Activities at Home

A Wish List

Here's a chance to pretend that you've won one million dollars. How will you spend all that money?

What You Need:

  • Newspaper (preferably a Sunday edition)
  • Calculator
  • Paper and pencil

What You and Your Child Will Do:

  1. Imagine that you've just won one million dollars on a TV game show. Your “problem” is that you have to spend all the money — today!
  2. Have your child decide on things that would be fun to buy for a total of one million dollars. Help the child search for actual prices. A Sunday newspaper, heavy with ads, is a good source for this search.
  3. Many children look first at ads for TVs, computers, cameras, and other electronic devices. Others look at ads for trendy things, like the “coolest” sneakers around. Soon, however, children realize that the total cost of such things doesn't come close to one million dollars. (If this happens, direct your child to the real estate and auto-sales sections of the newspaper.)
  4. Have the child record each “purchase,” along with its price, and keep a running total of all costs.
  5. As your child comes close to spending the one million dollars, ask him or her to estimate categories of subtotals with questions like, “About how much are you spending on clothing? About how much on a house and a car?”
  6. Has all the money been “spent”? Oops! Hope there's something left for taxes!