Children can understand basic fundamentals of money and its value by age 7 according to a University of Cambridge study. We asked TKè, a company that provides workshops for children to get more hands on experience with technology, for an app recommendation to assist in this. TKè works with schools like 3e International School to provide technology-based afterschool activities. According to the organization, “We believe improving children’s interpersonal skills and technological know-how will help them overcome the challenges and grasp the opportunities posed by 21st century technology.”
The app they recommend is the PiggyBot, a free iOS application for teaching children about money. The major drawback of the app is that the app can’t be synced across your iPhone, iPad, or iPod but can be downloaded on to each device. “This electronic piggybank’s simple interface and limited vocabulary makes it easy for children ages 6 and up to navigate. However the app does not explain what an allowance is, nor the difference between spending and saving; it facilitates that conversation between parents and their children. Parents can use the app to indicate how much allowance each child gets, and how much of that allowance must be saved or shared.”
“Once the electronic I owe you (IOU) is dispensed, each child can open his or her account and put the “money” into their respective “bins” (Spend, Share, Save). Children can then list their target purchases (e.g. a cupcake) and upload a picture of the item. They can also indicate who they want to share their “money” with, as well as remove “money” from their savings account (with parental permission). When a financial target is met, children can carry out the task with their parents’ help (e.g. purchasing the cupcake) and then indicate their accomplishment on the app. Once parents confirm the accomplishment, the child receives a badge!”
“Finally, parents can tap on a child and add a list of bonus chores the child can complete for extra money. Privacy is not an issue with this app, as it asks for nothing other than a parent’s email address for password recovery. No actual money is being transferred through the app, but it’s a great way for children to get used to online banking, and thinking of money in more abstract terms (i.e. debt and credit cards).”
“If you’re a busy parent, with older children, Green$treets may be the better choice. In this virtual world, children complete electronic “chores” to earn in-game currency. They can then use the currency to decorate their virtual playroom and rescue endangered species. The app implicitly teaches children the difficulty of earning money, and the importance of saving and donating what you earn.”
Contact Celia_y@tketech.co for info on camps and classes.
This article originally appeared on page 35 of the September 2016 Issue of beijingkids magazine. Click here for your free online copy. To find out how you can obtain a hard copy, contact email@example.com.
PHOTOS: Moneyisland.com, iTunes.com