I keep a list of money and economic websites for K-8. It’s a balancing act–teaching them to value money while doing so responsibly. I’m always on the lookout for new sites that accomplish that difficult goal. I must confess, they’re hard to come by.
Until Isreal Defeo, new Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, came up with these six. I hadn’t heard of any of them except Planet Orange (which might be going away. I left it in hopes it would survive). Check these out. I think you’ll like them:
It’s never too early to teach your kids about the value of saving money. Some child experts say that as soon as your child can do basic math, that’s a good time to start. You’ll want to begin as early as you can to make those money-saving skills stick: The ideal situation is that it’ll become as ingrained and second nature as brushing your teeth or changing your underwear.
Here are some websites that can help make learning about money fun.
(Literally) out-of-this-world game takes kids by the hand to guide them through basic financial concepts. After signing up, kids pick out an astronaut name and password, and start their interplanetary travels. Tasks must be completed at every planet to earn money (or “Obux”) for gas. Besides teaching kids that money is necessary for certain activities (like decorating their spaceships), it also demonstrates the concept of bartering, or exchanging goods for other goods. ING Direct assures parents that the site is purely educational and free to join.
Gone… how sad…
Lets you pick NFL teams and play them off each other on a football field. Instead of tossing around a ball, however, kids have to answer questions so their teams can advance down the field. Different levels of difficulty correspond to different yardages.
The game has three levels of difficulty for different age groups. 11-13 year olds are taught interest and budgeting. 14-18 year olds can learn about certificates of deposit and annual percentage rates, while college-age students can focus on 401(k)s and adjustable-rate mortgages.
An initiative of The Rich Dad Company, teaches kids to be future entrepreneurs through four games. Jesse’s Ice Cream Stand will have kids decide on the best scoop size, flavor, and price to make the most profit. Reno’s Dilemma teaches about good and bad debt, and which you should prioritize paying. Ima’s Dream explains the concept of paying yourself first, or knowing to automatically route part of your paycheck into your investments. Jesse’s Big Change teaches leveling up profits in business.
The site also has resources for teachers who want to incorporate it into their lessons, segregated into four levels: Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.
A “happy place” where parents and their children (and other family members) can learn about finances. Upon membership, every child in the family gets a savings and checking account, fueled by a pretend currency called “beanz”. These can be earned by doing chores around the house, with the value of each determined in advance by the parents and children. When enough beanz are accumulated, the children may redeem something real from the parents, or donate them to charity.
Count My Beanz makes money by selling Beanz rewards cards for $5, $1 of which is donated to charity.
Partnering with Amazon.com and Network for Good, create charts for kids to track their progress as they deposit virtual currency and save up for big-ticket purchases. Similar to Count My Beanz, children earn money by doing chores around the house, which parents assign corresponding values to. Parents can choose which shops their children can buy from, and link a credit cards so their child can complete the transaction.
The site also has a social network where kids can share their activities and wish lists with family members, as well as earn trophies for donating money and achieving certain goals.
Another site where kids can earn virtual currency in exchange for doing chores. Children can choose to deposit the money they earned into save, spend, or charity jars. Parents may link credit cards, and the children may send electronic requests to the parents when they want to spend the money.
There are many other websites that can help you teach your kids about money. Take your time and choose one that’s a perfect fit for you and your kids.
Israel Defeo writes for CompareHero, the leading financial comparison web guide in Malaysia. He loves writing articles giving tips and insights that challenge his readers to save.
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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and author of numerous technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. She is webmaster for six blogs, CSG Master Teacher, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.