Bookworm is starting to earn more for his allowance, and at 9, he’s becoming more aware of saving for what he wants. For instance, every spring, just a few weeks before the annual book fair, he’s suddenly much more interested in doing chores and finding extra work to earn money.
We give him $10 to spend at the book fair, but he usually raises extra money so he can buy a few more books for himself and buy a few for his sisters for their Christmas presents.
Now that we’ve decided to homeschool him, I want to make sure that he learns about money. We’ve been trying to teach him about money all along, but sometimes kids don’t get abstract concepts like investing and earning interest, especially when he isn’t investing yet.
However, I want him to learn this concept so that when he’s in high school and working part-time, he’ll understand that his mom isn’t crazy when she asks him to open a Roth IRA. (Say what, mom? I want to go see a movie and go out to eat with my friends, NOT invest for retirement.)
T. Rowe Price: Helping Parents Teach Their Kids about Money
T. Rowe Price, in association with Disney, has set up a site, Money Confident Kids, that all parents should consider using. There is a parents’ section that includes helpful information such as 5 basic money concepts your kids should learn and how to teach them to your children.
T. Rowe Price also stresses that parents should have a constant, open dialogue with kids about finances, both their own and their child’s.
In addition, there is also a wonderful section for educators that includes lesson plans and teaching tools. Now that I’m a home educator, I plan to use these resources to teach my son more about investing, inflation, and saving.
Making Learning Fun for Kids
What I like most about Money Confident Kids, though, is the section for the kids. Don’t expect any dry, boring articles here. Instead kids learn about money through games.
The Great Piggy Bank Adventure
One of their games is a virtual board game, The Great Piggy Bank Adventure. Because this game was developed in coordination with Disney, the graphics are top notch.
Children choose an avatar, name the avatar and then set a financial goal. Kids are given 5 goals to choose from; Bookworm choose to save for an art easel for 100 truffles (the name of the currency in the game). Kids are given some truffles to start with, and then they can earn more truffles along the way.
This game seeks to teach kids not only about money, but also about doing the right thing. For instance, Bookworm was given this scenario: He’s walking by the park and sees a little girl fall. Does he just keep walking or help the girl? He chose to help the girl, and he earned 10 truffles for doing the right thing.
However, just like there are ways to earn money, there are also ways to lose money such as buying a treat or buying something at the store. Bookworm resisted these temptations and got to his goal fairly quickly. (Along the way kids also earn interest on their savings.)
After Bookworm reached his savings goal and the end of the virtual board game, he was given an opportunity to play a video game where he tries to collect more truffles but avoid the wolf.
Then, the child gets the item they were saving for and advances to the next level. Any remaining truffles that they have move with them to the next level.
If your child loves video games, he’ll love this game. You will, too, because your child will be learning about money.
Other Games Available
Of course, there are several other games available including a print off, Meet Three Little Pigs, which teaches kids about short term, mid-range, and long-term saving and investment goals. Other print offs include Money Word Search, Language of Money Glossary, and Costly Crossword Puzzle.
There are also other video games available including Hedge Fun and Hide and Peek.
If you’re looking for a fun way to teach your child about money, look no further than Money Confident Kids. Your child will likely enjoy the activities, and you’ll find the resources you need to help educate your child about money and how to make smart choices.
T. Rowe Price has sponsored this post and provided information. T. Rowe Price and Disney are not affiliated companies. T. Rowe Price is not responsible for the editorial content or tone of this blog. All opinions are my own.