TD Bank launches online money site for kids
TD Bank has a simple, yet effective, website teaching kids about money called The Wow Zone.
The site, www.tdbank.com/wowzone, is worth visiting with your children, whether they are in elementary or high school, as it appeals to youngsters of all ages and is fun and interactive.
Parents with younger children will find stories designed to help children learn about money and the importance of saving. Parents can read and watch along with their young child, discuss some of the basic financial vocabulary that's being used and then work together on the Quiz Show, which reinforces the money lessons learned. For example, one of the stories is called "Swapsies," which talks about bartering and leads into a fun way of learning the history of how money started.
As a fun follow-up to these readings, your child can visit the Game Room, where he or she can practice his knowledge about money and saving. Here, TD Bank has created crossword puzzles, word scrambles, picture scrambles, an online coloring book and a word-seek. All of these are designed to be exciting, challenging and fun.
I admit that in preparing to write this article I did some tinkering around and found myself paying more attention to the financial games than the UConn basketball game I was watching the other night. Of particular fun was a game which required me to run my mouse over a picture that revealed a small portion of a coin. It then asked me to identify which coin it was and how much that coin was worth.
For older children, there is a great virtual stock market game that is very cool. Each player begins with $100,000 of fantasy money to trade on any of the more than 25,000 stocks listed on the New York, Nasdaq, American and other U.S. stock exchanges. They'll keep track of your portfolio and rank you against the other players. Players can also check stock quotes, look up ticker symbols, learn stock market terminology and track performance.
Maybe we can get a Westport-only match going and TD Bank can sponsor a prize. Maybe it can be an all-expenses-paid three-week trip with me to the Bahamas, or anywhere we can get out of this snowy place we've been living in for the last two months? Come on TD Bank, if you're reading this article. Send me to warm weather.
By the way, for any teachers who might be reading my article this week, there are some great lesson plans for K-12 in the Educators section. I'd recommend taking a peek and trying one of them out in your classroom. It might also be fun to have one of the parents come into the classroom as a Guest Teacher to do one of these exercises with the kids.
Enjoy this website and of course I'd love to hear your comments on any success it brings you.
Tom Henske, a Westport resident and partner with Lenox Advisors, a wealth management firm with offices in New York and Stamford, created the Lenox Money-Smart Kids Program. Email: email@example.com.