I am excited to write this article as an educator and a parent. There are a lot of fun ways to incorporate money into your classroom or your home. Here are a few that came to my mind instantly:
While playing the game, talk about money and how to buy/sell real estate. This will be a great tool when they’re older and they are ready to purchase a home. This would also be a great time to bring up the cost of living, interest, how to avoid fees, etc. Don’t think that your child is too young to hear mortgage talk. I think the earlier we teach our children the realities of money the better off they’ll be in the future.
So, go out and find a fun Monopoly board. There are so many different editions out there now that your child may be more engaged if there’s a character that he/she can relate to.
Grocery Store Game
Take a few items from around your home and place a price tag on them. Depending on the age of your children, might depend on your prices. It might even be fun to make it a scavenger hunt where they really have to go looking for the items. You could also set up your pantry or kitchen to look like a grocery store.
Hand your child a mixture of coins and bills. My child is going into the 1st grade, so I would probably deal with change only and not worry about bills.
Allow the kids to have a hay-day going around the house and placing their goods in a box or basket. Then when they are ready to checkout, have them count up the total amount purchased. This might even be a great time to teach them conversion by showing them that if they owe .75, they don’t need to count out 75 pennies.
When finished you can ask questions like, “What was your favorite part of the game? Why is it important to learn how to spend money at the grocery store? What would you do if you went to check out your items, but didn’t have enough money?” You might just be surprised at their answers!
I found printable money on www.freestuff4kids.net.
You can also go to your local dollar store and look in their toy or teacher section for play money.
Coin Flipping Game
Have your child practice flipping a coin to find the probability of heads/tails. Have them get a sheet of paper, fold it in half, and write HEADS on one column and TAILS on the other.
Flip the coin until a timer stops to see how many times you landed on heads or tails. Add up your total number of flips and then talk about the probability of finding heads or tails with total number of flips.
“If you play again, are you more likely to see heads or tails?”
Making Change Game
To play Making Change have something for sale in your home or classroom. Maybe make this an extension of the Grocery Store Game, but this time you are the consumer and your child will be the store clerk.
The consumer pays X amount of dollars to the clerk, and your child has to count back the change. For example, the item being purchased cost $3.98 and you hand the clerk a $5 bill.
The clerk gives you 2 pennies and says “Here’s $4″ and then hands you a $1 bill and says “That makes $5.00. Have a great day.” Okay, they don’t have to say the last part I just added that in there because good, quality customer service is also something that could be improved in our society.
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