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Pros: Enough material for an immersive cross-curricular unit.
Cons: Money is in pound sterling. Not a ton of supports, data, or customizability.
Bottom Line: This is a delightful, kid-friendly intro to financial health with a great mixture of activities.
The story and its support materials are designed for use in the United Kingdom, but editable pages in the Teacher Sample make this program accessible to teachers who'd like their students to learn with another country's money. A few quick cut-and-paste actions can tweak activities to your needs.
Although the program is focused on financial education, the activities, from the printables to the storybook, can be worked into your subject blocks during a school day, including math and reading time, or even as a free play option, thanks to the digital shopping game. The site's Dino News articles can be used to circle back, review, and continue learning even after the unit is done. These blog-style articles ask deeper questions, connect to bits of the story, and include assembly ideas. Note, though, that the assembly includes an optional Christian prayer.
Milo's Money is an intro to financial education for 5- to 7-year-olds. The program features a book -- accessible online or in print form -- about a young dinosaur named Milo as well as a web-based game. In the book and game, Milo learns about money (pound sterling, since the publisher is based in the U.K.). Milo also learns that money is a thing we get in exchange for work. When he isn't sure what to do with his coins, he gets advice from all sorts of people and learns that coins can be used for things we like or, as Milo's aunt explains, that coins can be saved. Other characters teach Milo about sharing, donating, and even investing his money.
Registration is free, but even without registering you can still access printables and interactive online resources that expand the story and support student financial literacy. Circle time is the perfect place to begin, especially if teachers are lucky enough to have an interactive whiteboard or tablet. The online book includes "pullout" activities -- the kinds of things you might find stuffed in a pocket on a book page -- that are ready to go with a click.
Teaching the basics of what money is and how it's used is the perfect place for young kids to begin their journey toward financial health. Lesson opportunities grow from there, and while saving is an option, the program takes a softer approach, allowing students to spend what they've earned to learn a bit about balancing wants and needs. The handy resources surrounding the game and book offer chances for students to grow their knowledge and skills. All of these resources, as well as the book and game, make sure to keep everything within kids' developmental reach and focus on reinforcing learning and building cross-curricular connections.
Teachers won't find the robust customizability, reporting, and accessibility options (beyond audio narration) that they might find in other tools, but Milo's Money is still a compelling, ready-to-go package that can fit in most classrooms.