3 Ways to Make Your Kids’ Trip to the Mall Fun and Educational

Published 19 January 2022 at 00:14

Tickikids Blog Abu Dhabi >  3 Ways to Make Your Kids’ Trip to the Mall Fun and Educational

3 Ways to Make Your Kids’ Trip to the Mall Fun and Educational

Brain drain – the learning loss that occurs when students take an extended break from school – doesn’t only happen during summertime. Ensuring that your kids continue to hone their knowledge during the holidays can be quite a challenge, too.

Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent holiday brain drain. All it takes is some extra effort and a bit of research (and perhaps attending a winter camp for kids in Dubai) and your kids’ brains should remain well-oiled even during the holidays.

The best part is, bringing your kids to the mall counts as an excellent method of fostering continuous learning.

Contrary to what some might think, shopping malls can be both fun and educational. Read on to learn all about the educational value of shopping and how to promote learning at the mall.

Do kids get educational value from going to the mall?

The short answer: Definitely.

But what form this educational value takes depends on several factors, including your child’s age.

Taking children to the mall to learn can have varying effects.

For younger ones, the trip can help them practice their reading, writing, and basic math skills through product selection, colour and size distinction, categorization, and many others.

For older kids like pre-teens and teenagers, shopping malls can teach them about budgeting and being smart about their purchases. If they’re old enough, they can even begin learning about how credit cards work.

The bottom line is that no matter their age, children can benefit from going to shopping malls by learning essential life skills that can serve as their stepping stones into becoming money-savvy adults.

Image credit: Depositphotos

As a bonus, some malls can also become avenues for learning science and technology, like Festival City Mall, where you’ll find some of the most sophisticated fountain shows in Dubai that combine the power of lights, sounds, and water.

How to Make Your Mall Trip Fun and Educational: 3 Ways

Bringing your kids along during your holiday shopping is not only an excellent way to bond with them. It could also give you a chance to teach them some valuable lessons they could use in real life.

Here are three ways you can make your mall trip both fun and educational at the same time:

1. Introduce them to the world of smart shopping

Smart shopping is a crucial foundation in money management and budgeting – two things that your kids will eventually need to learn (whether the easy way or the hard way) during adulthood.

To prepare them for the future, talk to them about consumer values and how their shopping choices affect their lives. Don’t forget to become a role model by wisely planning your own mall trips with shopping lists and a fixed budget.

For your next trip, consider focusing on teaching them the difference between a want and a need and saving cash versus getting the best value for their money.

Wants versus Needs

Wants and needs are two important terms everyone needs to learn in smart shopping.

These discussions are best begun at home and adjusted according to your children’s ages.

When you hit the mall, play a sorting game that focuses on identifying wants and needs. Call out which category each item falls under as you put them in your shopping trolley.

You can also start this lesson even before you arrive at the mall. Simply modify your shopping list with two columns – one for needs, another for wants. As you write items down, talk to your kids about why each item should go into a specific column.

Saving Money and Getting the Best Value

The other discussion you need to have with your children (particularly those old enough to understand) is the value of things. Teach them that not everything that costs money is valuable, and not all valuable things cost money.

You can point out some items that your children need – like hugs, for example – that don’t require money and still provide value for them. Others, like glittery nail polish, use up cash without adding much value to their lives.

Once you’re done with that, move on to teaching them about best-value versus low-priced items. For example, you can show your kids how buying in bulk offers better value than buying one or two pieces of the same thing by calculating the difference in the unit cost instead of the price they see on the tag.

2. Let them do the math

When teaching kids, it’s best not to spoon feed all the information. Give them some practical exercises, so they can practice whatever they learn in school or at home.

  • At the mall, you can ask older kids to handle the budgeting. Give them a fixed amount of cash to spend and let them calculate how they could fit all their shopping needs (and a few wants) into the budget.
  • For younger children, make it a lot simpler by letting them count the number of pieces that you should buy. For example, if you’re buying food for the whole family, ask them how much is needed after asking them to count how many members your family has.
  • Those old enough to learn portions can also take charge of calculating how many ounces of a certain drink is needed for your household. This is also an excellent opportunity to introduce measurements and conversions.

Image credit: Depositphotos

There are plenty of other activities you can try. You just need to figure out what is most appropriate for your children.

3. Teach them to observe with their senses

Besides the usual money-related methods, another way to make mall-going more educational is to let your kids make full use of their senses.

Take them to Dubai Festival City Mall and try the following activities:

  • Observe colours and other visual cues by playing a game of iSpy.
  • Practise reading by matching the same words together.
  • Learn the science behind unique experiences like IMAGINE Dubai. Point out how light reacts to water and figure out how the sound is transmitted across the entire place.

You’ll be surprised at the number of learning opportunities for your kids at the mall, even without spending more than you intended to.

Knowledge Is Everywhere

Learning isn’t limited to the classroom.

You can help your children learn all they need to know to prepare them for adulthood in the most unexpected places, including the mall. You just need to look closer and identify learning opportunities for your kids.

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