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My kids are going through that stage where they want EVERYthing they see when we walk through the store.  It’s gotten so bad that there are certain aisles that we can’t even go down because they’ll sneak things into the cart, item that I don’t have a coupon for.  And everybody knows we don’t buy things without a coupon.  (Maybe that “Extreme Couponing” marathon on TV is getting to me…)

Kids just don’t understand the value of a dollar, and it’s not their fault.  It can be a tricky subject for parents to teach; heck, it’s a tricky subject for some parents to learn themselves.  That’s where GreenStreets: Shmootz Happens enters the scene.  It’s a free app that helps to teach the 5-10 group how to save, budget, and spend wisely.

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In the app kids choose endangered animals to save and each one comes with a cost.  Players then earn money by playing different mini-games cleaning up after a chaos-causing monster named Shmootz.  Weeds need to be pulled from the garden, the recyclable items should be sorted in the treehouse, and a robot is waiting to be built in the center of town.  Money is earned for each task and is divvied out between three money jars; the first 10% goes to charity and then it’s up to the player to decide what is saved to help the animal and what is used for fun spending money.

As a reformed spender the message of this app is invaluable.  My parents tried their hardest to teach me about being frugal and responsible with my allowance, but kids will be kids and I had a real taste for expensive bubble gum.  Then I became a parent myself and the cold reality of a budget hit me like a brick to the head.  How was I supposed to teach my kids to be smart with their money when I didn’t even know myself?

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My 3- and 5-year-old aren’t quite old enough to tackle this particular app so I went though it myself.  The illustrations – from Shrek creator Tom Hester - were really cute and perfect for the targeted age group.  Games were easy and fun to play and verbal directions meant no reading required.  I was so happy to rescue a baby seal that I even named him Smitty.

Neal Godfrey created the Green$treets method 30 years ago and still remains the foremost authority on teaching kids about a buck.  This new app moves the method into the hands of the newest little big spenders.  Because it’s free, and it also teaches kids an important lesson, we made it our newest All Star app.

Pros:

- Based on a kids’ financial planning system 30 years in the making
- Developed by Neale Godfrey, an expert in teaching children about money
- Uses fun games and age-appropriate illustrations to support educational content

Cons:

- None; this money-smart app is a great financial tool for little ones

 

five-star

 

Price: FREE
Age: 5-10

This app helps teach your little one about the importance of money smarts

Please help support iPadKids by downloading the game via the App Store icon below!
GreenStreets: Shmootz Happens! - A Fingerprint Network App - GreenStreet Commons, Inc.

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