Do you feel that you could have benefited from learning more about money when you were younger? For me, I know that having part-time jobs growing up certainly helped me to learn how to be money smart, but learning about money doesn’t start in the teen years, it should start much younger!
Today’s Parent asked me to try a free app that RBC has created for young children called Learning Money with Leo, which teaches children about the value and concepts of money in Canadian currency, as part of their Today’s Parent Approved program. The app was created for children aged 3-6, however, my eight-year-old enjoyed playing, too. While it wasn’t challenging for her, the fact that it uses Canadian currency and the activities are fun, meant that she really enjoyed herself. It’s important to note that there are also three different levels of difficulty, where the significant difference is the amount of time allotted to complete each task.
Leo the Lion guides children through various games and activities while providing them with encouragement and guidance when needed. While navigating through the app, children have the opportunity to recognize various coins of different denominations and interact with them in a variety of fun ways. Children learn through play and this app provides them with a fun learning format that educates them about money concepts.
The Piggy Bank Match It game requires children to match a word with an object. My five-year-old son couldn’t read the words by himself, which made him slightly frustrated. He ended up guessing and then using the process of elimination for this game, but it would be helpful if future versions had a “read to me” feature. My daughter enjoyed using her finger as the chalk to draw the lines, matching the words to their appropriate object.
My children loved tilting the iPad for the Solve the Maze game. The look of concentration on their faces was absolutely priceless while they tried to move the coin through the maze. Gather the Coins is another fun iPad tilting game that requires patience while collecting coins across the screen. Spot the Differences had my children using great concentration. And I was impressed with how the Sort the Coins was organized. As a child touches a coin, the appropriate piggy bank flashes so they know where to place the coin. This helps children learn the value of each coin. This feature really helped my son participate in this activity. Some children may benefit from the name of each coin being announced as they touch them.
There’s also a Read Along Story, Colouring Book and a virtual store called “My Sticker Book” where children can spend coins collected during game play to purchase stickers to add to their sticker book. I find that this Sticker Book ties everything in together so well. Not only does the app teach about saving (or in this case, collecting) money, but it also provides children with a hands-on experience of spending money.
Learning Money with Leo is currently available only on an iPad device, however, they are looking to bringing it to a wider variety of options like iPhone, Android and web. If you don’t have an iPad, I really love the fact that RBC have made the games into a printable version. This app is also available in English and French versions (according to your iPad settings).
Overall, the fact that this app teaches money concepts using Canadian currency makes it the perfect app for Canadian children to learn about money sense. Download it for free in the iTunes store today!
Amanda Gobatto is a former kindergarten teacher turned “WAHM.” She enjoys blogging at Multi-testing Mommy, social media management, baking, crafting and time with her five-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter. Follow her on Twitter @MultiTestingMom, and like her page on Facebook.