In March, I was invited to speak at a young girls’ conference on the topic of Money Management. I quickly realized that it would be difficult to hold the attention of the (75) nine to 16 year old girls on a subject as boring as money management, so I had to bring some ammunition. I purchased about 20lbs of candy and spent hours assembling tiny bags for each girl to keep and treat as a form of currency. As homework from the lesson, each girl had to divide their candy into three equal portions– one portion to save for later, one portion to consume and one portion to give to others. Through the use of candy, they were able to understand the principles of managing their money.
As a twist, the girls had to use the portion that was designated for giving to others and use it as an icebreaker to meet other girls in the conference who they didn’t know. Also, since they were instructed to save 1/3 of their candy for later, I told them that they couldn’t leave the building if they didn’t have 1/3 of their candy remaining in their bag at the end of the day. At the end of the conference I stood at the door and checked to see if they had enough candy in their bags to go home, and they all did. I was incredibly proud of them for understanding the lesson and showing enthusiasm for the things that they learned. It was even more gratifying when I noticed that a lot of the girls who didn’t know each other when they entered in the building left as friends (or “besties,” as they called it), all because of the candy that allowed them to meet each other!
Hands-down, one of my best teaching experiences ever!
Sidenote: If money actually tasted like fun-sized snicker bars, I’d be broke all the time!