Thursday, 31 October 2013

iChild Saving Superstar Activities review

iChild recently got in touch and asked if the Madhouse Mini-testers would like to discover their website and the wide range of free downloadable educational activities that it offers. They particularly wanted us to have a look at their ‘Saving Superstar’ packs, which they have created in partnership with F&C Investments.
In a nutshell, they’re designed to help educate children about financial management in a way that’s appropriate to their age group and above all fun. The packs are suitable for children aged 0-5 (EYFS), 5-7 years (KS1) and 7-11 years (KS2). You can download all the resources from the website but for the purposes of the review, they sent us through some printed packs.

As you can see, there are a wide range of worksheets and activities to work through, all of which are brightly coloured with lots of photos of things that children will recognise from their daily lives, making them appealing because they will relate to their own experiences. This is the contents of one pack so there is plenty to keep kids of all ages occupied.

A variety of skills are called on - not just numeracy but also writing and drawing.

I love the way the activities are totally relevant to real life, giving life lessons that will be useful and important for saving money in the future. Here, for example, you need to compare the prices in different shops to see which one is the cheapest. Price comparison websites abound these days, so it's great for kids to learn about the logic behind them and acquire the skills themselves.

Similarly, making them think about the cheapest way to buy things, in multi-packs or individually, loose or prepackaged, using special in-store discounts and promotions, is another great skill. Even as a grown-up, it's sometimes easy to get sucked in by the big "unmissable offer" signs in supermarkets that, on closer inspection, work out more expensive than usual.

Older kids get to learn about debit and credit cards in a simple way, hopefully helping them to wise up about not getting into debt as soon as they're old enough to flash the plastic.

It's not all educational worksheets though - there is also a fun Home Budget board game.

There are also star sheets, reward charts and a certificate for completing the Saving Superstar programme which will help keep them motivated.

Younger children get to discover money, learning about the different coins and banknotes in circulation.

I remember doing "money maths" at primary school myself so I loved helping Pierre and Juliette do this worksheet !

There's fun as well as learning though, for example colouring in a piggy bank.

And again, there's a board game and reward charts and stickers which are guaranteed to put a smile on their faces !

I was very impressed at how complete the programme is, covering a wide variety of aspects that are really useful in real life. The activities made the kids think about things - for example, supermarket promotions - that they usually just took at face value. When we went shopping last time, Sophie was looking out for "fake deals" that look good until you work out the price per item !

Whether you're a parent, teacher or childminder, iChild is absolutely teeming with downloadable activity packs, covering anything and everything from Rememberance Day, autumn and anti-bullying to Guru Nanak and Chung Yeung. (No, I didn't know anything about the last two either !)

All resources are available for free from the website, although you can become a premium member for £79 a year.

Disclosure : I was given a Gold membership in return for an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Book review : The Little Book of Monarchs - Tony Boullemier

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