As host of the #cdnmoney chat on Twitter every Wednesday night at 7 pm, it is important for me that we have real conversations about things that matter. Money matters. Last night we talked about kids and money. It really was a good conversation and so many people had great ideas on teaching our kids about money. So what do we do when we feel a little lost in how to teach kids about money? There are some great games and other online tools that help teach kids these important concepts but remember like I said yesterday they will model what you do.
SandDollarCity.com, is for the 8-12 crowd, it is an online game set in an underwater village where kids manage a candy shop. It is a lot like Facebook’s popular Farmville and similar simulation games, it lets kids buy inventory, make store upgrades, handle expenses, etc.
Savings Quest is another online game in which your child chooses a job, earns a paycheck, and chooses a savings goal. He must build a budget and handle other aspects of personal finances. Over a six month period (in the game, not in real life) he will have to work, handle expenses and save for a goal. This game can give your kids real life experience, it throws unexpected expenses at you just like in real life. Again this would be for that 8-12 crowd.
The Mint believes in educating American children about money because the lessons on saving and debt need to be urgently learned. The site has sections tailor-made for kids, teens, parents, and teachers. The tools consist of games that are built around earning, saving, spending, and giving. Lessons on how money moves are also imparted in an easy to grasp language. Many of the lessons taught are perfect for our Canadian kids as well.
Planet Orange is a cool Canadian interactive financial game that reaches out to those in the 6-10 crowd. Kids can Join Cedric and Amy as they help them navigate the deep reaches of space and learn all about earning, spending, saving and investing. The game involves activities that focus on different features of money and the choices you have to make for completing the mission.
BMO Smart Steps, well it might not have all the bells and whistles for fun online gaming like those above, it is full of knowledge and great tips that will help you learn and teach important skills to your children all the way to adulthood.
Remember knowledge is power and we want our children to have money smarts so it is up to us as parents to teach money and have those all so important conversations. I hope these tools can help in a small way. So what are you teaching your children about money?