It was a lazy Sunday morning at our house and the consequence of the previous nights shenanigans meant that the television was (unfortunately) off. Sunday morning spent with Netflix is how we usually manage to score an hour or two of quiet time on the weekend. But when my preschooler is making bad choices or demonstrating some undesirable language, it’s often the first thing to go. In the heat of the Saturday night stand-off, I’d promised “no tv for 1 hour tomorrow morning!”. So when Sunday morning rolled around I decided to introduce her to RBC Learning Money with Leo app (available for iPad, Mac and iPhone) instead of TV time. And, I dunno, it seemed better choice than “cut the rope” or “angry birds” :o)
In about 5 minutes, we found the game in the App Store (you can also download it from iTunes) and had it loaded onto the ipad. My daughter is fairly proficient with the iPad, having played with other games before. Given that she’s 4 and not reading just yet, I just needed to do about 30 seconds of explaining to get her going. The character – Leo – explains the puzzles ahead of time so there isn’t even that much reading required.
The object of the game, is to choose from one of the series of puzzles, complete the tasks with some efficiency, earn coins, then spend the coins at the sticker store – buying stickers to put in your virtual sticker book. After one or two turns though each of the puzzles, she’d pretty much got the hang of it. After leaving her alone playing for a while and checking back in on her – I noticed that the matching puzzle (match a word to a picture) was a lot of guesswork for her, since she can’t read, but she had a lot of fun making her best guess (usually based on sounding out the first letter of the word). The game is pretty friendly, in that it’s hard to really lose and even if you need to try again the language of the game is all really positive.
I was delighted when the full hour had passed without a peep from her and she went back to the game again after breakfast. I think I scored nearly 2 full hours to myself! Hooray! There’s also a story that is read to you that speaks to some of the topics around money – parents not having money for every whim, where money comes from and how it’s earned, and saving money to buy things you need or want.
I’m not sure how much her understanding of some of these concepts changed after playing. We talked about it a little before, during, and after but true test will be the next time we visit the toy store. I definitely noticed was her better understanding of some of the grammar around money – the difference between a penny, a nickel and a dime or how that relates to 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents; the difference between coins and dollars; what a loonie and twoonie are. Her understanding of math is at a level where she knows that 10 is more than 5 (that a 10 dollar buys more than a 5 dollar bill) but I’m not sure she is ready for the relationship between the coins and the dollars or even that 2 five dollar bills is the same as 1 ten dollar bill.
I think for older kids, the novelty of the game would wear off a little sooner than this but my daughter really loved playing over and over again. Seriously – two hours!From RBC Royal Bank – About Learning Money with Leo
Learning Money with Leo has been put together with the input of 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
Ok.. quiet time aside, it does seem like an interesting way to start teaching the kiddos about money concepts. I’m usually really stumped about where to start. We’ve covered the concept of work and how by working you earn money and money is what lets us buy things. We’ve talked about things that we can afford and things that we can’t afford. However this allowed us to expand those discussions.
Now you have a chance to enter to WIN $50 RBC Visa Gift Card to help you kick of discussions of money with your kids.
Open to Canada Only
Ends April 20th
Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter
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.