Other Choices: BizKids, Money Instructor, MinyanLand
Synopsis: Money-managing site has shopping, strong parental controls.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that TYKOON is an online platform for learning money management. Parents set earning goals and decide how much kids should allocate to savings, purchases, and donations. Some parents may welcome the opportunity to get kids more involved in financial planning, while others may find the site overly commercial with its many opportunities for shopping.
- Families can talk about their values related to money and how websites and apps often encourage spending.
- Families can talk about the difference between a "want" and a "need." Do you think advertisers target kids and entice them to spend money on toys and clothes they don't necessarily need? Check out Selling to Kids Tips and rein in those wallets.
- Families can talk about real money vs. the concept of virtual money. Does spending virtual money make you savvier about your own real money?
What's the story?
Founded by two business executives, Tykoon allows kids and parents to collaborate on setting money-management goals. Parents create a free account for kids and decide how they can earn money (such as through an allowance or by completing chores), then decide how much of their kids' money goes to savings, purchases, and donations. Kids get a separate login that allows them to suggest tasks, choose items to buy or save up for, and browse charities for donations (all subject to parents' approval). They can also connect with friends on Tykoon.
Is it any good?
Tykoon has a smart setup that lets parents and kids communicate with each other within a user-friendly platform and give parents lots of control over their kids' experience. Parents can block categories of items they don't want kids buying in the Amazon store (such as beauty products or video games). Kids can be proactive about earning money by suggesting tasks and pay rates. Tykoon encourages saving and giving, but shopping is also a big part of the experience; for example, the dashboard includes a "spend" section that rotates through images of tempting items.
The Good Stuff
Messages: Tykoon encourages kids to be aware and responsible when it comes to money management and includes charitable giving as a major part of the process. They can also learn to be proactive about earning money by suggesting tasks.
What to watch out for
Violence & scariness: Not an issue
Sexy stuff: Not an issue
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: Tykoon has an Amazon store, and shopping is a major part of the financial-management experience.
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Not an issue