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finance

May 2014

Teaching kids about money is child’s play thanks to the launch of an iPad and iPhone version of the popular Moneyville online game.

The online game, which is now available for download on the App store, is narrated in different Northern Ireland accents.

Moneyville is a fun and educational game which helps kids understand the value of money and encourage financial confidence from an early age. It has been developed for children between the ages of 4-9, but children both younger and older will also enjoy exploring it.

Moneyville gives parents and teachers an easy, entertaining and alternative way to start talking to their children about money.

Through fun games and various activities children will learn where money comes from, the value of money and how they can earn it. The game teaches children that they have to save money before buying things that they want.

In Moneyville, a child can visit a wide array of areas and games. Gold and silver coins are earned by doing jobs in a variety of fun situations such as –

- The Farmyard ( a new game launched with the app version) where your child can earn money by helping the farmer to feed all of his different animals.

- The Apple Yard, where your child can make money by gathering apples and selling apple juice.

- The Post Office, where your child can make money by sorting out packages according to monetary value.

- Penny’s Shop, where your child can purchase items for his/her room and clothing items to dress their own character.

After working to earn their money children can then spend it in on virtual toys and games in Moneyville.

Moneyville has been created by Danske Bank and is a key part of their financial literacy programme and commitment towards helping to prepare the ground for a healthy financial start to adult life.

Alison Falls, External Relations Manager at Danske Bank, explains a bit more about why the Bank has created this game and how successful it has been to date.

Alison lives in Templepatrick and is a mother to two young boys, Tom (5) and Ollie (3).


Q. Who is Moneyville aimed at?

A. Moneyville is best suited to children of primary school age. More specifically boys and girls aged 4 and above. Having said that, my three year old enjoys playing it too.


Q. How popular has Moneyville proved to be amongst parents and children?

A. Moneyville.co.uk was first launched by the Danske Bank back in 2009 and was the first website of its kind in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland version is tailored for the local market. All of the characters have local accents and the content was developed with input from the Curriculum Council, the office of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People and child psychologists.

Since its launch the game has been extremely popular amongst children, parents and teachers, with 5.3 million users in 8 countries.


Q. Moneyville is primarily about entertaining children, but can you tell us a bit more about the educational side of the game?

A. We recently carried out some research which shows that parents in Northern Ireland are very keen to give their kids a basic understanding of money and mathematics from an early age.

Even children as young as 4 or 5 can have a massive influence on consumption patterns in families and yet few understand where money comes from or the value of different things. Many children think that money is just something you have, and parents can find it challenging to explain what money actually is - or where it comes from.

In Moneyville children can play their way to a better understanding of how money is earned, how to prioritise and how to save up for the things that he or she truly wants. It’s a great starting point for talking to your child about money.


Q. Do you encourage children to play the game on their own or in conjunction with their parents or teachers?

A. Moneyville certainly helps facilitate a discussion about money between children and their parents or teachers, however my 5 year old is equally happy playing the game on his own.

On the website itself there is a parents section and a teachers section with suggestions and ideas about how to incorporate Moneyville into lessons for different age groups. Many local teachers are already using it in the classroom.


Q. How does Moneyville help in the classroom?

A. Moneyville fits particularly well into the Maths parts of the current Primary School curriculum here in Northern Ireland. It helps feed into the work teachers are already doing with their pupils encouraging early years learning skills to prepare for later life and work.

Many of the games within Moneyville have elements that function as dialogue tools and are a good starting point for teaching children about the value of money and knowing basic mathematics.


Q. As a parent have you played Moneyville with your two sons and did they enjoy it?

A. Yes, both my children have really taken to it – Angry Birds hasn’t got a look in since the Moneyville app was downloaded! We were already using educational apps to help with phonics and numbers but none relating to learning about money.

At 5 Tom is the perfect age to introduce an app like this. We give him a small amount of pocket money to try to teach him about saving and spending and how much things cost but it’s not always an easy concept to grasp at that age. We have had to explain more than once how £10 savings won’t stretch to a Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon! Moneyville is definitely helping though and the fact he enjoys playing the game makes it all much easier.

Tom loves the fact he can create and personalise his own character, choosing his clothes, shoes and even hair colour and typing in his name. His favourite games are the Post Office and the Apple Yard.


Moneyville can now be downloaded from the App Store.

Pic 1: Tom playing Moneyville

Pic 2: Alison Falls enjoying Moneyville with Tom.

Pic 3: General stock shot graphic of Moneyville

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