Saturday, April 26, 2008

A lesson in scarce resources

Today we went to Larchmont Elementary's annual carnival. We love the old time feel of it. There was a stall where you throw balls at a gadget and if you hit it, you dump someone into the water, bouncing castles. miniature golf, cotton candy, popcorn, that shaved ice in a cup stuff, pony rides, raffles, face painting, hair painting, and various art projects.

Ben and Shira were like kids in candy stores. Oh, wait, they were in a candy land, there was more candy there than these two see in a year. They were rushing around asking me for everything.

Finally my leg gave out so I plonked myself down in the shade and gave them each 20 tickets and told them to knock themselves out. These forty tickets took 3 times as long to be used up as the first 40. Now that they understood they were dealing with a scarce resource, i.e. tickets, they started evaluating each activity in terms of its worth to them.

I had a good chuckle while I was eavesdropping on the two of them trying to decide how to spend the tickets. Some activities cost 1 ticket, others 2 and a few 3 or 4. They went around the entire carnival looking at things they wanted to do and then working out how many tickets that would cost. They landed up at around 50 tickets so they had to trim their want lists.

I must say I am very proud of them. They didn't ask me for more tickets, they just prioritized their spending and had a great time.

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