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Why Do Things Cost So Much?

Category: Activities: Home | Age Group: 11-13

TOPIC:

Supply and Demand and the Value of the 3 R’s – reducing, reusing, recycling

RESOURCES NEEDED:

No specific requirements

LEARNING OPPORTUNITY:

Children need to become educated consumers and understand some of the factors that affect the price of goods and services. In this way, they can begin to see the importance of buying wisely and valuing the need to reduce, reuse and recycle. By doing so, they can better appreciate the value of things and reflect on both the necessity of obtaining certain things and the careful maintenance of current possessions.    

THE ACTIVITY:
  • Find a moment to sit down with your child and begin a conversation by making reference to things where price can fluctuate. (For example, in discussing the cost of a holiday during March Break you could ask “Why is it that flights to Florida always go “sky high” during March Break when we want to go away?” or “Why does fresh fruit always cost so much more during the winter?”
  • Get your child’s ideas as to why the object that you chose varies in price.
  • Lead the conversation to the idea that supply and demand can have a great deal to do with it.
  • Explain the concept of supply and demand – see “Supply and Demand” under “Websites” below if you need help with the explanation.
  • In order to present your child with an example of supply and demand, ask if they can think of something that has a higher price than they think it should have because their friends desire to have one.
  • Discuss with your child what they think would happen to the price if suddenly that item was no longer popular.
  • Ask your child if they can think of an example where that happened.
  • Indicate to your child this most likely indicates that item was more of a want than a true need.
  • Explain to your child that needs are things that are essential, such as food and clothes, whereas a want is something that you would like to have, such as a certain brand of jeans or show tickets.
  • Explain to your child that people can reduce the demand of items in a number of ways and thereby keep the costs down.
  • Ask if your child has any ideas about how people can keep the cost of things down.
  • Once you get your child’s ideas you can augment the list by talking about such ideas as:
    1. Shopping wisely for items that will last and, are not just fads, and, buying “off season” and putting them away for future use.
    2. Reducing, reusing and recycling
    3. Examining renewable alternatives to the use of non-renewable resources.
FOLLOW UP IDEAS:
WEBSITES: