At 4 years old, most kids are asking about toys, maybe a bit more time on their tablets, or demanding to hear "Baby Shark" just one more time. But for Kishanna Heyward's 4-year-old daughter, she was curious about the world of finance — specifically credit. The young girl's curiosity inspired the North Carolina mother to create coloring books about credit for her daughter and other kids to understand a life skill even many grown-ups still are trying to figure out.
"I instantly went into teacher mode," Heyward, a former 5th grade teacher, tells Romper about what inspired her to create the coloring books after her daughter asked her what exactly credit was. "After an unsuccessful search [on the internet for useful resources], I decided to create a coloring book that kids would understand."
In 2020, Heyward, who owns a real estate investment company in Fayetteville, published Credit is King, Kareem and Credit is Queen, Charlene, activity books that teach children "how to use credit responsibly and learn how to create generational wealth," according to the books' description. The coloring books include fun, educational activities such as a multiplication search, a credit maze, and reflection questions about credit. You'll also find references about the three main credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — as well as scenarios about FICO scores.
"The books allow [parents] to effectively talk about finances and credit in a way that their kids can understand," Heyward says.
The coloring books also come with useful information for parents. "It was also very important to me to include a guide in the back of the book so parents can become subject matter experts," Heyward says. "I wanted every flick of the page to be a teachable moment for both parent and child."
Talking to kids about financial literacy is a little like the "birds and the bees" — it's a conversation that shouldn't be avoided and needs to be had, sooner rather than later. With that in mind, Heyward started introducing the concept of money to her daughter at the age of 3. Together they would play with her toy cash register. "I believe when you know better, you do better," Heyward says. "Exposing kids to financial literacy can help them build a solid foundation to avoid financial pitfalls later as an adult."
Right now, Heyward says she's currently teaching her daughter about credit and "how it can be used to create assets." And beyond these coloring books, her future plans include creating more kid-friendly resources on financial education to help both children and teens "become more financially literate."
You can purchase Heyward's 50-page coloring books on Amazon for $10.99.