Trouble With Money: The Berenstain Bears

ObjectiveTeach children about income and expenses as well as the importance of being thrifty and saving money.
Description trouble with money

Turn story-time into an opportunity to teach your children about earning money and spending it responsibly. In "Trouble With Money" Brother and Sister bear want to earn coins for the Astro Bear video game. They then find ways to work for money. Brother and Sister Bear eventually recognize the need to find the middle ground between being spendthrifts and little misers.  

Brother and Sister Bear learn some important lessons about earning and spending money.


1. Read the book yourself first and think about the lesson it teaches. Are any of the ideas relevant to your child right now? For example:

  • Is there something that they want and they don't understand why they just can't have it? 
  • Do you want your kids to understand where money comes from?
  • Do your children spend all of the money that they do get?
  • Do you want them to know how to spend wisely and save up their money?
  • Do you want to show your child how to earn money on their own?


2. Set aside a time to read the story to your child. Show him/her the cover of the book and ask, "Take a look at the picture, what do you think this book will be about?" Take note of the ideas he/she comes up with and talk about them with your child as you read the book.

3. Read the book to your child and discuss the story with him/her as you go. You may also want to talk about some of the following questions:  

  • Where does money come from? What happens to money when you spend it?
  • What are some things that Brother and Sister Bear did to earn money? Could you do any of those things? What are some ways you could earn extra money?
  • Why is it good to save up money? How can you save up your money?
  • What does "thrifty" mean? How can you be thrifty (How can you save money)?


Additional Activities:

If your child shows an interest in the above concepts you could do an additional activity with them to reinforce what they have learned.

1. Saving: Make a custom piggy bank with a picture of what they are saving on the outside of the container. You could use a clean peanut butter container, yogurt container or tin can with a lid that you can cut a coin slot in the top of, print then paste a picture of the item they are saving for and write the price of the item on the outside of the container - presto! custom piggy bank!

2. Earning: Write a list of things that could be done around the house or in the neighborhood. Establish prices for each item and let your child complete the items and put the money they earn in their piggy bank saving for a special treat. 

3. Thrift: Show your kids that stores often have sales, coupons or special offers for items. Before you go grocery shopping go through the paper with your child and clip coupons for items that you need. While shopping show your child how to look for the sales and explain that the sales are only on certain brands and at certain times. 

Cartoon Version:

Here is the cartoon version of "Trouble With Money", you may prefer to watch the cartoon and then have a discussion.


Complete When

Mark this activity as complete when you have read the book, discussed the concepts and completed at least one of the additional activities with your children.

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Age Range 6    7    8    9    10   
Activity Type Book
Tags Expenses  Money  Income  Cash Flow  Saving 
Last ModifiedRobRob


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