Today they decided the barn and houses were the Triple “C” Farm, which stands for the family’s (pretend) Corn County Company, a firm that produces organic vegetables and provides organic milk to local groceries. The two-inch people had a grand time today. There was a proposal, a wedding and a round-up of all the horses. But most importantly, we talked about the way the farm makes money and how the family spends it when it is paid for a product the farm produces.
We made $5,000 pretend money from the sale of milk this day. So I asked them if they remember what we do with money. They remembered: “We save some, spend some and give some.” So, we figured out that we should think about giving at least $500 and talked about the charities we know about that we’d like to support. The kids came up with one that cares for wild horses. We pretended to give that one $50. Then we gave a charity that feeds hungry children half of the rest, $225, and the other half went to a pretend orphanage in Haiti.
All that might sound silly. But, these kids have developed a real vocabulary for giving. They have exercised a thought process and discussion process for deciding what charities do the kind of caring work that matters to them. And, maybe most importantly, the idea of giving away part of the money they have is an exciting opportunity that they embrace.
Generosity in a “me” oriented society may not be a child’s natural tendency, but given a little education and an opportunity to volunteer and give real money in child-appropriate situations, these kids can surpass the understanding of their peers in one of the most important lessons of life: The lesson that it is better to give than receive.
Raising a generous generation is up to us. All it takes is a little time for some fun.