Welcome to Parent Child Education

Come join our community to access the best resources for educating the children in your life.

Member Login

Lost your password?

Colonial America – Tax Collecting

October 26, 2010
Image result for stockade

The stockade is were people were placed when they didn’t pay their taxes.

Colonial America Tax Collecting

To help you child get a feel of how arbitrary taxes were in colonial times, do the following activity.  This activity works great with a group of children.

Materials needed:

  • Make a chart with the following suggested items to tax – be creative,  what would make an impact with the children you are doing this with
  • Decide on a form of coin and have available: Cheerios, Skittles, pretzels…
  • Stockade made with form core (optional)


  • Most children have heard about taxes but may not really understand what they are.
  • Make the chart or poster before you begin.
  • Give your child 10 pieces of whatever form of coin you decided on but explain that they can’t eat it until after the activity.
  • When I did it, I stepped out of the room for a second and re-entered saying in my most formal, deep voice, “Here ye, here ye! A proclamation from the King!” Trust me, I had their attention. Then I unrolled the proclamation and read that all the king’s subjects were to pay the following taxes on items they may be wearing:

jeans      5

eye glasses     5

jewelry     10

running shoes     5

pencil     3

t shirt     5

  • When I did it the students were a little shocked. “I have to give you 10 Cheerios for wearing jeans today?” The outrage, the unfairness of it.
  • Now it’s time for the tax collector to collect the “coins”.
  • They were able to keep the rest of their “coins”. If they don’t have enough “coins” to pay, you can put them in the stockade (make up one with foam core) or have them to do some extra work.
  • Ask your child how they felt to be taxed on items that they had no say in.
  • This leads to a great discussion on taxation without representation. In the United States, we have the ability to vote on what is taxed and how much.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Leave a Reply

Summer Activities