A friend on my Facebook group recently asked for some apps to help her son learn some money skills. There are heaps of money apps out there, including general Mathematics apps that include some money activities, but many of them are specific to just one currency. I have several apps on my iPad that use our Australian currency and others and I intend to write a review of each of them for you over the next week or so.
First cab off the rank is Aussie Kids Count Coins from from STAAPS Interactive. International readers, don’t let the name put you off, as there are three other versions available for the USA, New Zealand and Europe. Each has a different name, but all use the same activities and all use both notes and coins.
There are six activities:
- Pay for things – drag the exact amount of cash to a box to pay for an item.
- Lemonade Stand – calculate the cost of a customer’s order by typing on the keyboard. It is great for “mental Maths”calculations, but some children may need to have a pencil and paper handy to work things out.
- Give Change – The customer pays for an item and you give them the correct change from the till. If you put too much change or don’t give enough, the customers will let you know and you can try again.
- Piggy Bank – Smash the piggy bank and count the money inside.
- Go Shopping – Spend an exact amount of money by dragging an exact number of items from a shelf. This is a pretty difficult task and requires a bit of logical thinking and problem solving. The feedback for errors is supportive as it gives the child a clue as to why the answer is incorrect, e.g. “You haven’t spent enough money.”
- Who Has More – Two creatures have different amounts of money. You need to tap the one with the most. Children can’t get off the hook by random choices, as they are then asked to add up the money for the creature they have chosen, and then both collections of money are totalled.
- The app uses images of real currency.
- The parent section show how many times your child has played each of the game modes.
- You can change the difficulty level to restrict activities to coins only (parents section).
- There is an incentive system that awards stars as children reach target in the activities.
- The app is compatible with iOS 4.0 and above so will work on the original iPad.
- Individual profiles would be an advantage for families and for classrooms.
- More feedback – The reporting system is only useful in that you can see if your child has been playing the game. I’d like a little more feedback so that I could see if there were areas where they made lots of errors and needed more support.
This is a great app for children who can already identify currency but need to practice the transactional skills involved with money, e.g. selecting change. The app is aimed at children aged 6 to 8 but some activities will be quite challenging even for children in upper primary. Use of “real currency” images will help children translate these skills into real life. The app is great value for the price.
As mentioned earlier, there are four international versions for this app. All of the apps are $2.49 Aus but prices will be different in other international stores. All apps are iPad only and require iOS 4.0 or higher.
Australia: Aussie Kids Count Coins
USA: Kids Count Money USA
New Zealand: Kids Count Money NZ
Kids Count Money: Europe