1. My husband and I have an Amazon Addiction. I’m pretty sure we could never leave the house, but we’re extroverts, so we have to leave on occasion. Oh, and to go to work.
2. I love gift cards.
3. I love teachable moments.
When the kids hit elementary age, we began utilizing Amazon Wish Lists for the kids’ 4 set of grandparents asking for gift ideas. The kids love sitting with us and finding 7-8 ideas to add to their list, knowing they won’t get it all. And, I love that I don’t have to keep track of it past an email to the grandparents. Even for my youngest, at age 5 or 6 we used it as an opportunity for reading, identifying & comparing numbers, brainstorming, and working within limitations (no, you can’t have that $500 thing).
This year, my 9 year old daughter received an Amazon gift card to spend how she pleases. She held onto it for a month (she’s not impulsive like me). Then, we sat together as she shopped in her various favorite topics: unicorns, greek mythology, legos, and harry potter. This stage of shopping lasted for 2-3 days, in about 30 minute sessions. I was learning mindful shopping from her!
We covered topics all over the curriculum! There was a lot of reading in the product descriptions and reviews. She was constantly using math to add up different totals, estimate, and compare prices. We also talked about shopping strategies, sorting through authentic product reviews, brainstorming, needs vs. wants, budgets, saving, giving, tax, shipping, overhead, marketing, inflation, supply & demand, quality, where products are made & why, and returns. It was a fun, educational shopping time full of stories and opening other tabs to research ideas and her favorite topics. Ex: While looking at the Lego Architecture Series (droooool), we stopped to look at real pictures of the buildings. In the end, after many calculations, she bought some books and a unicorn crossing sign. Her total was just 30 cents under the gift card price! That’s great math!
It seems like just yesterday I was pushing around a 3, 2, & 1 year old in a grocery cart pointing out letters and colors. There’s no doubt shopping will always be an opportunity to learn across the curriculum, but don’t forget the added bonus of online shopping lessons…JAMMIES!
Final suggestion: The Amazon gift card fairy doesn’t not drop by too often. So, who’s to say you can’t “fake shop” online. Play the “Hey Child of Mine, if you had $100 dollars to spend today, what would you buy?” Or, even better, get philanthropic, “Dearest Offspring, if you had $50 to spend helping a homeless person, what would you buy?” Hmmm…I might need to steal my own idea there, but really hit that order button:)
Happy Online Shopping Lessons,
PS. Dear Amazon, I’m not sure if this is already available, can you give us shoppers an option to donate an item or dollar(s) or round up our total to a charity at checkout?