I’ve got two young kids, and another on the way. One thing I am always interested in is ways that I can get my kids interested in learning about money just like their Daddy. So when I was offered a chance to review a set of CD’s based just on that topic, I jumped at the chance.
The CD set includes one CD full of stories about Sammy the Saver, the main character of the stories and the face of the company.
These stories aren’t your typical kids stories. Each story was in depth, and far more detailed than I expected. The stories each had a simple problem to be solved that had something to do with money, and Sammy figures out a way to solve the problem by applying advice he learns from his family such as saving a little every day to reach a big goal later, and making things a habit.
My favorite thing about the stories are that they aren’t just about money. They include real life lessons that may be overlooked if your kids are a bit younger, but they are there waiting to be found as your kids get older.
One of the stories in particular was all about entrepreneurship, and didn’t include your typical lemonade stand (although another story did include lemonade stand) but it had Sammy creating a unique idea for a business and following through with that idea to actually generate a profit.
Another thing that I liked about the CD of stories was that it was very interactive. The stories were separated into chapters and at the end of the chapters, the author would ask a question following it with the answer. I haven’t seen this strategy in an audio book before, and it felt a lot like there was actually a teacher there, so I paid closer attention to the stories so I could answer the questions correctly. Even if the stories were meant for kids, I got into them and found the stories pretty interesting. My wife on the other hand gets enough kids stuff watching the kids all day, so she didn’t appreciate me turning the CD on every time we got in the car even if the stories are educational 🙂
The stories were also interspersed with songs that had something to do with the chapter being read. The songs were short, but gave you a little break to think about what you had just heard in the story.
On the second CD, I was actually happy to find all the songs from the stories, but in full length versions. Each song had a theme and lesson for the kids to pick up on. My kids loved the music. The lyrics were catchy and I caught myself singing the songs to myself at work.
What I found most impressive about the songs though were that they were so well done. Many of them sounded like something you may find on a Christian rock CD; very uplifting and positive, while others sounded like something you may actually find on a regular radio station. They were catchy, creative and had really talented musicians singing the songs. The genres the songs cover include Gospel, Rap, Rock, Reggae, Pop, Latin, Punk, Dance, Bop, Country and Soul…just about every type of music out there and my3 year old picked up the lyrics pretty quick and loved to sing along.
After listening to both CD’s I thought I would do a bit of research about the company and author of the stories. It turns out Sammy Rabbit actually does live appearances!
The companies website is full of resources to help teach your kids about money, and other life lessons. There are parts of the website that are obviously written for kids, and then other parts written as tools for adults. The authors back story is pretty interesting too.
I really think this company has some great tools and products to teach real lessons to kids about money, on top of the simple “save your money” (for no reason at all) that is common among kids teaching tools. The stories had experiences and examples of why you need to save, and what you should do once you save your money. Teaching kids this early to start writing down ideas, and pursuing them, is invaluable and will really help kids become successful.
The only thing I found a little odd is that on the CD with the stories, in-between stories there are interviews with the author. While I found these interesting, and they are done in a kid friendly way, my kids (technically, a little young for the CD set anyway) lost interest and wanted me to skip to the next story.
Other than that one small complaint my kids had, I think this company has struck a unique idea, is making a difference in financial education and is worth checking out.
Disclosure: While I was given the CD set to review, all opinions and embarrassing moments of me singing kids songs at work in front of my boss are mine. br>