Raleigh museum makes money-saving memorable for kids

Posted March 18, 2010 8:49 a.m. EDT

— A new exhibit at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh is all about money – how to earn it, spend it and most importantly, save it.

In the Moneypalooza exhibit, children must earn money before they can spend it. They can pet-sit for Aunt Polly, help entrepreneur Ellie sell lemonade or work with Banker Ben.

“You can buy toys,” said kindergartner Isaac Artis.

The currency is plastic balls, which children can put in a big piggy bank.

“Families felt it important to teach their kids healthy money habits,” said Pam Hartley with Marbles Kids Museum.

That’s why Lead Mine Elementary School teacher Lisa Coster brought her kindergarten class to the museum. Basic money concepts are part of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.

“We say in kindergarten, if they can sing it, or if they can eat it, or if they can touch it, they can learn it,” Coster said.

Moneypalooza targets children ages 4 to 10 and attracts about 4,500 kids a week, according to museum officials. The museum partnered with the North Carolina Bankers Association for the exhibit, which is slated to run for five years.

“One of the best things we’ve heard from families is that it’s been triggering great conversations back at home,” Hartley said.