Reading Makes Cents: Teach Your Child About Earning Money

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Reading Makes Cents is a new 4-H curriculum. It is a financial literacy and reading curriculum for children in grades 3-5. An important money concept to teach children is “savings is not optional.” With the holidays coming, we found this great activity that teaches youth how to earn money while making and selling potholders.
Here is the activity:

Potholders for Fun and Profit from Reading Makes Cents: Earning Money
Project Skill: Making and Selling Potholders
Read Aloud Selection: Lunch Money by Andrew Clements, Scholastic, 2005. Book Level 2, Read Chapter 6, Sour Business.
Activity Time: 40-60 Minutes to Weave
Materials Needed (per child):

  • 6-8 men’s socks of several colors (sport/hiking socks made from heavy wool or cotton yarn). Note that the socks loops are the warp, so if only white is used, the weft or the yarn will create a checker-board pattern. If multi-colored loops are used, the yarn weft will create a plaid-like pattern.
  • Thick wool or cotton yarn in a variety of colors (if socks are wool, use wool yarn, if socks are cotton, use cotton yarn for consistency when washing the final potholder)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Foam Board or Heavy Craft Cardboard (7.25 inches by 9.5 inches)
  • Scissors
  • Paper Clip or Needle with Large Eye (Upholstery or sweater needles can be found in fabric or craft stores)
  • Optional: Terry Cloth squares, recycled from old towels for extra batting in the potholders

For more information about Reading Makes Cents, contact the local 4-H office at 704.283.3735 or via e-mail at