Sarah Willingham: “Baking with the Bambinos”

Today we have a guest post from Sarah Willingham, BBC Dragon,  consumer champion and mum-of-four, about how she used Jangle to help teach her kids about money.

I am at my happiest in my kitchen, especially with my kids.  We LOVE to cook, bake and eat together. I don’t know a child who doesn’t love baking… even those who just want to lick the bowl at the end. So this weekend I set my little ones a challenge using Jangle, the free non-commercial iPad I’ve partnered with Experian and pfeg (Part of Young Enterprise) to develop.

The whole idea of Jangle is to get kids to do activities to earn money whilst working or learning. It’s full of pre loaded suggestions.  I did the ‘bake off’ and got the kids to hold a cake sale for the family.

Baking_Challenge_PicSo simple to set up, I used Jangle to explain to the kids exactly what I wanted them to do. My youngest Marly, is just a little too young at 5 to understand the cost of things but he loved helping the others and decorating! For the other 3, Minnie (9), Monti (8) and Nelly (6), it was great exercise to get them thinking about costs, unit price and profit.

It started with the kids making a list of all the ingredients they needed and finding the cost of each item – taking into consideration the quantity required – Nelly struggled with calculating the price in relation to the quantity but she was great at finding the price per packet of things. Then came the fun (and extremely messy) part… BAKING!   After a bit of mixing, pouring and A LOT of mess later, the cakes were in the oven.

While waiting for the cakes to bake, we sat down together and talked about the total cost, cost per cake and the price they would sell the cakes at, making a rough calculation of estimated earnings and profit.

I was SO amazed at how much they had learnt at the end of it all (even little Marly) – and all while having a bit of fun. They had a greater appreciation of the cost of things and even spent some time after guessing the cost of some of their favourite foods. I’m a huge believer in teaching kids about money through real life experiences.

The lessons that kids can learn by earning or doing something are invaluable skills that will stay with them for life. We had a great afternoon, the kids absolutely loved it and it was the perfect way to spend time together doing a fun activity but with a valuable learning at the end…. I ended up a few pennies lighter in my wallet and a few pounds heavier on my hips… haha! Great cakes though!

At the end of our Jangle Bake Off, my four were able to:
–          Calculate the cost of making the cakes
–          Set a price based on their costs so they made a profit
–          Estimate their profit

What’s great about Jangle is that it allows you to teach your kids about money, while doing the activities you do on a day-to-day basis.

So why not give it a try yourself. With Father’s Day fast approaching it could make a tasty, sweet treat for daddy – you never know, you could even win £150 worth of Love2Shop vouchers.

We’ve partnered with Family Budgeting and My Monkeys Don’t Sit Still to offer two of you the chance win goodies for the family – check out their blogs for further details.

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