Stuck at home? This mom sets up a sari-sari store for her kids to learn saving

Samantha Bagayas
Stuck at home? This mom sets up a sari-sari store for her kids to learn saving
Aside from saving, kids also learn the importance of personal hygiene and physical distancing, as they follow a set of rules to buy from Mama's home quarantine store

MANILA, Philippines– Hoping to be productive while under quarantine, mother Hycinth Clor de Arta set up a mini sari-sari store at home for her children in Davao del Norte, complete with rules, prices, play money, and even “salaries.”

The whole province of Davao del Norte has been under community quarantine since March 16, in a bid to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Because of the quarantine, classes in all levels have been suspended.

De Arta shared how her 4 children have spent most of their free time watching TV, movies, and YouTube while holed up at home.

Seeing that their fridge was fully stocked, De Arta decided to set up “Mama’s home quarantine store” in their living room on the first week of the lockdown. She displayed their junk food, biscuits, candies, and fruits in a stand by their living room to serve as the makeshift sari-sari store.

“We came up with an idea that would change their daily routine. I believe that putting up a mini store inside our house for our kiddos using play money would be the best activity to do,” De Arta said.

To purchase food from the sari-sari store, the kids will have to do their chores to earn enough play money. Each chore such as sweeping the floor in the kitchen or throwing the trash has its own corresponding amount ranging from P200 to P500.

“They get an opportunity to do some household responsibilities and earn from it accordingly. They will learn how to save their earned money and spend it wisely. [It’s] one way to teach them financial literacy. And the best thing of all is we get to bond as a family. We are all enjoying it,” she added.

Through the sari-sari store, De Arta also teaches her children the importance of personal hygiene, cleanliness, and physical distancing to guard against the coronavirus.

Among her rules is a ban on people without face masks, as well as using alcohol first before buying. Physical distancing is also a must when lining up. Those caught fighting or crying will be banned from the store for 3 hours, too.

Even with the chores, De Arta said her children were excited about having a sari-sari store in their home.

“They were happy and very much excited to earn money,” she added.

For those interested to set up their own sari-sari stores for their kids, De Arta suggested placing food and other items that kids are interested in, so they’ll be eager to participate.

“Educate them how to get those things so they will work for it. I know all parents couldn’t bear their children crying if they really want to get what they want. As a parent, all you have to do is motivate them and guide them how to get things done,” she said.

Online, several netizens lauded the initiative and noted how it instills the value of hard work at a young age.


How are you spending your time at home? – with reports from Rhoda May Ebad/ 

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Samantha Bagayas

Samantha Bagayas is a community and civic engagement specialist under MovePH, Rappler's civic engagement arm. Aside from writing stories about movements and civic initiatives, she works with movers and campus journalists across the Philippines to amplify issues affecting their communities.