A Gumball Machine Creates A Learning Experience

My kids had some extra spending money left over from the Holidays.  The other day, trying to utilize some time during a very long weekend, I decided to take them shopping.  They each had $25 to spend on something special.  We discussed some options on the way to the mall-sea monkies, football gloves, nail polish, the possibilities were endless.  So off we went to shop!
My daughter loves all things sparkly so it was difficult to keep her focused.  But she told me in no uncertain terms that she would not be going to Claire’s to get the Elsa baseball hat with a braid.  She didn’t need it.  But she did need a special book with a Frozen theme.  It had some word searches, places to “write in the word bubble”, and the old scratch pictures that I remember from my childhood.  (Remember when you colored with crayons, making sections of color, and then covered it with black paint?  Then you carefully scratched away the areas you wanted the color to show.  They make whole books like this now.  It makes me smile remembering my own art experiences.)  Truthfully, I was not enchanted by this gift choice since we already own a LOT of art stuff, but it was her choice to make.  But it was all worth it when she made a family portrait!  I just LOVE children’s art.
My son, on the other hand, made me walk around the mall so he could make an informed decision.  The irony-he hates shopping and he hates the mall.  But this was an important purchase, at least to him.  We walked around looking at all of the crap that kids love and parents hate.  Guess what he picked?  A gumball machine!  (Yes, another great item to compliment our cotton candy machine.)  He was bursting with pride as he showed it to his Dad.
Today he informed me that he was going to sell gum so he could make more money.  He concocted this business plan that included selling hot cocoa and gum in order to purchase more gumballs.  When I informed him that we don’t have enough cocoa at the moment to meet the demand, he said he was going to hire assistants.  The assistants will bring the cocoa. The other steps to his plan include making his own money and an invitation to the sale.  We are going to mail these out soon, so keep an eye out in your mailbox.  But the idea that he made a fairly elaborate business plan after purchasing a gumball machine is kind of awesome!
One gumball machine utilized my child’s creativity, math skills, reading, writing, working cooperatively with peers, and it was fun.  I thought my children picked out more junk for me to keep track of, but there was so much more to the $17 that we spent that day.

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Joyeux Parenting

I am the proud mother of two beautiful children and have lived in Boston for most of my life. I have over twenty years of experience as a Child Development Specialist working with new families, pediatricians at Mass General Hospital, and Early Intervention. I have a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding the challenges related to breastfeeding, behavior management, picky eaters, discipline, sleep, and development. I love being a wife and mother and sharing my experiences-the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am constantly learning about new evidence based information as it relates to parenting. Most importantly, I think it is crucial to recognize that we all make mistakes and learn from them. I am a firm believer that humor is essential as you navigate the world. Parenting should be full of joy and that is why I started my business Joyeux Parenting. Thank you for allowing me to share my experiences with you.

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