The Financial Literacy leaves are easy to incorporate during Girl Scout Cookie season. Late fall, right before the holidays, is the perfect time to introduce them because advertisements on television, radio and online are all focused on what to buy for someone or what you want someone to buy for you during the upcoming holiday season.
The first leaf to introduce is the Daisy Girl Scout Money Counts leaf. Be prepared to see that young children are not money savvy, and for many, they have never handled coins or bills before. When I was growing up, candy could still be bought for a penny, candy bars for a nickel or a dime, and packs of Donny Osmond cards for 7 cents. When Staples used to have the penny sales a few years ago during the Back to School season, I took my children there to buy items with coins. There is little opportunity for children to do that today.
The point of this leaf is not to make this seem like school, but to introduce money in a fun way.
Here are activities you can do to help your girls earn the Daisy Money Counts leaf.
Photo from Pixabay
Step 1 Understand Different Kinds of Coins
Before your meeting, you will have to decide whether you are using real coins or play money. Then put the same type and amount of coins in individual baggies for each girl so they can do the activity.
Sit in a circle and do not hand out the girls their individual bags of coins until you are ready to use them. Teacher tip: A child will not pay attention to you, but they will start playing with any object set in front of them.
Hold each coin and talk about it-what is it worth? Whose picture is on it? Then hold one up at a time in random order and have the girls shout out which coin it is.
Hand out a bag to each girl and have them empty it in front of them. Call out the name of a coin and have each child hold it up. Then have them make a pattern based on the name of the coin you say. For example, "Lay out each coin as I say it. Penny, penny nickel, nickel, penny, penny, nickel, nickel: etc. Repeat a few times with different combinations. Collect the coins when done.
Another activity you can do with the bag of coins is to have the girls sort them. Place four paper or foam bowls in the center of the floor. Ask the girls to take turns and place whatever you call in the correct bowl. For example, "Place two pennies in the penny bowl." The bowls can have a coin taped to the outside so the girls know which one to place it in.
A third thing you can do is have the girls examine each coin with a magnifying glass. Discuss how they are the same and different.
Step 2 Know More About Paper Money
When it comes to paper bills, I would use play money. This is an investment because there are activities you can do with them to teach the girls about money and giving change when they are older Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts.
Give each girl a play one dollar bill and talk about it. Repeat for the other bills. Then ask them how many one dollar bills equals a five dollar bill? A ten dollar bill? In teams, they can count the money together.
Step 3 Find Out the Cost of Fun
If you are going to be selling cookies, what are you going to do with the money you make? Many girls want to go to a fun place like Build-a-Bear or make your own pottery class. Of course, this costs money! Talk with them about planning such an activity at the end of the troop year.
You can use your phone to look up the cost of the trip and break it down for the girls to see.'
In addition, you can ask them what things they like to do that do not cost money and see if you can incorporate some of them into a meeting. For example, going on a hike will cost nothing or playing at the park has not cost as well. Taking a craft class at the library or visiting the Fire House are two more free activities you can do with your troop.