When choosing baby gear to welcome home a new little one there are many options. While some of these items are required by law, others are not. Therefore, choosing between high, middle and low cost models becomes an investigation to make the best decision based on one’s needs and budget. There are pros and cons to every choice. In this activity students will put their consumer skills to the test by using the internet to compare high, middle, and low cost versions of baby gear and then analyze the results.
- Ask students to brainstorm a list of all the baby gear they can think of that a parent will need for a new baby and write them on the board. Circle those items that they think parents will need right away and underline those items they think they will need a little later. Cross out any that students feel are nice, but not really necessary.
- Explain to students that they are going to be investigative consumers, comparing some baby gear. Students are to use the internet to “shop” for high, middle and low cost versions of some common pieces of baby gear, using such sources as Amazon, Babies ‘R Us and even local department store chains such as Target or Walmart. Students will fill in their chart with required information as well as create a visual of their products they are selecting in a WORD document to use afterwards when they analyze their results.
- Following their investigation, hold a class discussion on their results comparing each items aesthetic features in relation to their costs. Ascertain the items they would make an investment in and why as well as those items they feel aren’t really necessary. Compare to the initial list on the board.
- A good conclusion to leave students with is that a lot of their decisions to purchase certain items will come down to needs, wants and budgets. Bells and whistles of the high end items are nice, but not always necessary. Sometimes the middle and low cost items will provide the same purpose in a much more simple and basic way. It’s also important for them to know that there is nothing wrong with borrowing items from family and friends if it’s in good shape. There’s also nothing wrong with purchasing most items second-hand (car seats excluded because you don’t always know if they’ve been in an accident), again making sure they are in top condition, and haven’t been recalled.
- Baby Gear Comparison (PDF)