Shopping…it is an activity that most girls love! During the years your girls are Juniors, the awareness of brands and where people shop becomes more evident. The tween years are ones that advertisers heavily market to because they have many wants and Madison Avenue knows how to trigger them.
Earning the Girl Scout Junior Savvy Shopper badge is one where we can help guide girls to see what they truly need and what they are convinced they want.
Photo from Pixabay
Step 1 Explore Your Needs and Wants
- One posterboard divided with one side for “Needs” and the other side for “Wants”
- Pictures of needs and wants cut out from magazines and Sunday circulars
At this age children have probably learned all about needs versus wants in school. Briefly talk about this and ask some questions:
We need cars to get to work. But do we need a $60,000 car versus one that is $10,000?
We need to wear clothes. Does it matter where you buy them?
We need to eat food. Is the store brand always better to eat than the name brand?
Photo from Pixabay
Lay the pictures on the table and have the girls talk about where they should glue the different items. Talk about why they chose the categories they did.
Step 2 Look Into Why You Want What You Want
Ask the girls why they want something. What influences them? Commercials? Ads in a magazine? A website? Who influences them-A celebrity? A best friend? An older sibling?
Talk about fads from your childhood. For me, it was Wacky Pack stickers, mood rings and Klick Klacks. Have the girls heard of these things before? What is a fad now that they feel that they must have? How do they know about it?
Step 3 Find Out What Makes People Happy About What They Buy
In small groups, give the girls five minutes to talk about one thing they absolutely love that she bought or one thing she wishes she had not wasted her money on. Then have the groups share.
Step 4 Learn How to Decide What to Buy
Here is an opportunity to go on a field trip and do community service. Go to the grocery store or a big box store with your troop and some parent volunteers. Give them each group ten dollars and the mission to buy as much nutritious food as they can for that amount. Have a meeting place where the girls can compare their purchases and see what each of them picked.
Check out and if possible, deliver the packages afterwards.
Make a Plan to Buy Something You Need or Want
This final step is perfect for teaching the girls how to spend their cookie money. Tell the girls how much money the troop earned and ask how it should be earmarked, What percentage should go to a charity? What percentage should go to a big trip or event? How much should be saved for next year?
Creating and planning are both very important parts of being a savvy shopper. You cannot spend what you have not earned!