How to introduce business concepts to a child.
In the past year, I’ve been trying to teach my three year-old the concept of money and commerce. Not always easy to grasp for a first-world kid, growing up in the land of consumerism and excess. She sees the swipe of a magic plastic card, and “bipity-bopity-boo!” we’ve got what we want. Just like that. “Mommy, I want a credit card”, she says. I almost fell over. Still, I was determined.
First, we needed a product and a means of selling it. As it happens, we are a craft-loving family, and one of our favorites was making a tutu. (Also, a big ‘how-to’ favorite on this blog). Our business plan was to take our tutus to the preschool craft fair, and make some pretty pennies for Mr. Piggy bank!
There are plenty of opportunities to sell for a child, if one looks. Schools, towns, churches and other community organizations have fund-raising events throughout the year, in the form of craft fairs or food sales. Most of the vendors are often professional sellers with great displays, many whom have made them into a living. It takes some guts to go out there and try to do something on your own like that, even for us grown-ups. But I thought, why not get my 3 year-old used to the idea?
Next, was production. We (I, with her watchful oversight) began making tutus. Just a handful of them. Leading up to the fair, we talked a lot about the process of making and selling the product, trying to get the concept across. We made a little sign, and displayed them on a crib wall with ribbon and clothes pins.
It was great! She sat through the whole fair like a champ, socializing with other vendors and selling product to her friends and strangers alike. We did have leftovers, but managed to sell those on an online mom-group page to friends afterwards. It was really mostly for the experience. I was so proud of her. She was so excited to put that hard-earned money into her piggy bank.
So, go ahead and get your little ones out there in the world. It can be as simple as a bake sale. There’s no need to wait until grade school to experience a little taste of business! Here comes the next generation!