How I Explained Taxation to a Class of Kindergarten Students


How I explained taxes to children in a kindergarten classroom without having them lose focus or fall asleep on me:

 

Q: Do you know what a tax is?”

It’s something you have to pay.

Q: Why do we have to pay taxes?

We pay taxes for things we need.

We have to.

We pay taxes so poor people can have some money too.

Q: Any examples of things we need?  How about some examples of things we need that we all share.

1) Roads

2) Lights

3) Signs

4) Sidewalks

5) Playgrounds

6) Schools

7) Policewomen

8) Firemen

9) The trucks that come to take our garbage away.

10) Hospitals

11) Doctors

12) Food – Do taxes pay for food?

Not usually.

We have to pay for our own food. But taxes pay to make sure our food doesn’t make us sick.

Money we pay as taxes make sure we have clean water.

Q: Does anyone remember the ice storm, and when all those branches and trees fell on peoples houses and cars and all over the street?  Men and women had to come to take the branches away.  Taxes paid for that.”

Snack time – I brought cupcakes for the kids.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Nothing is certain except (Hello Kitty) death and taxes,” and just as your children will gradually learn about (Hello Kitty) mortality, they will also find out about taxes and other financial issues.

There are taxes everywhere on almost everything to make sure that everyone has a chance to pay taxes and share.

Paying taxes is like this container of cupcakes.  This pile of cupcakes is the economy. This is the money that belongs to the whole country and everybody needs a piece – the schools, the street cleaners, the hospitals, and the TV stations.

Without their cupcake, the government can’t provide any of the things we need.

If we gave all of our cupcakes to the government we would have nothing left.  But taxes are like taking a little bit off – the wrapper, maybe – to give to the government while we keep the rest.  The government collects all the wrappers and uses them to keep all of us safe and healthy and helps us learn and grow…

Apart from enjoying a fun time, your kids will learn a very valuable financial lesson…sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

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Let’s talk about snacks…


I want to talk about snacks with the parents in the house. 

Is there a protocol? An unspoken rule? Please… Enlighten me.  I want to explain what happened to us in the spring when Linus signed up for t-ball, and compare that to what happened to us during the boys soccer season (currently underway).

Essentially, t-ball snack time went something like this.  After the t-ball game all the kids ran over to the designated snack-providing family, at which point the parent(s) would open a bag and produce a juice box and a rice krispies square for all the kids and siblings.  They are nut-free and if you buy them at Costco, quite inexpensive.  Problem is, there are brutally unhealthy and full of chemicals.

UGH.

Drinking juice at 8pm made my son nuts – his bed time is usually 7pm, or just after – and the rice krispies burned my kids (and some parents) lips.  That is just disgusting.  But the precedent was set.  Week after week, parents produced the sugar water and bag of chemicals and the kids loved them… Until it was our turn.  We brought watermelon.  The kids LOVED that.  They ate it all up, as did some of the parents.

So fast forward to soccer.  As I’m sure I mentioned previously, I am coaching both my boys soccer team, one on Monday and the other Tuesdays, and being the coach, I get to arrange the snack schedule.  So I made sure that myself, or a friend of ours who share the healthy, no-sugar / chemicals mentality, brought snack for the first coupe of weeks so that we could show the parents what to bring and instead of seeing a steady stream of crap, we get some healthy snacks… It is summer afterall, and fresh fruit is a plenty and quite inexpensive.   What would you rather have – let your kids eat?  $3.97 box of Rice Krispy treats, $1.99 bag of 12 fresh oranges?  It’s a no-brainer.

But last week at soccer, someone brought flavoured, frozen sugar “juice” and another brought some product called a dunk-a-roo.  Those are the cookies that come with a cup of “chocolate” to dip the cookie in.  Not great for 8pm.  Tonight, the kids had juice and Bear Paws (chocolate ones) after the game.  As a result, Linus did not get to sleep until 9:30pm.

So my question to the parents reading this is;

Do you think it is irresponsible of parents to bring unhealthy snacks for kids after sporting events?  Or is “unhealthy” up for debate.  Granted the snacks are peanut-free, the sugar keeps some kids up for hours.

I bring this up as a father commented to me that some of the moms were clearly disapproving of the snack last week and he wondered how I felt about it and whether I should address it – to those Moms – not to be picky or choosy.  I disagreed with him and explained that some moms do not allow their kids to eat processed sugary foods and it was well within their right to be displeased about the snacks.

Thoughts?

Does this sound familiar?


For afternoon snack today, my boys and I decided to have fruit salad.

I went to the fridge and ran down a list of fruits while the boys sat at the breakfast bar ready to watch me create their treat.

Granny Smith apple, check.
Kiwi, check.
Nectarine, check.
Banana, check.

The bowl is filling up so I decide not to add the strawberries, mango and red pear.

Knowing my little one loves yogurt I offer it to him with his fruit salad. The older one replies that he does not want yogurt, and since my house is a monkey-see, monkey-do house, the little one declines the yogurt. Fine.

I fill their bowls when the little one starts to whine a bit.

“What’s wrong?” I ask him, already knowing the answer.

“I want yogurt”, he replies.

So in goes the yogurt.

The boys eat their fruit salad, the bigger boys chows down and finishes his bowl, the little on savours every bite of fruit and yogurt.

I leave the room.

Then I hear crying,

I walk back expecting to see the little on trying to push the big one off his stool (oh yes, he’s done that before!), but there is my little boy with crocodile tears racing down his cheeks.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

“[Big brother] took all the fruit.”

So I look at the giant bowl I made and there is only a little bit left. Sure enough, my older boy had re-filled his bowl leaving about 3 tablespoons of diced fruit left the bowl. Little boy, who is crying still has 1/2 his bowl left to eat.

Mummy, who has arrived, takes the rest of the fruit salad and scoops it into little boy’s bowl.

Then come the tears…

“You gave me too much” he wails. “I can’t eat all that”.

My wife and I look at each other and she leaves.

I turn on the TV to Teletoon and I leave too.

OY.

Update: Big boy’s bowl is empty. Little boy has not touched his bowl. I put in some “seeds” (unsalted raw sunflower seeds), and he has started up eating again.