Innovation That Matters

Interactive piggy bank teaches kids about money

Financial Services

Canadian enterprise Ekomini believes that teaching kids about money is as important as teaching them reading, writing and arithmetic. As an aid to parents, the company has given the traditional piggy bank a 21st century makeover. The Ekomini Treasure Chest features a patented coin-reader technology and hooks up to a computer via USB, enabling children to keep track of their savings and learn basic financial skills. The Ekomini package gleans pedagogical credentials from resident educational consultant Dr. Daniel Racine, who designed a platform to teach kids how to plan for purchases by setting goals, completing tasks and comparing prices; as they get older, they can also learn the basics of investment. Ekomini also aims to introduce kids to social responsibility by explaining important causes and showcasing charities. Appealing both to creative consumers and potential licensing partners, Ekomini will also manufacture a separate coin-reader unit (minus the piggy bank), so that the system can be created using any type of coin receptacle. Speaking of partners, Ekomini is casting a wide net, targeting teachers, banks, retailers, charities and other manufacturers interested in licensing their design. While products that target children are the scourge of cash-strapped parents, one that teaches future generations the value of saving could be worth its weight in gold. The product can be pre-ordered online and will be available in major retail stores in time for Christmas. One to check out if you’re involved with financial services or children’s products! (Related: Financial literacy for kidsBank run by street kidsFacilitating kidpreneurs.) Spotted by: Judy McRae



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