$martPath Forward: Tips for Teachers

Teaching is hard, life changing work. But the right tools can make that work a little easier, and a little more fun for educators as well as students.

We’ve created a blog with classroom strategies and suggestions for educators looking to build their skills in teaching financial and economic education to kids.

In these blog posts, we’ll share ideas for teaching specific concepts, as well as tools you can use in your classroom like Quizlets and Kahoots.

Teaching kids the difference between goods and services

boy in gray sweater beside boy in gray and white plaid dress shirt

Understanding the fundamentals of economics is incredibly important for children, as it’s the foundation for good decisions into adulthood. Distinguishing between goods and services lays the foundation for consumer education, which is an essential life skill.

This piece will provide advice on educating kids about the differences between goods and services in an enjoyable and informative manner.

Introduction to Concepts

First, let’s start with definitions that kids will understand. Goods are tangible items that can be touched and owned, such as toys, books, or food. Services, on the other hand, are actions or activities that someone does for someone else, like a haircut, a bus ride, or a dance lesson.

Hands-On Learning

One of the best ways to teach children about goods and services is through hands-on activities. This could involve a simple game of sorting images of different items into goods and services or a role-playing activity where kids pretend to run a store or provide a service.

Real-World Applications

bunch of vegetables

To reinforce the concept, it’s important to help kids relate these ideas to their daily lives. Take them on a field trip to a local supermarket or a farmer’s market, where they can see goods being sold. Or visit a local business that provides services such as a car wash or a veterinary clinic to see services being performed.

The Value of Money

There are also important money lessons for kids to be taught in a discussion about goods and services. Explain how goods often have a price tag, while services may have a fixed fee or rates. This will help children understand the economic exchange that takes place in a transaction.

Interactive Games

Develop interactive games that focus on teaching the difference between goods and services. For example, set up a mock store in a classroom or at home where kids can “buy” and “sell” goods and services using play money. This type of simulation game makes learning about the economy fun and memorable.

Storytelling Techniques

Craft stories or scenarios where characters have to decide between purchasing a good or a service with a limited amount of money. This encourages critical thinking and decision-making skills, as well as a deeper understanding of the concept of trade-offs in economics.

copper-colored coins on in person's hands


Finish the lesson with a review session where kids can showcase what they’ve learned. Ask them to explain the difference between goods and services in their own words and give examples from the activities and real-world applications they’ve experienced.

Teaching kids about goods and services is an investment in their future as informed consumers. By using these methods, parents and educators can instill valuable knowledge that will serve children well throughout their lives. Remember, the key is to make the learning process fun and interactive, ensuring the concepts stick with them long term.

Leave a Comment