Sunday, 21 September 2014

Children at the Kindertroedlemarkt

The weekend just past, we had the Stadtfest in the town my family and I lived in. It is an annual event that occurs in the September and it is a big event for the town. It is an event that brings out the locals, a chance for local town folks to catch up and say hello when they run into each other at the festival.

The other part of the Stadtfest is the Kindertroedelmarkt. This is a fantastic idea that I have not seen in Australia or anywhere else in the world. In Australia, a troedelmarkt would be known as a trash n treasure market. In the US, it might be called a flea market.

Anyhow in Germany, a kindertroedelmarkt is a special troedelmarkt for children only. I don't exactly know the reason for running such a market but there are many positives to it.

A stall at the kindertroedelmarket is for the child to have a stall for selling their items. It may be their toys from years past, their clothes that don't fit them anymore, or books that they have out grown. It can be seen as a personal milestone for the child as he cleans his personal space out and make room for the new items that will be in his life in the next few years.

During the running of the stall, the children will get an experience of commerce. They have to come up with a price for their items, handle the negotiations when someone asks how much it is, and close the sale. At least that would be how it should be. Typically, the buyer just pays for the items and takes it away.

The children visiting the kindertroedelmarkt also gets a lesson in life the value of money. When we visited the market every year, the children would get some money to spent. This year, they got 10EUR each, which would buy quite a few items. As we enter the market, they immediately saw something that they want but we advised them that they should hold off and go deeper into the market. This is basically to avoid being impulsive and to size up all your opportunities before making a decision.

Towards the end of the market, the kids were down to their last few Euros. They bought some great items along the way. One of them got a magician kit. They also purchased a wooden set of Ludo, or in German "Mensch √§rgere dich nicht " which literal translates to "Man, don't get irritated." 

As we walked out, one of my sons wanted to buy an Ambulance toy van. He asked for its price, "3 Euros" was the answer, but he only have 1.50 Euro. He told them that he only had 1.50 Euro, but the seller did not accept his offer. My son left the stall a little disappointed, but he realised that is the way life is. You can't always get what you want, nor it is possible to always to "just buy it". There also many take aways from that experience.

The day ended and the kids got many great items from the market, we also met a few friends and asked how they are going. Looking for the next year's market. 

Finally, we did the German thing at the market and purchased a Bratwurst mit Brotchen for an afternoon snack!