DES MOINES, Iowa — Home schooling is the new normal, sport practices are cancelled, and play dates are not happening either. Kids are home more than they ever before and some parents are keeping their kids busy while teaching them life skills.
They are getting help from an app called BusyKid. It’s a chores app where kids can earn, save, invest, and spend allowance, and it’s seeing a huge jump in usage right now.
“Just in the last month and a half, two months, we’ve had over 50,000 people join, because I think what [parents] are saying is ‘holy smokes. We need some structure. We need to be able to organize our life a little bit better.’ And that’s really kind of what BusyKid brings to the table is, it’s a nice system,” CEO Gregg Murset said.
The app allows parents to assign a list of tasks with set values and kids can keep track of what they’ve done. Once approved, every week their allowance goes straight into an account where children can either spend it, save it, donate it to charity, or even invest in stocks.
“If [my son] doesn’t have money in his BusyKid app, he’s going to have to either earn by doing more chores or he needs to wait until he gets his allowance for the week before he can can get that app or that video game,” Ankeny mom Jill Feilmeier said. “So I think that’s an important lesson. Another lesson that our kids are probably learning right now, through this whole COVID-19 experience is just some life skills.”
Feilmeier has been using the app for two years now with her kids. During this pandemic she says it’s even more important. Not only does it help keep a set schedule, but she said it also is becoming an education tool, teaching some of the most important life skills.
“Their helping every night prepared dinner. I just think this is an opportunity. We’re never going to be all together, all at the same time. Usually, it’s an occasional, you’re here for for quick dinner, there’s only two of us, or three of us sitting at the dinner table, or actually eating on the counter. Now we all write our meals and sitting down together and everybody pitches in,” Feilmeier said.