Thursday, January 29, 2015

Zayd's Chore Jar and the Value of Money

For years now, Zayd has loved his animals. We have so many Toobs and then we upgraded to Schleich animals. (Buy some, head to pinterest, and you will figure out one million ways to have learning through play with these little plastic figurines. Invent a game called "Building a Zoo" with legos or Magna-tiles and you will have happy toddlers for an hour.)

The need for more and more animals has become nearly insatiable. While he got the Penguin he so desperately wanted for Christmas, he then needed a second penguin to have a mommy and a daddy. So, that got me thinking: these things are less than five dollars each, he should really be responsible for buying his own. got the wheels turning.

Allowance? That was my first thought. Does my three year old need allowance? My parents were always more than generous with money. I have definitely heard stories of getting $1 when I was one year old. I imagine Zahra would have eaten a dollar at one year old but I also hear I was...more tame. I considered it. I even talked to Zayd about it, but the truth is, he has/had no concept of money to even know if he wanted an allowance. We had to start smaller: do a chore I need help with, and I will give you fifty cents. We got a small mason jar and started collecting coins. After about a month of this, Zayd has learned the following chores:
  1. Put away all of the utensils, his own dishware, and baking pans from the dishwasher
  2. Load the washing machine
  3. Fold washcloths and his own shirts
  4. Bring the myriad of cups from each room in the house to the dishwasher

About one week into the chore-ing, I took Zayd to the toy store so we could find a goal. I was thinking a Schleich animal would grab his attention. Well, I should really research first. There were no plastic animals at the store we went to. BUT there were small intricate trucks. He set his sights on a small fire truck with a working ladder and door, and lights! It was $ 20 chores once you calculate tax. It was a bit more than I was planning but he was set on it, and I got onboard.

Zayd's new skills and successes are enough to make me love this chore jar. It has also given us so many opportunities to count coins! We have printed a few worksheets for coin sorting, talked about the value of money, and talked a LOT about addition. How many more chores did he need to get ten dollars? Really?

We had many days of sad money counting to some number less than $10,

but by Monday, we were at $10! (I may have paid his $1.50 on that last day for a single chore but he didn't notice and I had time for the toy store run that it mommy magic!)

He gathered up his jar and put it into his backpack.

"Let's go mom!"

"OK, one smile."

School has taught Zayd the importance of holding the door for mommy. Swoon!

Zahra wanted to know if she had enough money for this thing. I told her she had enough to play with it at the store.

Zayd brought his own chore jar and truck up to the lady. "Excuse me." I really could have wept OR giggled because it was so adorable.

I didn't get any photos of the exact transaction but it was adorable. Here he is packing his stuff into his backpack for the ride home. We had to keep that firetruck safe!

And here is a photo of the three of us outside the toy store celebrating our accomplishments. We were probably the three happiest people in the Quarry that day.

Some other interesting tidbits from this adventure.
  1. Zayd doesn't accept dollar bills, even on double chore days
  2. Zahra also wants money
  3. Zahra can fold clothes alarmingly well
  4. Zahra loves folding clothes
  5. Zahra ONLY accepts pennies for her work
  6. Zahra wants two pennies because she is two (I tried explaining she had earned 50 pennies but she screamed at me, so she has made about 14 cents this month.Don't worry, I bought her a sticker book.)

I really am so proud of my young son. I have told him this at least every day this week. If I could ask for nothing more, I would hope that he felt proud on that day. Proud to be able to buy himself something he wanted, to learn new skills, to have the guts to talk to lady behind the cash register. It was a very special afternoon. 

1 comment:

  1. Zayd is amazing. You are amazing. Zahra, too. I loved this one so much.