Monday, March 26, 2012

Learning Money With Leo

It never fails. We'll be watching TV with Little Boo, and the commercials will come. And so will the refrain of "I want that!"  "OOH! I need that toy!"
How to teach him that these things cost money and money doesn't just appear out of nowhere? Mostly he sees us paying with plastic, whether debit or charge card, so that doesn't help make the concept of money any more real. 

Well, parents have a new tool at their disposal, thanks to RBC. A new, free iPad app is available for download from the iTunes store. 

Learning Money with Leo has been created with input from early childhood education experts and parents, and is designed to:
– Provide kids with an introduction to the concepts and value of money
– Teach kids about earning, saving and spending money
– Help kids develop a foundation of basic money skills that they can build upon in the years to come

There are a number of different activities designed to help kids learn about money - how to earn it, how to save it, what happens when you spend it. Completing activities earns coins, which can be used to buy stickers for their virtual sticker album. Little Boo had a great time playing with this app. Since this is recommended for ages 6 and under, he's at the upper end of the age range, and I wasn't sure how he'd take to the activities. But they were a big hit.

The read-along story was probably his favourite. A brother and sister want to save up to buy a special wagon for their dog. They do chores around their home to earn money. Little Boo really related to this one. He immediately connected their story to him earning an allowance, in exchange for helping around the house. He has his own chores like making his bed and bringing in the green bin on garbage day. He's saving the money he earns to buy a special toy he's had his eye on. 

We've been using this allowance approach to help him appreciate that earning money takes effort and shouldn't be taken for granted. When he buys something with his own money, I make sure to have him hand the money to the cashier and accept any change back himself. We did the same thing with the Teen when he was little. Involving them in the actual exchange seems to help.

I also like that this app teaches even the very basics about money. The sorting game teaches kids about the different Canadian coins and their value. Little Boo and I practised the names of the coins as he sorted them into their correct piggy banks. I think this app will continue to entertain and educate him.

Interested in helping your kids appreciate the value of a dollar? If you have an iPad I encourage you to search and download Learning Money with Leo in the iTunes app store. You can also find more tips on teaching your kids about money at and

In the meantime, how would you feel about winning some money for yourself? RBC is offering one lucky Canadian reader of Raising My Boys a $50 RBC Visa gift card. You can enter via the rafflecopter widget below. Contest runs until April 17, 2012. You can enter across multiple participating blogs, but may only win once. Good luck!

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.

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