As has been the case since the dawn of time, children understand new technology far more than their adult counterparts. Take computers for example. It isn’t exactly a secret that the innovators in that industry are more likely to be part of the millennial crowd rather than the ever-retiring Baby Boomers. This same principal applies for mobile technology as well. Not only are younger folks the backbone of that particular industry, but people are learning about computer and smartphone technology at earlier ages. In fact, elementary schools across the country are now beginning to implement tablet devices in the classroom.
What this means is that children of all ages are primed for new and technologically advanced methods of learning. And things like mobile applications can help to educate kids as well. Along these lines, here are some top apps to help that tablet-loving kid begin to learn the fundamentals of money.
P2K – free
This app was released by the popular financial website P2K.com and is designed as a comprehensive money manager for kids. Parents work with their children via this app to teach the fundamentals of budgeting, saving and tracking expenses. For example, a child can enter his or her allowance into the income template as well as other cash-earning tasks like lawn mowing. Then they can enter outgoing expenses, such as video games or toys, and P2K displays the balance. It even offers a wish list feature where kids can enter items they are saving for in the future.
Coin Math — $1.99
This app has become popular with parents and educators alike because both older and younger children can benefit from it. The interface is designed in such a way that kindergarteners will be able to take to it quickly, but advanced enough that those in the fourth, fifth and even sixth grades won’t find it too basic. That said, there are voice instructions available for younger users.
Coin Math functions to help kids learn about the basics of coins, such as what pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters are. The app builds on these fundamentals by teaching kids how to add coins and pay for items using this currency. There are a number of lessons on offer and the drag-and-drop nature of the interface is perfect for the young ones.
Math Doodles — $2.99
Not a “currency app” per se, but it is one option that teaches kids sums and nothing but sums – which does pave the way for proper money management. Math Doodles gets a recommend because its puzzle-method of teaching math concepts is positively irresistible to kids. The animation is fun and striking, and the interactive gameplay gets children interested right off the bat. There are different difficulty modes in each of the exercises, so kids of varying ages can benefit from it. Also, there are no ads, in-app purchases or social media integration, so children can get down to the business of learning numbers without distraction.
In the end, parents should look at mobile technology as an ally in the quest to educate their kids. And while there are certainly apps geared for nothing more than wasting time, the above options represent some genuinely helpful ways to teach young kids about cash.
Lindsay Truman is a professional blogger that provides personal finance advice. She writes for PureChecks, a leading personal and business checks retailer.