Supply and Demand Activities for Kids

Instructor: Eric Campos

Eric has tutored in English, writing, history, and other subjects.

If you're looking for a fun way to teach kids the fundamentals of economics, check out the engaging activities profiled below for ideas on how to help children grasp the principles of supply and demand.

Product Scenarios

Begin by explaining the relationship between customer demand, product supply and price to your students and then have them list some of their favorite products on the board. Once you've selected a few items, write down scenarios that can help students determine how demand impacts the supply. For ease and effectiveness, you can write these scenarios in the form of 'what if' questions. Let's look at a few examples, with chocolate being the product in question:

  • What if the price for your favorite chocolate bars was decreased by $.25?
  • What if bad weather affected cacao crops overseas?
  • What if most people decided they suddenly preferred jelly beans instead?

For each question, ask them to write down whether the supply of the product would increase or decrease. They can do the same for demand.

Market Activity

This activity simulates the trends of an active market and lets students see first-hand some of the factors that affect supply and demand.

Materials: coins, note cards, different colored marbles, large containers

  1. Begin by separating the marbles by color and placing each color into a separate container. Assign the same price to each one.
  2. Disperse the change as you see fit. Feel free to vary the amounts or assign the same amount of money to each student.
  3. For the first-round, invite students to buy whichever colors they'd like. Determine the most popular color and explain to students how high demand creates a drain on supply.
  4. Once you've also established the least desirable colored marble, raise and lower their prices accordingly and have students repeat step 3.
  5. Ask students to discuss what factored into their decision about which marbles to by.

The core principle of this activity is to demonstrate shifting demand as students buy alternative marble choices. They will also be able to see how supply is affected by the scenario. That being said, you can use the core framework of this activity to craft your own original exercise using similar elements. Another strategy would be to have kids create their own activities modeled after this one.

Headline Activity

For this activity, students are presented with a made-up headline (it can also be drawn from actual news) that gives just a snapshot of an event or trend. Questions aren't necessarily needed in this instance; simply ask your students to think about how supply and demand relate and then respond with potential outcomes and defend their reasoning. Let's look at a potential headline: New Discovery! Coconuts Produce Anti-Aging Proteins.

As you can see, there is no mention of supply, pricing or demand. It's up to the students to analyze the situation. Looking at the information given, it's possible that demand may increase for coconuts due to the new benefits attributed to them. In addition to explaining the clues behind their reasoning, you can have students create a new headline to follow up the first example. The goal of this headline is to show resulting changes to the flow of supply and demand. For example: Coconut Sales Skyrocket All Over the U.S. Resources

If you're looking for a resource that can help explain these economics concepts to your students, check out this Supply & Demand Lesson for Kids for a detailed breakdown of these key principles. As you plan further activities, consider also looking into's Fair Trade Lesson for Kids to use in concert with the supply and demand topic. Remember, all of our resources are fully mobile and easy to use whenever and wherever you need!

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