I am thrilled to have the opportunity to write about something so important: money! Surprised? It’s not necessarily something people like to talk about, but it is very important to discuss it with your children. I’m sure some of you are thinking, ‘well, not when they are so young’. And to that response I have to disagree.
As soon as my first child was old enough to ask for something, I felt it was important to discuss how that ‘something’ gets to us. Last summer, we had a garage sale. It was a huge undertaking and one of the challenges was to explain to my three children what we were doing and why. Each year when we have our garage sale, we also give to a charity. That was another aspect of our weekend. And if that wasn’t enough, we also decided it was time for our oldest to have his very first lemonade stand. At first he didn’t really ‘get’ the idea. But it didn’t take long before he was yelling out “Lemonade and cookies!” at the top of his lungs. After the garage sale was over, we let him keep his earnings. In the evening, we strolled to the local ice cream shop, and to our glorious surprise, he didn’t just pay for his ice cream, he wanted to pay for all of our ice cream. I was a proud mama!I know some of you might think it unnecessary to teach kids before they can hardly reach over a cash counter how to spend money, but hear me out. Children are living in an age of instant gratification for the most part. It’s not at all like it was for us when we were young, or how it was for our parents. I didn’t have an allowance until I was a pre-teen, and I got my first cell phone when I was in college!
Now kids have smart phones, gift cards and possibly the access to a family account giving them the ability to purchase instantly. So, teaching little ones while they are little is key. That’s why RBC has come out with this really cute and fun application called Learning Money with Leo. The app is available in French and English on iTunes and is totally free. The app is geared to children six years old and under to provide them with an introduction to the concepts and value of money. Earning, saving and spending money are all touched upon in this app. Until now, my children had yet to really play an app. I am a big fan of the iPad and my children love seeing little cartoons and such, but so far that machine is for Mama and Papa MOE. So my oldest (who is four and a half) was thrilled to feel like a big boy and get the chance to play a game just for him.
I was a tad sceptical about the age level for the app, since I have seen popular apps for children that seem way too bright, loud and fast. The Learning Money with Leo app is really perfect for young children. There are five games in total, as well as a read-along story and a colouring book. Each game is explained (each time) to help children understand what they have to do. There is constant positive reinforcement from Leo the lion. My guy was very pleased with himself when Leo gave him a “way to go!” or a “good job!”. For each completed game, your child earns a coin. When they are ready, they can go to their personal sticker book. There, they can use their coins to buy the virtual stickers for their sticker page. Each sticker costs one coin. Children have the choice of three different sticker pages, and three different collections of themed stickers.
|My little one's masterpiece!|
My son was very happy to play each game (his favourite was the maze game), hear the story and he absolutely loved the colouring pages. But when it came time to show him about the sticker book, I wasn’t sure he understood what it would mean to buy the stickers and then run out of coins before he was done his sticker page. Boy, was I wrong! I just needed to explain to him once that he could earn more coins by playing the games again, and he was off collecting more coins! He really got the concept quickly and enjoyed how he could earn the coins to buy his stickers.
Our next step will be to open up a real RBC account! The RBC Leo’s Young SaversAccount is perfect for him. It was my very first account too!
I was very happy to share this app with my little one and I think you will be too! Visit iTunes to download your free Learning Money with Leo app. For more tips on teaching your children about money, visit the RBC Advice Centre.
|Made in the colouring book|
RBC has offered a chance to win a RBC Visa card valued at $50! How great is that?! To participate in this giveaway, simply leave a comment below telling me why you think it’s important to teach young children about the value of money (be sure to leave me your e-mail so I can reach you if you win!).
- Follow @AskMamaMOE on Twitter
- You may retweet this post once a day with the hashtag #MoneywithLeo
- Share this post in another creative way and let me know about it
This giveaway closes April 20th and is available to Canadian residents only.
Good luck to everyone and I hope you enjoy playing this app with your little ones!
Disclosure – I am participating in the RBC Learning Money With Leo program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of RBC Royal Bank. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.