Throughout the decades parents have used a myriad of methods to help their kids learn about money; from chore charts with a weekly allowance tie in, to board games like Monopoly and the Game of Life, to good old fashioned piggy banks. Today, families have a new financial education tool at their disposal – apps.
The perfect teaching medium for digital-first kids, there are now a huge variety of financial games and apps built to teach the younger generation about money. Where to start your kids on their learn-about-money journey? Here are five kid- and parent-approved financial apps to try.
Peter Pig’s Money Counter
With high ratings from both parents and kids, Peter Pig’s Money Counter is a popular educational app that helps children develop important financial skills as they learn about money. Kids can play interactive games on the app in which they practice identifying, counting and saving money; learning to make purchases within a given budget and set money aside for future expenses. Parents can get involved by helping their kids test their coin-counting skills and learning fun facts together about money as they use the app. In fact, some of the savings tips in the games on the app might also be useful to parents. Peter Pig’s Money Counter is available to download on Android and Apple devices, and offers three levels of difficulty for kids aged five to eight years old.
The Stock Market Game
An excellent resource for older children and teens, the Stock Market Game is an online resource that connects students to the global economy via virtual investing opportunities. The game was developed by the SIFMA foundation and provides an online simulation of the real global stock market, letting students experience what it’s really like to invest and make their own personal finance choices. While the game is often used in conjunction with classroom activities, individual students can register to use the game on their own; but do be aware that kids under the age of 18 will need an adult to help them sign up. Once registered, kids can use the game online or download a handy mobile app; then, they can enjoy the empowering process of deciding where to invest their virtual money as they learn a huge amount about money and economics in the process.
Recommended for children aged seven and up, Savings Spree is an educational app that helps kids learn about money – its value, and how it works. Through the app’s variety of interactive games, kids get to make everyday lifestyle choices about money, then see how their decisions can produce either big savings, or big expenses. The app encourages users to save money for long- and short-term goals, make frugal decisions when they spend, donate to others who are in need, and invest their money for the future. While learning about money, kids will also enjoy the app’s game show format and friendly tutorials, with cute characters and graphics. Savings Spree is available through the Apple App Store for iOS devices.
Star Banks Adventure
Kids who can’t get enough of their favorite, fast-paced adventure app games will love Star Banks Adventure, which combines science fiction storytelling and graphics with puzzles, quizzes and gaming challenges all based around financial education. Players are tasked to save the galaxy from financial chaos, using different Star Banks to save coins and fund the right against the evil Overlord Zek. While Star Banks Adventure is more of a traditional mobile app game than some of the other financial education apps, the game is an excellent choice for parents who are seeking a highly entertaining and interactive app to start their kids on the journey to learning about money – and the app’s puzzles and quiz questions provide plenty of brain-tingling fun along the way.
Available as a mobile app and an online tool, Bankaroo helps kids as young as five start to learn about money. The app operates like a digital piggy bank, letting kids and parents manage incoming funds in a format that prepares them for the online banking and budgeting apps they will no doubt be using in the future. Bankaroo encourages kids to set goals for their savings, keep track of what money is coming in and out, and review their past transactions. The founders of the app designed it as a family-based activity that would motivate more conversations between parents and kids about money, so there are plenty of opportunities for adults to get involved and use the app as a family.