Flea Market Expedition
- reusable bags
- cash—lots of ones, fives and tens
- a tape measure
- comfortable shoes, layers of clothing, a hat
- snack and water
- wish list
- Scout out the sales. Check local bulletin boards, newspapers, and online to find upcoming flea markets and yard sales.
- Make a wish list. What kinds of things are you looking for? Dress-up clothes? Costume jewelry? Storybooks? Kitchen gadgets or workshop tools? A bike? A bookshelf?
- Give your child a budget. Let him bring his own money to learn how to spend wisely for items he wants.
- Go on a scavenger hunt. Walk around and preview the sale before you decide what you want to buy. Make it a game. Can your child find a book, a mug, a game, a piece of sports equipment, a kitchen tool, a garden tool, a gown, a hat, a piece of furniture, a painting?
- Explore ABCs. A is for airplane, B is for beads. Can your child find something for every letter of the alphabet?
- Make a match. Talk about what things go together to teach matching, sorting and classifying. Which two shoes go together? Which two mittens? What dishes? (Caution your child not to touch breakable items.)
- Haggle. Most people at flea markets or tag sales don't expect you to pay full price. In fact, some even start with a higher price, expecting you to bargain them down. Try 60% of the price and negotiate up from there. Or ask for two items for a price break. If you can't make a deal, consider stopping back at the end of the day. If the item is still there, the buyer may be much more willing to negotiate.
- Investigate. Ask your child open-ended questions:
- What's a record? What's a typewriter? What other things don't we use anymore?
- How have everyday items changed over the years? Compare machines, tools, furniture, jewelry, and fashions for a firsthand peek into the past.
- How do things work? What does that tool or gadget do?
- There's an old saying that one man's trash is another man's treasure. What do you think that means?
- Why do people have yard sales?
- Quit while you're ahead. Sun and crowds can make kids cranky. Keep an eye on your child's energy level, take a few breaks, and head home while everyone's still smiling.
For more exploring, play Dora's Great Big World game, find do-together Dora crafts, recipes, and activities, and print a personalized Explorer Kit for your child at DoraTheExplorer.com.
Thanks to Susan Hood
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