Webkinz Can Teach Your Children About Money
A few years ago a friend of mine warned me about Webkinz. At the time I had no idea what he was talking about because I had never heard of them but he told me that his children were obsessed with them and it took up his whole life. His warning to me was to stay far away for as long as possible. Lucky for me it would be several years before my kids would be introduced to the Webkinz World and I would finally understand what my friend meant.
For those of you fortunate enough to not know about Webkinz they are stuffed animals called pets. The unique thing about Webkinz pets is that they come with a secret code that you can use to create a virtual world. Webkinz World enables the pet owner to play in this virtual world with their pet; buying them food, clothing and accessories for their room online.
My children were recently given Webkinz animals for holiday gifts and much to my surprise they already knew all about them. It seems that Webkinz were one of the more popular toys with the kids in their class. So I knew it was just a matter of time before I would have to sign my kids up for the Webkinz Universe and to be totally engulfed in the newest craze.
As with anything that has to do with the Internet or the computer I am totally overprotective of my children and monitor their computer use. From the start my kids are only able to play Webkinz for 30 minutes a day at one time and only on the weekend (so that it doesn’t interfere with their homework). From the start I was hesitant with this new adventure but after several days of watching them I learned some interesting things.
What I figured out while watching my children play with Webkinz was that it was actually a good tool for helping to reinforce what I had taught my children about money which I wrote about in How To Teach Kids About Money. Having my children understand about money is truly important to me and it was easy to see from Webkinz how my children responded to money. This gave me yet another tool in my arsenal and a great example to explain how money works in the real world using examples from Webkinz World.
So how is Webkinz World beneficial? Here are 10 things that kids can do on Webkinz that mimic the real world and teach them a lesson in finance and money management.
- Purchasing – There are many different things that you can purchase from Webkinz World and each item has a price tag. Shopping is a big thing in Webkinz World because kids love to buy things for their pets. This of course is similar to shopping in the real world.
- Comparison shopping – Children can actually comparison shop by looking at the different types of food that they want to feed their pets and the prices of each. Some items cost more others less; so if a child is looking for a bed for their pet there are different types of beds and they all have a different price tag.
- Understanding need and want – Children can determine between need and want especially if they do not have much money left in their account. Understanding that food is much more important than the newest fashions is a lesson learned quickly in Webkinz World since the pets need to be fed to keep them happy and healthy.
- Spending Money – Children can learn about spending money. Buying things from different categories such as food and clothing to name a few. Children can see how much items cost watch their bank balance change when they purchase something and watch as there is a reduction in their bank account.
- Monitoring Spending – Children learn how to monitor their spending while looking at what is left in their bank. When deciding on items to purchase they can see how much is in the bank and decide whether or not it is wise to spend at that time or whether they need to wait until they have more money to spend.
- Making Money – In Webkinz World it is possible to make money as well. There are different ways to earn money through Webkinz. Being able to increase the money that is in the Webkinz bank is another important concept for children to learn.
- Working – Pet owners can get jobs in Webkinz World so that they can earn money, they have to learn certain skills to be able to do certain jobs. Pet owners are not always hired for the job sometimes they have to prove their skill level and other factors are also taken into consideration.
- Selling items – Children are also able to sell some of the items that they have for a lesser price. This will also help to increase their Webkinz bank account. Selling the items that they no longer want or need is another great lesson for children; they learn that they will not get as much as they spent on the item initially but that it is possible to get money back.
- Playing games – For fun children can also play games to earn money. Some are games of skill others are learning games. Playing the games helps to add monies to their bank account as well.
- Taking Care of Pet – Finally there is the lesson of taking care of a pet. Children learn that they have to feed their pets and take care of them. They can see that it costs to take care of a pet not just money but also time and attention.
Webkinz is the newest craze and it is definitely sweeping the country and the minds of children until of course the next craze comes along. While this one is here it is possible to teach your children important lessons in finances and money management something that can stick with them for the rest of their lives.
- Welcome to Webkinz® - a Ganz website
Webkinz - the stuffed animal that comes alive online in Webkinz World. Keep your pet happy and healthy and build a home for it with our cool furniture. Play online with your friends and their pets too!
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