It amazes me that, for kids who do not watch much TV, my children sure know a lot of the characters that can be found in the toy store. They’ve watched a few selected Disney Movies, and a few videos, such as Dora and Bob the Builder, but we rarely find the time to watch videos brought home from the library. We just have other things to do and play.
So when they come to me saying, “Mama, I want a ‘such and such’ toy,” I’m a little taken aback. But I’ve gotten good at saying, ‘Well, next time we are at Target you can bring some of your own money and buy you something.” That usually satisfies and I don’t hear anything for a while.
And then I had an idea!
I needed to go to Target to buy a wedding gift this past Friday, so I decided to use the opportunity as a field trip. I told the kids to gather up some of their money and that they could buy something for themselves at the store. RB took $28 and Sweet Cheeks took $10. All of this money was either from birthday gifts, cash they had been given for doing extra chores around the house, or rewards for certain behaviors.
I explained to the kids that they would need to choose a toy that cost less than the amount of money they were taking. RB seemed to understand because he responded with, “Yeah, I have to pay tax on it too.” I also looked each child in the eyes and told them, “Do you want to hold your money, or do you want me to put it in my purse? If you lose your money, I will NOT replace it. Money is valuable and we have to take care of it.” Both children decided I should hold on to their ziplock bags of dollars and coins.
Off we went.
The kids took a stroll down the toy aisle. Sweet Cheeks wanted a My Little Pony and RB wanted a tractor.
Once we saw what our choices were we had to discuss prices and whether or not they had enough for what they wanted. The other item we had to discuss was whether or not the toy was a good deal or not. RB decided it was a better deal to get a tractor trailer with cars and accessories, than to spend the same amount on just one tractor.
Sweet Cheeks was excited that her purchase was on sale.
When we went to the check out, I had each child go through the process: Put the toy on the conveyor belt, speak to the cashier, listen for the final price, pay the cashier, wait for change, and pick up the toy at the end.
As we left the Target, the kids were so excited and couldn’t wait until we got to grandma’s house to open their purchases. Daddy met us there and helped open the boxes.
The kids seemed proud that they could tell grandma, aunts, and uncles that they had purchased their toys with their own money. And I must admit that the children seem to be playing with these toys with great enthusiasm. We’ll see how long it lasts!