- Coloured pens or pencils
- Scrap paper
- Craft materials (for example, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, stickers)
Before you begin
- Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
- Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.
Planning this activity
- It’s a good idea to try our activity Learning about delayed gratification before running this activity. This gives everyone the chance to explore how saving makes them feel.
- Think about what materials to use for everyone to make their banks out of.
- This activity gives everyone the chance to choose something to collect, a safe place to collect it, and a way to record their progress. It doesn’t have to involve collecting or saving money – but it’ll help everyone understand some of the concepts relating to saving money.
Step 1: thinking about saving habits
- Gather everyone together and remind everyone about Learning about delayed gratification. What did they do? How did it make people feel?
- Everyone should think about other things they might save. When might they collect something and keep it safe, so they can use it for something later on? This isn’t just about money in a bank account or piggy bank. People could think about cards that they save to play games with, points in video games they save to buy something bigger, or even plants they look after so they grow bigger and stronger.
- Tell everyone that activity is all about collecting and saving something. Everyone should think about what they might like to keep and save. Try to think of things that aren’t to do with money, such as objects (such as photos, tickets), things you create (such as drawings, songs, or crafts), memories or something you can add to like a diary or a jar of good thoughts.
- Everyone should decide on an aim for their bank. Do they want to reach a particular goal, such as a number of items, or do they want to form a habit, such as add something to the collection every day for a month?
- Tell everyone that people can apply the same thinking to money. Sometimes they’ll save up to buy a specific thing, and sometimes they try to make saving a habit, so they have savings there for when they need them.
- Everyone should decide on what their reward will be when they reach their aim, such as saving up to buy something or completing a collection.
- Everyone should decide what they’ll create to help them keep track of their progress. For example, you could keep a tally of what you’re collecting or mark days off on a calendar. Feel free to get creative: people could draw leaves on a tree or colour in days in a diary.
- Everyone should decide how they’ll keep the thing they’re saving safe. They might need to keep other people (or themselves!) from getting into it. Where will they keep it? Will they keep it closed until the end?
Step 2: make your own bank
- Once everyone has decided what they want to do, they should make their bank.
- Everyone should choose an item to hold the things they’re going to save or collect. It’s up to them what they choose. People may want to think about making it secure or choosing something like a see-through jar, so they can watch their progress.
- You could allow time for people to decorate or create their banks.
- People should think about how long they’ll save for and how they’ll keep track of their progress. They could think about how you’ll share your progress as you’re saving as well as how you’ll celebrate your successful saving at the end.
This activity will have been different for everyone – people made their own choices, and they’ll have learned different things too. Take some time to ask everyone questions about what they decided to save and why. How do people feel about saving? Did they enjoy watching their collection grow, or did they get impatient having to wait? Saving and collecting will feel different for everyone; by talking about it, people will learn more about their friends and themselves.
Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.
- Glue and solvents
Always supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions that could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.
This activity is designed to help people explore their feelings around saving things up for later. Give people the chance to share their feelings along the way – you could chat as a group or people could record feelings in a way that works for them when they record what’s in their bank.
- Money and saving can often be a tricky subject to talk about. It’s important to be mindful that everyone has different experiences and circumstances when it comes to finances. That’s why we designed this activity so it doesn’t use actual money! Support everyone to choose something that’s important to them.
- If anyone finds it difficult to keep track with numbers, they could choose to draw a picture that they add to every time they add to their bank. For example, they could draw leaves on a tree, bricks in a wall, or people in a crowd.
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.
The whole group could decide to save up together. They could save money to support a group event or donate to charity, points to spend in games, items of recycling for junk modelling, or building supplies to create a shelter.
Take a look at more money skills activities.
Support everyone to choose what they want to save and how they want to save it. There are no right or wrong answers in this activity.