*This was originally posted two years ago, but I love it so much I can't help repeating. Plus, it's still a great idea!
Unlimited shopping spree? Well, not exactly. Today I visited a very busy mall the day after Black Friday with two eight-year-old girls, my daughter and her friend. Maybe it was a little crazy, but a super opportunity to use a little creativity to enjoy a "girl's day" without spending money at an upscale mall. Before we went in, I gave the girls $1,000 each to spend any way they wanted. That is, I gave them each a paper with $1,000 written at the top. We were going on a pretend shopping spree!
We visited every store they wanted and picked out things each wanted. We wrote them down and subtracted the amount from their $1,000. First stop was The Disney Store where they spent the most money. They love those stuffed animals!
Next stop, Build a Bear Workshop. Kenzie actually did have some money, so she bought a bear. Otherwise, the spree continued.
Those stops left us about $800. But there was still shopping to do!
We found a great kiosk with gorgeous (and expensive) hair accessories. We had to try them out:
We checked out the Toy and Hobby shop and Paradise Bakery for a few sugar cookies. Then Mom picked the next store - Brookstone! That set each of us back about $200 - wow!
Our last stop was to visit the big guy to share our lists:
What a great time! We each finished with about $600 left over and had a nice restaurant lunch.
On a serious note, this was a tremendous learning experience for the girls to spend "their money" and realize they are a little more frugal than they would be with someone else's money. It also allowed us to enjoy window shopping without feeling we wanted "something". It gave us moms a much needed hint on the Christmas lists. Best of all, it was so much fun - I don't know who had more fun - me or them! We will definitely do it again!