While I started my family on The Four Jars at 13 with $20 a month for a year, Kenny remembers the piggy bank that sat on Grandma’s dresser when he was growing up.
When he would come to visit, Grandma would empty the coins onto the kitchen table, and Kenny would get to count out the coins and divide them into piles, first the pennies, then the nickels, then the dimes. Grandma would tell him to make one pile for his brother, one pile for grandma’s groceries, and then one for himself. They would then put the coins into three separate envelopes, and Kenny would practice writing the names on each.
The Jars are lovely gift as grandchildren get older, but even at an earlier age the concept teaches counting and sharing.
In the words of the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu: “Give a person a fish and you feed him or her for a day. Teach a person to fish and you feed him or her for a lifetime.” My hope is that the education of the Four Jars will inculcate habits and ideals that will carry on long after my grandchildren have left those childhood bedrooms.