Here’s a list of the best apps to teach kids about money. My kids can’t get enough of these games!
Kid apps are a parenting game-changer.
What else so reliably keeps young kids from running up and down the aisles and yelling “MORE!” 300 times while on a cross-country flight?
Or instantly ceases the incessant and loud “Can we go now?!” as a waiting room full of strangers shoots evil glares in our direction?
And not only that, but apps promise to turn our young ones into the next Albert Einstein and Galileo by the age of 5.
So even though we know we need to limit our kids’ screen time, and that kids should experience moments of uncomfortable boredom to tickle their creativity – sometimes it’s just TOO HARD TO RESIST.
But the problem with apps is that while many claim to be a college degree in a box, the majority are at best mindless games and at worse promote stereotypes and violence we’d rather not expose our kids to.
The same is true with apps that teach kids about money.
But fortunately, there are a few that stand out as real winners – and remarkably achieve a balance between being entertaining AND educational at the same time.
Below is a list of four kids money apps that pass my test of being truly educational while also entertaining enough that my girls beg me to let them play them “Just one more time.”:
The Best Apps to Teach Kids About Money:
Ages: 8 and up
Cupcake! is my favorite kid app ever. I’m serious: ever. This program is so well-thought out and has a great balance of entertainment and teaching kids (and really teaching them, not “teaching” them) a number of entrepreneurial, math, and money lessons. The gist of Cupcake! is that kids run their own cupcake bakery but have to first buy supplies (and be aware of prices and sales), design two cupcakes, and set the price of the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes are made and ready to be sold, customers come into the bakery and give their orders with a twist such as “I want 9 cupcakes but 1/3 should be chocolate.” And to round it all out, the bakery owner (that’s your kid) has to deliver the cupcakes while navigating a grid. So much value jammed into one little app.
Ages: 8 and up, although it’s good for kids to know multiplication
Motion Math’s Pizza is also a great app and if you have a kid who’s more interested in pizza than cupcakes (there are some out there!), this could be a better match. Just like Cupcake!, Pizza is an entrepreneurial game that lets kids run their own pizza store. The pizza owner has to balance buying enough ingredients to meet the needs of customers, setting a profitable price, and being able to do mental math fast enough to keep customers satisfied. This is also a great app that’s worth the price.
Ages: 7+, or any kid who can read and do basic addition
Freefall money is the perfect app for kids who are still trying to figure out the difference between coins. The game begins with a few coins on the table and the child has to type in how much they are worth. The following questions include putting the correct amount of money into a piggy bank and determining how much groupings of coins are worth. At the end, the child can pick out their fish as a prize to keep in their virtual fish tank.
Ages: Any kid who can read (non-readers will need help at the end)
Renegade Buggies is more entertainment than learning, although at the end of the game there is a valuable lesson in comparison shopping and budgeting. While the player maneuvers a buggy and creepy robot figure through a three lane street he/she must pick up assigned items like soap or detergent. When the buggy comes to the end of the street, he enters a Dollar General store where the comparison shopping begins. There’s no doubt kids will enjoy this game, but it’s questionable how much time they’ll be willing to spend on the comparison shopping part of the experience.
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