(Editor’s note: Carol has a list of resources for teaching kids to handle money wisely. Thanks Carol!)
Even before they reach school age, children are capable of learning quite a few things, and it often falls to the parents to get kids started with learning their letters and numbers. But you should also consider teaching your kids about money before you send them off to the school yard. This valuable skill will help them to buy milk in the lunch line, in addition to improving their math skills. And here are just a few fun apps for smartphones and tablets that are bound to help the lesson stick.
1. The Game of Life. This classic board game receives a reboot for the Apple set with 3D graphics that are sure to delight kids, as well as a money earning (and losing) premise that will give parents the opportunity to teach them about money with real-world applications (earning a salary, paying for a home, etc.). Rated for ages 4 and up.
2. Count Money – Coin Matching Game. Apple users will appreciate this basic game that teaches young kids to identify and differentiate coins, as well as count them (although it doesn’t include an introduction to monetary values). You can add your own voice to personalize the game, and although it is a simple premise, it won’t cost you a dime.
3. Peter Pig’s Money Counter. Android phones are in the money with this handy app that takes counting coins a step further by not only giving lessons on which coins are which, but also on adding the values rather than just the number of coins. And for the awesome price of nada, it will save you a few coins along the way.
4. A Money Tree. Apple offers the 411 on money counting with this game that helps kids differentiate coins (which fall from a tree for players to catch in a barrel) and add them up, all for only $0.99.
5. EZ Money Counter. Even BlackBerry has gotten in the game with an app that helps teach kids to count the coins in their hot little hands. For just $0.99 you can provide your kids with a calculator that will instantly check their addition when it comes to adding up the value of their quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies.
6. Kids Money. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you’re in luck, because this app was made for your kids. With great graphics to entice the young mind, and features aimed at helping kids figure out how to save money to reach their goals (the Barbie Dream House or a BMX bike), this free app will soon have kids excited about the prospect of saving and spending their money.
7. Monopoly. Whether you’re passing Go and collecting $200 or paying income tax, you can have fun teaching kids about money with this game for your favorite Apple device. It can be yours for $9.99.
8. Save! The Game. This free Apple app is actually a game that requires kids to save up money and take it to the bank. But they’ll have to avoid temptations that will take their dough, like candy and toys planted along the way.
9. Kids Math Quiz. Although this app for BlackBerry devices is a little steep at $9.99, it offers added value in the way of providing instruction in basic math, including adding and subtracting, which will definitely help your kids when it comes to learning about money.
10. Managing Money for All Ages. This app for Android phones comes with ten lessons for family members of all ages, starting with those who think a lemonade stand is big business. But it will remain useful as kids get older, preparing them to avoid bad investments, money management schemes, and credit cards for bad credit, while teaching them how to make good financial decisions. Considering it costs less than two dollars, you’re bound to get your money’s worth.
Carol Montrose writes for Granite Card where you can find articles on all things credit and finance related.
Earnest Parenting: Tips for parents who want their kids to be wise with dollars.