burritos).