Why We Pay Taxes

ObjectiveA fun demonstration which helps children to understand why we pay taxes.
Description Tax

Steps:

1. Gather a couple handfuls of pennies (you will need at least 16 pennies per player), some Popsicle sticks, and something to represent houses, schools, hospitals and bridges (monopoly houses would work great, or you could use small squares of paper).

2. Gather your family or friends around a table. Set a house in-front of each player and tell them, "this is your house" and I am the government.

3. Tell the participants that they get a salary of four pennies every month.

4. Give them their salary and then place a building about a Popsicle stick's length away from their house. Tell them this is where they work but there is no road to get there. Tell them if they give you one penny from their salary you will build a road for them to get to work. If they pay you, put a Popsicle stick between their work and their home.

5. Give them their salary and then say, "Uh oh, you broke your leg". If they pay you one penny you will build a hospital by the road, so that they can get a cast for their leg. If they pay, place a hospital on the road.

6. Give them their salary and then say, "You have two kids who are 6 and 8 years old - but they don't know how to read or do any math! You don't have time to teach them because you have to work." Tell them if they pay you one penny from their salary you will build a school on the road. If they pay, place a school on the road.

7. Give them their salary and then say, "You would like to build a new house, but there is a river between you and your work and there is no road that goes over there". Tell them if they pay you two pennies from their salary you will build a road to their new house and a bridge over the river.

You could keep going if you wish, add in things like services - police, fire fighting, and utilities - sewer, water, garbage removal. Just make sure you stop before it gets boring!

Discuss:

Once you have finished playing the game talk with your family or friends. Define what taxes are and what they are used for. Do you think that taxes are necessary? If so why? What kinds of taxes are there? When have you had to pay taxes?

Complete When

Mark this activity as complete when you have played the game through at least once and when you feel you have a good understanding of what our tax money is used for.

Track your progress and earn badges!

This activity is included in the following:

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Age Range 6    7    8    9    10    11    12    13    14   
Activity Type Lesson
Tags Logical-Mathematical Intelligence  Taxes  Linguistic Intelligence 
CreatedCindyCindy
Last ModifiedRobRob

References

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