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Shopping story

If you want something, lots has to happen before you get it. Can you turn the stages into a story?

You will need

  • Stages of the shopping story (printed out, written down, or displayed on screen)
Shopping Story Image Cards
PDF – 462.3KB

Activity summary

This activity is all about being aware of where money comes from. It gives everyone the chance to play around with the things that happen between first wanting something and buying it; as they put the stages into order, they’ll be able to think about what influences their spending decisions.

It’s not about getting the stages in the ‘right’ order – it’s about people recognising what influences the process and thinking about what they might choose to do in the future.

Before you begin

  • Make sure you’ve risk assessed your meeting, and also have a COVID-19 safe risk assessment that’s been agreed by your line manager. You can check out more detailed guidance here.
  • Decide whether you’ll print the stages of the shopping story off, write them out, or display them on screen. It’ll probably depend on how you’re meeting at the moment.
  • There are some great games to to with budgeting and saving on the Scout Store: look for Money Bags, Buy It Right Shopping Game and Money Box Tree!

Safety checklist

Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional coronavirus-related controls to think about may include:

  • Make sure that everyone knows the plan for dropping young people off (and picking them up again).
  • Set up a hand washing station that you can use throughout the session.
  • Stay socially distanced when moving around the space and when talking to other people.

Step 1: I want... but why?

  1. Everyone should chat about what might influence their decisions when they choose to buy (or ask someone else to buy) something.  
  1. Everyone should chat about what happens once they’ve decided what they want to buy. How could they get the money they need to buy it? 

Step 2: out of order

  1. Everyone should get into pairs. 
  2. The person leading the activity should explain that everyone will be thinking about buying a new piece of equipment for a game at camp.
  3. The person leading the activity should give each pair the stages of the shopping story. 
  1. Each pair should put the stages into an order that makes sense to them.




Step 3: tell your story

  1. Each pair should choose a way to present their story to the group and make it your own. 
  1. All of the pairs should take it in turns to share their story.
  2. Everyone else should listen and ask questions about why other groups chose their order
  3. Once everyone’s had a turn to share their story, everyone should chat about all of the stories.

Step 4: add an ad

  1. The person leading the activity should point out that one of the steps talks about seeing an advert.
  2. Everyone should chat about how often they think that happens in the story.
  3. Someone should tell one of the stories again. This time, everyone should mark out where an advert might influence their decision.
  1. Everyone should chat about how the advert might change the story.



What has everyone learned about the order in which people buy things? What have they learned about the things that influence people’s choices? Where could people use this in their lives?


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.