Virtual Piggy

Website review by
Polly Conway, Common Sense Media
Virtual Piggy Website Poster Image
Parent-monitored site introduces kids to online shopping.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn budgeting skills by making purchases and adding funds to their Virtual Piggy account. Kids are encouraged to set long- and short-term savings goals with their wish lists. They'll also gain valuable experience in money management, decision-making, and online shopping. With Virtual Piggy, kids can experience what it's like to have an account of their very own and the responsibilities that come along with it.

Positive Messages

Virtual Piggy teaches kids financial responsibility as they save, track, and spend their allowance. Kids have the option to donate to charity, which gives them a broader understanding of how they can use money.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Virtual Piggy exists to create a safe space for kids to buy things online. However, it's still all about buying, aside from the option to purchase a donation gift card to a charity of your child's choice (which is admittedly very cool).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Virtual Piggy is a secure place for their kids to start shopping online. They have control of a shopping account for each child and can add or subtract money as desired (like an allowance). Kids can buy clothing, books, and games from a selected group of retailers, then use the money in their Virtual Piggy account to pay.

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What's it about?

Parents set up a VIRTUAL PIGGY parent account, and then set up accounts for kids. Settings options allow parents to set spending limits, approved retailers, and more for each kid. Kids login to manage their spending accounts. They can create wish lists and can shop at approved retailers to make purchases with their funds. Parents can monitor and review their kids' activity.

Is it any good?

Virtual Piggy is growing, but there are some problems. There aren't all that many stores available to buy from right now, but according to the site, lots more are signing up to be partners. Some instruction is available, but only by video and it's difficult to find. It would be nice if help were more accessible. Virtual Piggy is a good introduction to the experience of shopping online, but don't expect to be able to buy whatever you like. However, the smaller selection may actually be helpful for kids as they begin to navigate the vast online shopping world.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the experience of shopping online and how it differs from an in-person shopping trip. Does it feel different spending real money online versus virtual money

  • Families can also discuss making choices, which is a big part of shopping. Why might someone choose to donate money to a charity? 

Website details

For kids who love math

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