Junior Savvy Shopper Badge Activity


Do You Really Want That?


Explore the persuasive power of advertising.

Activity Details

Time needed: 30–45 minutes

Materials needed:

  • Pens or pencils
  • Ruled or plain paper
  • A computer, tablet, or phone with internet access (optional)

Setup: Find out what triggers you to want something and how long those wants last.

Activity: When we think of things we absolutely need to live, we can generally narrow them down to food, water, clean clothes, and a place to live. What we want, however, is a different story, though sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.

Advertisers create exciting commercials to convince you to buy things, or they tailor online ads just for you. Or maybe you want something simply because your friend has it! Consider the forces that make you want something.

To keep track of your wants, write a list of every item that made you think “I want that!” this week, and jot down where you saw it.

After a week, go through the list and note how many items you’re still thinking of and how many you’ve forgotten. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What does it mean to have forgotten some of the items?
  • Are these still real wants?
  • What changed?

 Discuss your discovery about wants versus needs with your friends or family.


Think about these questions:

  • What is the most surprising thing you discovered about your wants?
  • What do you think causes your wants to change over time?
  • How can you use what you learned to make decisions about how to spend money in the future?
  • How can you share what you’ve learned about wants versus needs with other girls?

Troop Leaders:  The instructions for all badge steps are available free of charge in your  Girl Scout Volunteer Toolkit.

Girl Scouts at Home activities have been adapted from existing Girl Scout programming and optimized for use at home during a period of social distancing.

Adapted from Step 2 of the Junior Savvy Shopper badge. Purchase badge booklet to complete all requirements and earn the badge.

Made possible by a generous gift from Toyota Financial Services.