Counting: Coin Bank
& Lazy Susan Store
Today's Snack: When you cut a carrot cross-wise, the little
round pieces are often called "coins." So for today's snack, use the fattest
carrot you can find and make the biggest carrot "coins" you can. Offer them with
low-fat ranch dip.
Paper and pen or pencil
Empty egg cartons
Child-safe kitchen cupboard or
First, talk about all the things that money can, and CANNOT,
buy. Put things in perspective! But recognize that coins are a tangible and
practical way to teach children how to count, and the value of money.
Give the child a lot of coins in a jar, and help him or her
separate them into pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Count out pennies in
stacks of fives and 10s, and then put all the pennies into one compartment of
an egg carton. You can call it "the bank." Write down how many pennies are in
the penny compartment on a piece of paper, and show your child how you write
dollars and cents. Continue with nickels, dimes and quarters, until you have
all the coins separated and counted out. Show your child how you total up the
four sums of coins and come up with an amount of money in the "bank."
Now pretend that your Lazy Susan cupboard, pantry shelf or
other food storage area is a 'store," and put a "price" on each type of food
container. For example, a small can might cost 3 cents, a large can 10 cents, a
box 15 cents, and so on. Let your child "buy" items for a while, using the
coins in the bank. Then have your child "buy" what he or she would like for
dinner. Give your child a dollar bill, show on the piece of paper how you would
subtract the amount that the food will cost from the dollar, and show how you
would "make change" from the "bank" by giving your child back some coins. As
children get older and able to do simple addition and subtraction in their
heads, this game can become more and more complex.
Keep your egg carton "bank," and next time, change the venue
to your closet. Let your child "buy" you an outfit. Shoes: 5 cents, socks, 5
cents, pants, 10 cents and so forth.