Monday, May 19, 2008

The Value of Money

A couple of weeks ago, we were shopping at Target and Jaxon saw a baseball bat and decided that he just HAD to have that bat. Black, aluminum, just like the ones he saw the big kids were using at the park earlier that week.

Well, it is certainly not something he needs, he is only 4 after all! But man, I tell you, I have never seen that kid want something so bad. He was actually sobbing when I didn't buy it after he carried it all through the store and to the cash register. So we had a little talk and I decided this was the perfect opportunity to teach him about the value of money. Oh, he knew we had to pay for things, but he didn't yet understand the concept of where the money comes from, or how much things cost.

So I made a deal with him right there in Target. He could help me out doing things around the house, weeding, cleaning, etc. to earn his own money and when he saved up enough money he could buy the bat himself. He was still a bit disappointed at having to wait but perked up when I told him he could buy it. He seemed to grasp what I had told him about earning the money and saving it until he had enough, and sure enough, he has continued to remember the convesation and has shown a surprising understanding of our discussion.

So for the past couple of weeks he has been helping by cleaning his room, getting dressed by himself and a variety of other things, as well as helping with bigger stuff beyond the standard everyday expectations, such as helping to pull weeds at both our house and Grammie's house. While he doesn't get money for the everyday stuff, he does get money for pulling weeds. Each time we have thanked him for helping and presented him with a dollar or two (well, ok Grammie gave him $4!) which he has put in his treasure chest. Each time he added to it, he would count to see how much he had, and I would tell him how many more dollars he needed.

Well, this weekend he reached his goal so today after I pick him up from day care we are going to Target to buy his ball and bat!

On a side note, he had quite a collection of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies in his treasure chest too, and we showed him how to "trade" those for dollar bills. So he also is learning about different coins, and how much they are worth too. It has been quite an effective learning experience all around!

1 comment:

Leslie said...

That's awesome! What a great lesson for him.

You've got me thinking...I need to start teaching Julia about money. I mean, she has a money game and knows it takes four quarters to make a dollar and stuff like that, but she has no concept of what a dollar buys. And if you ask her what something costs, she'll tell you, "Ninety nine dollars." No matter what it is.