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    It is apparent that the penny doesn’t get much credit for what it’s worth. Give a child a penny and you’ll see frowned faces, brown coins tossed and rejected simply because they are considered useless. Kids don’t appreciate the value of a penny as much as they do a dollar these days. That’s why it’s so important for parents to show their children just how far a few hundred pennies can go.

    It’s time to bring back the old fashioned piggy banks or try out the new coin banks that automatically calculate when you make a deposit. Another option is to use a large, plain, glass jar. The bigger the jar, the better. This is because the intention is to impress your child with the value these copper-filled, one-cent coins collectively hold.

    Teach your children counting, saving and even spending their pennies on something extra special. Spending, in this case, may be just as important as teaching penny-pinching and saving. The lesson you want your child to take away is that pennies are money too.

    The goal should be to purchase a kid’s meal or a reasonably priced toy; something they realize is typically paid for with dollar bills. This will allow your child to see just how valuable pennies can be when collected in greater numbers. You can always save up for larger purchases later. The bigger the bang for your buck, the greater the reward felt by your little penny saver.

    Pennies are easy to save because most people prefer not to pay with them. When they receive them in change, they’re tossed into cup holders, vehicle ashtrays or the bottom of pocketbooks. Set aside pennies for your child’s bank and watch the numbers accumulate. Once your child has reached his or her preset goal, take a trip to your local supermarket’s Coinstar machine to get larger bills from a cashier or use your bank or credit union’s coin machine and cash out with a teller.

    The trip to cash out can be just as exciting as the process of saving. Your child will enjoy feeding the coins into the machine and printing out the receipt to collect cash. Kids are impressed by the massive amount of coins, but most importantly, they’ll really see the value in what was achieved from saving pennies.

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