My goal from the start of this journey has been to help parents raise a generation of money-smart kids. We’ve strived to make money-smart learning as fun as possible for kids to get them interested and excited about the topic. Remember, they’re already being taught that spending is fun by the time they are two years old, as advertisers are already targeting them then. We owe it to them to teach them that there’s more to life and money than spending. So, here’s a short list of materials we’ve created for use in the home or the classroom that I think might be helpful. The best part is the first two are free.
Two Mobile Apps: Kids are mobile; let’s face it. Our first two apps are designed to get various age groups excited about our core concepts in different ways. For the younger kids, we created our Money Mammals Needs vs. Wants app to help them learn the basics. For the older kids, we took a decidedly less pedantic approach and designed a fun twitch game inspired by Kaboom, one of my favorite Activision games from my Atari 2600 days. The Vargas’ Money Drop app introduces kids who may not be familiar with the three jar / Share, Save, Spend Smart system to this model, and the game is designed to excite and engage more than it is designed to teach.
DVD: Created for kids up to the 3rd grade, The Money Mammals Saving Money Is Fun DVD is a great program that comes with a companion Teaching Guide that can be used at home or in the classroom with our Teaching Kit. The DVD was our original inspiration and gave birth to every other Money Mammals product that we have designed since. Kids are introduced to the basics (primarily needs vs. wants and making choices) as well as learn a bit about saving for goals.
Joe the Monkey Saves for a Goal Book: Building from the foundation established in the DVD, my first book was the culmination of a lifelong dream to write and illustrate a picture book. It really delves into what it takes to save for a goal and why saving for goals is such a powerful life lesson for kids.
I hope you find this list helpful. As you start to talk about financial literacy with your kids, please let us know if you have any suggestions that can make what we do more effective (and more fun) or you and your family.
Chief Mammal & Creator, The Money Mammals