Education, Kids, Parenting

How to Teach Your Kids about Money | Best Money Academy

How to Teach Your Kids about Money | Best Money Academy

We have 3 boys ranging in age from 12-28. We have been through first checking accounts to paydays, new cars and unexpected expenses with them. Add in a College tuition and student loans starting soon for one of them and new jobs and taxes and real life happens to a teen real quick. Yet, schools think knowing dates of a foreign war is more important to managing life and finances. I have never wrapped my brain around that logic, but have been very involved with money and lessons for our boys as a parent. I am involved because they won’t get this information at school.

I wish I had Best Money Academy when our oldest boys were kids and teens. He is so spot on and it took me years and costly mistakes to learn these exact lessons myself we passed onto the boys. It is also engaging for them too!

Teenz Money Courses

Anthony is our youngest and 12 years old. He recently sold an older game console to save for a VR headset he wanted. He made that money and was so proud of his purchase. He then sold a handheld game system and games he never used and now had some money to buy games for his new VR headset. But, once he sold that item and put a lot of money in the safe he suddenly became attached to it. He did not want to spend it.

At first I was proud, but I also know that being afraid to spend at all is its own financial burden. It was at that time a few weeks ago that I was introduced to the Best Money Academy programs. Having a 7th grader with new money in his pocket and this is where we should begin, if not already, to talk money! However, it is never too late for their benefit. The Best Money Academy will guide you into how to teach your kids about money.

Kidz Money courses

You have so much within their 3 courses you can choose form:

  • Money A to Z: Ages 3-6
  • KIDZ Money: Ages 7-12
  • TEENZ Money: Ages 13+

Money A to Z is so well done for the younger kids. I wondered how you should talk money to a child, but viewing this course, it makes sense! It is meant for parents or teachers and includes a teaching guide (PDF), children’s book (PDF) and the video links. Kids will learn basics like what money is (coins, shopping topics, etc), earning money (job and chore charts), saving and spending (gifts, borrowing, etc), goals and more.

KIDZ Money is a great next step. Especially as they may soon see money in their hands from gifts, allowances. Also great for parents or teachers and includes a Teaching Guide (PDF), Kids Money Book (PDF) and video lessons. They will learn about creating money plans (paychecks, what unexpected expenses mean), managing a money plan (how to divide your money to save and spend), working together for money goals (as a family), a bit in here for single parents, money mistakes, making saving fun and more.

TEENZ Money is about real expenses and real savings for big things ahead. They will love exploring these topics on their own. More than just money there is a lot in here about confidence to face the real world. It really amazed me how they took a money course and taught things like critical thinking, career planning and confidence. There are 16 courses within this TEENZ Money course. They take important finance topics like banking, shopping smart, college planning, car savings, etc.. and make them their own, engaging lessons. They can get through each of them on their own time.

My son loves the singing (you’ll understand as your child enters a new chapter each course) and the videos are very engaging. Even I have learned a lot as we have started diving into some of these topics. KIDZ Money and TEENZ Money meet all Jump$tart National Standards, and meet (exceed) the standards in all 50 states. When you buy the courses the workbooks and sheets are included!

Get started today! Decide which course is best for your children: Money A to Z , KIDZ Money or TEENZ Money. Hurry – there is a big discount right now!

Kids, Toy Reviews, Valentine's Gifts

Valentine’s Day Gifts the Kids Will Love

Valentine's Day Gifts the Kids Will Love

When our boys were younger I remember leaving a small toy gift for them at breakfast. It typically was paired with some candy as they would trot off to school with their own Valentine’s Day gifts to hand out.

Our youngest is in 7th grade and not into handing out Valentine’s cards anymore, so the fact that we are not in-person learning yet is not a bother to him. For so many other families, it is. Even if Valentine’s Day fell on a weekend the kids would take that Friday to celebrate. There is always a party and loads of cards and candy they proudly bring home. Not this year. Let’s get them something special.

Here are some fun gifts the kids will love from dolls to blind boxes and puppies. The Secret Crush Minis are fun heart-shaped boxes that come with a candy-themed hammer to open the box and find pieces to build an adorable mini doll. Her hair opens up, so you can customize it with the included beads. Add string beads onto the included lanyard to create DIY jewelry. You can collect them all to mix and match.

We all know L.O.L. Surprise is a hit with the kids! The L.O.L. Surprise! Present Surprise Series 2 Glitter Shimmer Star Sign Themed Doll with 8 Surprises, Accessories, and a doll makes a fun gift.

Here is a favorite of mine. This is the Little Tikes Rescue Tales. They come in a few different breeds and the box turns inside out to decorate and become their dog house. There is a cat option too. They nod their heads and wag their tails and also come with an adoption certificate.

Maybe the kids won’t have 25 cards and candy to bring home this year if they are still learning at home, but we can be their Valentine! Find more gifts on Amazon for the kids.

Education, Kids

7 Reasons Why Music Is Important For Kids (And How To Get Them Into It)

As parents, we all want what is best for our children. We want to ensure that their mental, physical and emotional well-being is all developing strength as they grow. For the most part, kids will find their own way towards enjoying music, especially in their teenage years – although, as parents, we may not always favor their tastes! But learning how to play an instrument is where the real developmental benefits lay. Here’s why music is important for kids.

7 Reasons Why Music Is Important For Kids (And How To Get Them Into It)
Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

1. It improves their brainpower

The health benefits of music for children have been scientifically proven, and one particular benefit is in the improvement of their overall brainpower and memory capabilities. According to a 2016 study conducted by the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, musical experiences in childhood can accelerate brain development, particularly when it comes to reading skills and the acquisition of language. It is widely understood that music helps to stimulate the parts of the brain that are responsible for math, reading and even emotional development. 

Different instruments have been shown to offer specific benefits, too. For example, studies have shown that drumming develops the motor planning functions of the brain, essentially allowing for quicker and more efficient exchanges of information between the hemispheres of the brain. When it comes to playing the piano, one of the primary benefits is strengthening the brain’s capacity for split concentration – reading music, using both hands and working the pedals is a lot to do at once and significantly sharpens multitasking and concentration skills.

2. It can build their confidence

Particularly if you have a timid child or one who seems low in self-confidence, learning how to play an instrument can be very helpful. Once they realize that they can successfully develop a skill on their own, it can really boost their confidence and improve their belief in themselves and in what is possible. Furthermore, as their diligence results in even more improvement, both their confidence and their sense of self-determination can grow.

3. It can inspire creativity

Musicians are arguably some of the most creative people out there, and with music, there are also a variety of creative paths to take. Whether your child sticks to playing one instrument or several, or perhaps becomes interested in lyric writing or audio production – the options are vast and exploring one’s inner creative streak is celebrated. This can significantly benefit them as they grow into dynamic, artistic, and/or entrepreneurial adults.

4. It can help them to develop social skills

It’s common for children to experience challenges when it comes to adapting socially and as parents, it’s therefore prudent to encourage extra-curricular activities that promote socialization. Many music-based activities involve group work – choirs, school bands etc., all have a wonderful sense of collaboration and cooperation. These experiences help children to develop social skills – in how they relate to others, to both work under and assume leadership and discipline, as well as how to enjoy and appreciate team-based achievements and rewards.

5. It teaches them discipline

Successfully acquiring a musical skill requires discipline and lots of patience. They will need to practice regularly whether they always like it or not, especially when it comes to a group relying upon their improvement. This teaches children the importance of following through and recognizing that, in order to improve, they must put the time and effort in.

6. It is great for self-expression

Self-expression is vital in nurturing a sense of self, of creativity, of enhanced communication skill, and even a strong sense of identity. It is so important to foster a great sense of expressive freedom in children to ensure that they grow into more self-assured and expressive adults. For children who exhibit signs of overt shyness, music can be particularly freeing and beneficial in giving them new ways with which to open up. 

7. It teaches them patience

Working within any group or band requires patience. If your child is involved with a choir or other musical group, they will have to regularly wait patiently for either the leader to signal them to play, or for other group members who interrupt with challenges or questions. Through these experiences, they will learn not only the virtues of patience, but also what wonderful outcomes are possible when everyone works together patiently.

How to get your child involved in music

So, we’ve established all the wonderful benefits, but how do we get our children interested in music? 

Buy an instrument and set up some lessons – there is no guarantee that they will fall in love with that particular instrument, but if you show interest and make it fun and inclusive it’s quite possible. Make sure the instrument is child-friendly though, as some will require smaller versions, like junior drumming sets, for example.

Find the right teacher – this can be harder than it sounds, but it’s so important to keep children engaged long-term by ensuring that their teacher is a good fit for them and one who can keep it engaging and fun.

Make music a way of life – you may not be a musician yourself, but that doesn’t stop you from playing a variety of music, dancing, singing and taking your children to watch live music!

Earth Friendly, Home, Kids

Miniware Eco-Friendly First Bites Starter Set for Easier Mealtime

Miniware Eco-Friendly First Bites Starter Set for Easier Mealtime

Many kids are still learning at home which means all of the kids are in the kitchen all 3 meals everyday. When you have to teach and now prepare lunches and breakfast that would normally happen at school, Miniware wants to help make it easier on us as parents. They offer eco-friendly kits for serving meals, such as this First Bites Set for the younger ones.

The Miniware eco-friendly First Bites Set comes with:

  • 1 cereal bowl
  • 1 silicone lid
  • 1 training spoon
  • 1 detachable suction foot

The bowl is made with plant-based, biodegradable and petroleum free PLA material making it safe for your family and the Earth. The lid, foot and spoon is made with 100% food grade silicone. They are very well made and durable (if your child can manage to drop this bowl).

You have enough to worry about with the older kids so sitting the baby/toddler down with My First Bites will be less mess and a safe feeding area. For the older kids, Miniware has bento sets and plates with dividers for those who can’t stand to have their foods touch. I have one of those myself although he has grown out of that ‘food-touching’ phase.

Miniware food sets are dishwasher, freezer and fridge safe. The lid makes it easy to store and keep clean until you are ready for its next use. They also come in 5 fun color combos that you can mix and match so have fun choosing just the right set for every child. Visit Miniware or visit their Amazon store.