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Clever mum creates at-home shop to teach kids the value of money under lockdown

6 April 2020, 0:00 pm
  • Paula Clark, 43, created an at-home shop during the coronavirus lockdown
  • In the shop, her sons must budget to buy items they want using £1 each a day
  • The shop sells raisins, ice lollies and home baking - and fruit is free

Parents across the globe are currently juggling parenting, home-schooling and their own work, making for a stressful time for mums and dads.

But one mum has come up with a genius way to teach her kids the value of money while they’re under lockdown.

Paula Clark, a childminder and a mum of two boys from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, set up her own mini-shop at home to teach her sons, Kai, seven, and Kadyn, 10, how to budget and prioritise healthy eating and food shopping during the lockdown.

In the shop, fruit is free, raisins are 5p and if the boys want a sweet treat such as an ice lolly, they have to budget for it using the pound they are each given daily.

Paula, 43, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: “My boys and me set up the shop on the first day the boys were home after school closing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I first thought it up as my little boy is a constant snacker and always sneaking snacks so it helps him by sticking to his daily budget.

“We started by printing off shop signs and deciding where they would set up the shop, then started to build it.

“They had great fun setting up and we decided on times and the budget together. The boys get a pound a day to spend from the shop and have laminated wipeable lists to keep track of what they have bought and spent.

"They are learning about different coins, counting change and budgeting, and we will change the prices of what's in the shop as time goes on.

“We try to bake every other day or so for the shop, and the fruit is free. They really enjoy this and it makes being at home all the time a little more exciting since there's no visits to shops at all just now!

“When it's time to restock, the boys write or tell me what they would like, and I try and get what they like when I do a food shop.”

Paula has been using lots of free resources and creative pursuits to keep the family busy during the coronavirus.

"We are getting on okay so far but it's just two weeks in,” she explains. “The boys are missing going out to see friends and outings with us and we aren't getting our holiday abroad in the Easter break but they have seemed to accept and understand why.

“We will do lots at home to make up for it and keep them busy! I've printed off scavenger hunts, and plan to decorate the house and garden for Easter.

“We will also plant some flowers and have started to plant some peas and carrots and already have strawberries and raspberries in our garden.

"We have a clock in our shop too to help with learning the time and will read lots, learn times tables and do the school ork given by their teachers too.

"We do Joe Wicks PE every day or kids' yoga on YouTube and go for walks - we don't have a strict routine as such but getting dressed before breakfast and not getting into a habit of PJ days through the week seems to set us up right for the day.

"I also use Oxford Learning Tree and Twinkle for free resources online. Before we had to stay at home I had just registered as a childminder which has been put on hold for now till things go back to normality but in the meantime I'm making the most of online resources and have lots more projects in mind to keep the boys occupied while learning at the same time.”

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “Kids are such creative characters, so it’s a great idea to get them to learn practical skills such as saving money and budgeting through a fun idea such as an at-home shop.

“Paula’s clever idea not only get her kids thinking practically about budgeting and prioritising, but also gets them to eat lots of fruit and to get involved in baking too!”

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