Journey from Barter to Bitcoin
I am all for it when food is made ‘fun’ and ‘interesting’ for kids to get them to try new things. Though a foodie myself, I am no culinary artist and yet I am guilty of dressing up sandwiches or cutting them up in shapes as a tactic for tot consumption.
However, when I read that young adults are failing basic financial literacy, because it's dry and should be made fun, I wondered if we had become a planet of ‘all things fun’?
Last summer I had the wonderful opportunity to teach a financial literacy program for the community to help kids develop positive financial habits.
The target audience for this series called Barter to Bitcoin was 9-15 year old. Several children attended it and engaged in discussion topics like Barter, History of money, how cashless economy and Bitcoin works; also changed my point of view that learning is done best when it’s made fun.
Here are my takeaways from presenting the workshop:
Story telling - Story is a fabulous way of incorporating learning. We kicked off with a story of barter that instantly captivated the audience.
Gamification - Winston Churchill said,
“Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught”.An exciting game of Barter Bingo helped kids understand out all the essentials of the barter trading.
Very little instruction - A short game to take home to think about wants vs. needs was a huge hit as it got the kids to think like a provider or a parent. The kids were encouraged to make up their rules on spending, something grownups may not always let kids take charge of.
As a communicator, I found this series was an enjoyable way to deliver a message and initiate a dialog among children in importance of financial literacy.
When asked if they had fun, one response of ‘You kept it wet’ (as in, the material wasn’t dry), summed it all up.