Teaching Kids About Savings Bonds

Oct 17, 2011

Written by:
Al Hill

When kids ask for money to buy something, they are already having a little understanding about how “money makes the world go round.” Yet, it may be quite hard to explain how money really affects real life and even harder to explain more abstract concepts like savings bonds or bank accounts to younger kids. Here is some information and links aimed at teaching kids how to count and save money, with special emphasis on savings bonds.


What is a bond?

A bond is actually another way of saving money. Bonds can be bought from the government and there are two different types. The first type of bond is called a Series EE bond, which gains interest for 30 years. The other type is called a Series HH bond and it can be bought the same way but the major difference is that it doesn’t gain interest like the EE bonds and it is worth about the same amount paid.

What does a bond look like?

A bond is a piece of paper, like a dollar bill and similarly, it has a face on it. For instance, the $50 savings bond actually has Helen Keller’s face on it. The $100 bond has Martin Luther King Jr. on it, Chief Joseph is on the $200 bond, and Marian Anderson is on the $5,000 bond.

Why do people buy bonds?

People buy bonds as a type of insurance. Many times, people don’t want to – or can’t – open a savings account but they don’t want to go walking around with a large amount of money so they purchase a bond that’s equal to the amount of money they have. Savings bonds are also often given as gifts to children on special occasions like birth, graduation, and so on, so that as the child grows, so will the value of the bond.

Where can I buy a bond?

People buy bonds at the place where most deals involving money take place: the bank. You can simply go into a bank, tell them you want to buy a bond, and they will sell one to you.

Who can own bonds?

Who owns a bond depends entirely on the people buying the bond. They can register it in their own name or they can register it in another person’s name by designating them as a “beneficiary.”

How much money can I get for my bond?

This depends on the type of bond. With some, you get the face amount – $50, $100, or $200. For bonds that gain interest, you get the amount the bill is worth plus the amount of interest obtained in the number of years it was owned.

How can I get money for my bond?

You can go into a bank and simply redeem it. You can use your personal bank, a credit union, or even the Federal Reserve Bank.

Where can I find out more about savings bonds?

  • Introduction to Saving Bonds: Provides an overview of savings bonds.
  • Saving Bonds: Discusses bonds and why they are good for kids.
  • Savings Bonds Types: SEC page that explains the different types of savings bonds.


Saving money is very important. Saving money ensures that later on, when you really need it for something, you have it. There are lots of ways for kids to earn money before they get a real job. They can do chores for their parents, sell lemonade or even do things like yard work for other people. Once you have money, consider carefully what you spend it on, because once you spend it, it’s gone.


One of the easiest and best ways to teach kids about money is to do it by playing games. Teaching kids to count money by playing addition games is far more interesting than just setting out coins and telling them to count. Here are links to games and ideas that make teaching kids about money a fun activity.

  • Government Money Sites for Kids: Some links to government sites with trivia questions about money.
  • Kid’s Money Link Page: Provides links to multiple pages with ideas about teaching kids about money.
  • Pocket Change for Kids: An interactive game that teaches kids about counting money.


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