Life lessons are best taught through experiences, and thrifting is an experience rife with opportunities.
Engaging kids in the donation and shopping process presents parents with a variety of teachable moments, and provides a space for children to develop decision-making skills – all while everyone saves money! Interested in cultivating that kind of environment for your family? Keep reading.
Choices and Impact
It starts with exposure – simply bringing the whole family along for the ride. The process of regular donation and thrift shopping becomes a normalized, even expected part of a child’s routine. As this cycle continues, opportunities to educate will naturally arise.
Here, kids can discover that the simple acts of donating and shopping keep people employed. At an early age, they can develop an understanding of how impactful their choices can be toward their community. They can learn to let go of items they no longer regularly use and start contributing to the sustainability of the donate-shop-work cycle.
Critical Thinking and Financial Literacy
With that understanding in place, the next step is evaluation. There are plenty of ways to guide development on the concept of value: maybe your children have allowances, or perhaps your family has an exchange system in place – must donate an item before purchasing an item.
Regardless, establishing financial boundaries adds a level of tangibility to value. Putting the onus of fiscal decision-making in a child’s court allows them to start weighing pros and cons, inspecting items for donation or sale and imagining a future with or without that item. With that level of responsibility on their shoulders, they can start differentiating between needs, wants, and compulsive desires.
Independence and Creativity
As these skills develop, so too can a child’s individuality and resourcefulness. How can items be repurposed? Maybe they just need to be cleaned, or given a fresh coat of paint. Or, perhaps there’s an opportunity for an item to be used in a completely new way.
Thrift stores are not limited to the same seasonal style of department and big box stores; there is always a plethora of aesthetics available for customers to consider. The mix and match opportunities are endless, and with a little imagination, kids can easily use thrifting as an opportunity to experiment and express themselves.
Find a Goodwill store near you to start saving and learning today!
A special shout out to experienced thrifter and our guest blogger, Katy Fabinski, and her family for sharing their insights.