Waiting Can Be Sweet!

ObjectiveTo teach children delayed gratification and about interest.
Description Jelly Beans

Learning delayed gratification is important for your child's business and financial success later in life. Use this simple exercise to teach your children that waiting can be sweet.


1. Gather a bag of jelly beans (marshmallows, chocolate chips, or other small candies work well or you can use coins for the lesson), you will also need a jar and a calendar.

2. Place the jar(s) in front of your kids. 

3. Place one jelly bean on a table. Tell your children that they can either eat their jelly bean now or they can lend the jelly bean to you for a day and they will get two jelly beans tomorrow. Let them make the choice.

4. If they offer to lend you the jelly bean offer them two more jelly beans the next day and give them the same choice. They can lend their three jelly beans to you for a day or they can eat them now. If they offer to lend the jelly beans to you then offer them three more jelly beans the next day, six more the next, twelve the next and so on.

5. If they decide to eat the jelly bean now on the first day explain how they will get more jelly beans if they wait. If they still decide to eat their jelly bean now then let them and offer them the same deal the next day (you will stay at one jelly bean though until they decide to lend you the jelly bean).

6. After you have done this for 5-7 days take out your calendar. Show them how many jelly beans they would have if they lent the beans to you for one month and the number of beans doubles every day. Show your kids how many jelly beans they would have if they decided that they would eat them right away. Explain that sometimes the rewards are greater if you have the patience to wait a little.

Note: You can also use this demonstration to explain interest to your children. Tell them that when you lend someone money they pay you interest on the money they borrow until they pay you back.



Complete When

Mark this activity as complete when you have done the jelly bean activity with your child for 5-7 days and they have a good understanding of why sometimes it is good to wait for the things we want.

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Age Range 4    5    6    7    8    9   
Activity Type Lesson
Tags Investing  Saving  Interest 
Last ModifiedRobRob


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