The Money Talk: Game 3 "Savings and goals"

Play this third game with your kids and learn about savings with a delicious experiment that features a cookie you can’t eat.

Game #3: Can you save a yummy cookies?

Do you like cookies? Yes? Good, because the only people that can play this game are the ones who really like cookies. But it’s really hard, some kids (and even parents) think it’s impossible. Here’s how we play. I’ll give you a delicious cookie, but you can’t eat it yet! Why??! Because if you can save it, and not eat it for 5 minutes, you’ll get another cookie. That’s two cookies!

Do you think you can do it?

What you'll need:

  • 2 cookies (or similar yummy treat)

  • Timer

Step 1: The cookie experiment

Give your child a cookie and explain that if they can resist eating it for 5 minutes, they’ll get a second cookie. But if they eat it before the 5 minutes are up, they won’t get a second cookie.

Step 2: Set the timer

Set the timer for 5 minutes and wait. Is the cookie still there? Great, give the second cookie as a prize.

Saving is a tough concept to fully appreciate. Why wait when it’s so easy to have that instant gratification? This small activity introduces the concept of saving, and shows us that when we save, we’re actually giving ourselves a reward for later.

What did we learn?

Saving is hard! And this was just for 5 minutes! Was your child thinking about the second cookie while they waited? Saving becomes easier when we have a clear goal in mind, in this case it was the thought of a second cookie. Let’s use the cookie experiment as a way to discuss saving in a broader context.

Questions and topics to kickstart the conversation with your kids

Q: What was something that you first saved for as a child?

Did you save up for a bike? A new football? How did you do it? How long did it take?

Q: What is your child saving up for?

Plan it out. How can they earn money? How long will it take them to reach their goal?

Q: What are you saving up for?

A new TV? Home renovation? Show your child that saving money is important for everyone and it’s even something that parents have to do too.

Did you know?

It’s easier to reach a goal when we make it as specific as possible and are able to clearly visualise it.

Real life challenge

Did you know that when you see the progress you’ve made towards a savings goal, you’re motivated to continue saving more? A transparent money jar can do the trick. Set up a loose change jar for your family. Every time anyone has some change, place it in the jar. When the jar is full, treat the family to something special.

What is the Money Talk?

Do you need it or just want it? What does it mean to earn money? Why do we borrow money? And why are advertisements not always as good as they seem? The Money Talk game is developed by ING's partner 'the Think Forward Initiative', designed to get kids curious, asking questions, and start the conversation about money.

Think Forward Initiative’s mission is to empower people to make better financial decisions. This includes kids! One of the most promising methods to teach children about money is to talk and practice. By giving them the right tools and support, they’ll develop the capability to make financially sound decisions later on in life.*

So, set aside a little time to play Money Talks, a game for parents and kids to laugh, learn and play their way to financial understanding.

Ready to play?

*Amagir et al (2018); Johnson & Sherraden (2007).