The boss’s mysteries,
or how money is earned

Goal: developing planning skills, perseverance and patient waiting for the reward, obtaining basic knowledge on how a business works.

What kid does not dream of having many toys and an unending supply of ice cream and sweets? Parents often reply to such needs that you need a lot of money for it and they try to explain how money is earned. How about letting the kid feel like the CEO of a company?

Every parent knows how a business works and because kids learn from specific things, we must make something specific. The proposed experiment will take a month. Next steps are shown in the table below:

The mysterious word “business”
  • prepare, print logos of various businesses (those where the parents work will do just fine)
  • talk to the child whether it knows what a business is, how money is earned and whether it would like take part in an experiment
My dream = goal Choose a dream, turning which into reality will be the goal of the business help the child choose the goal (an important one for the child, but inexpensive)
I become the CEO/td> Logo of the business, name, making business cards
  • prepare the CEO’s plaque (example below)
  • help the child to find a name for the business and draw it (or print the picture) in the form of a logo (if the kid knows letters, the name can also be written down)
  • you can also print out some business cards for the kid, so that it can hand them out
Business plan Make a business plan using a calendar
  • explain the token coin method (description below)
  • agree with the kid how many token coins it must earn to turn the dream into reality
  • help the child plan tasks, which it will carry out during 3-4 weeks, and to decide how many coins each of them is worth
  • print a calendar and glue pictures of the tasks (task) to be performed on particular days
Fulfilment of the plan Earn money (increase the number of token coins), delete completed tasks from the calendar check regularity and consistency (failure to do a task = no coins earned)
Reach the goal Reach the goal it is good to do it “with great pomp”, in a ceremonious way, because due to the emotions the particular skill or knowledge will be remembered longer
Promoting success
  • with the kid prepare a video / poster / interview advertising the business and its success
  • if you want to showcase the effects of joint work, the video / poster / interview advertising the business and its success, you can do it e.g. on the Bank Millennium Foundation Facebook fanpage
  • talk to the child to remind it that a business helps make dreams become reality, that the CEO is responsible for performing tasks, which make money grow and that in order to successful you need a plan

Proposed CEO’s plaquelink opens in a new window

Creating the plaque you must remember not to put too many things on it and that those used are colourful. You can also use short words on it. This will help get the kid accustomed to letters. The plaque should hang in an exposed place, because small children need continuous incentives (and a photo of the goal is an incentive). At the end of the text various aids have been provided, which will help with the experiment. But then “the token coin method” warrants an explanation. There is a lot of useful information about it in an interesting book by A. Kołakowski and A. Pisuła titled “Sposób na trudne dziecko”.

A classic token coin system helps raise the frequency of desirable behaviours, which occur seldom or never. If fact each of us knows such activities. An example of such a method are promotions like “10th cup of coffee free of charge”, points scored at petrol stations, loyalty cards etc.

With respect to children a token coin may be:

  • stickers put in a dedicated notebook (i.e. register of revenues and expenditures)
  • puzzle pieces, which will make a picture
  • dots, which the child will stick on a picture of a ladybug
  • stamps

It is important for the child to know how much it must collect. An example of applying this method is the picturelink opens in a new window.

When using token coin systems it is most important of all to assign a proper coin value to the tasks (for instance more difficult or time-consuming tasks may be worth more token coins) and applying these rules consistently i.e. paying the salary. In case of small children immediate incentives work best. This is why a 3-4-year old should be rewarded every day and a 5-6-year old - every 2 or 3 days. Only then will the kid easily connect the reward with the behaviour, which was rewarded.

Because it takes more than ten months to develop a child’s attitude, it is good to repeat the business plan half a year later, but this time to choose preparing something for someone else as the goal, e.g. for mum, dad or grandparents. You can also resort to stories:

  • low self-esteem, no self-confidence: “Bajka o szarym słowiczku” available on the website
  • laziness, no motivation to work: the book “Czy muszę pracować, czyli po co komu pieniądze?” by R. Pawlak