Exploration time: Learning cash register
I drew an ‘m’ on white paper and cut it out. Then I cut it into 4 pieces and asked R1 to come and put it together to make a letter. He made the ‘m’ and then he glued it onto blue construction paper. He then stamped money stamps onto the ‘m’.
We then did some rainbow writing. (rainbow writing is when you write over the letter in many different colors thus creating a rainbow look) I drew dots for him to trace of an ‘m’ and he did three times in three different colors of marker. Each time I said the same words, “straight line down, back up, hump one, hump two.” Below that in his journal he wrote three m’s on his own and did great. We finished our handwriting by writing it in the air. He really enjoyed writing it in the air. I think I may be onto something. We can practice handwriting in the air. I can tell his strokes AND he feels no pressure.
We went to the carpet where we played a coin game. First, I had him find a penny and place it on the number 1 of a hundreds number chart. He then found a nickel and put it on the 5, a dime on the 10, and a quarter on the 25. This would serve as a reminder to each coin’s worth. We then began our grid game. I printed this coin grid game from Mathwire. I then used a “grab bag” instead of dice to play this game. I took square kleenex boxes and used them as our “grab bag”. I put our foam bath numbers in one and foam bath letters in the other according to which ones we needed for the grid play. He grabbed one out of each box and those were his coordinates. (He had completed this grid penguin a few days ago so he was familiar with grid work.)
All the while he was working I was singing The Money Song from Teach Mama to help him remember the values of each coin.
After he would pick out the coordinates, he’d find the coin in that square (if there was one) and tell me the name and the value, then place it on the tally sheet. We didn’t tally on this sheet just used it as a coin collection area. He went through about ten coins and then tired of this activity so we moved on to our last, but best part of the morning.
We turned our living room into, “Star Wars Lego Store”. I made a Welcome sign and wrote how much I would charge for each color of Lego.
R1 went to his room and gathered his Lego containers. He then had the brilliant idea to “display” them around the room. The rectangular clear tubs on the shelves are his Legos to buy.
I gave him Daddy’s change box and a small white basket as his shopping cart and told him to get to shopping.
Now, no pretend play is complete without changing your voice to fit the part. I was the sales woman and he was the shopper and we each assumed what we deemed the correct speaking voice for our part. (You’ll just have to trust me on this one. There’s no video.)
I must say this pretend store served to be a GREAT learning experience for him in a way I never imagined. He realized you CAN’T buy EVERYTHING you want. You have to have enough money in order to buy it. huh, who would have thought?! He learned this immediately. He dumped all of his yellow Lego pieces into his shopping cart and then proceeded to the checkout line. I then read off of the cost sheet that each yellow piece cost 8 cents. I told him, for simplicity-sake, that it would be 8 pennies (yes, I’m fully aware he could have paid with one nickel and 3 pennies but he’s not to that point of combining coins). So, he began counting his pennies. Each time he counted 8, I gave him a yellow Lego. He said, “but I want ALL of them.” “You don’t have enough pennies to pay for all of them. You can only buy as much as you have money for.”
We played Lego store for a long while. He was cashier while I was the shopper and back and forth. He really enjoyed this pretend play, as did R3 when he got up from nap time.
***If you have followed my blog for months, you will remember we did a M is for money unit already with him. I wanted to touch on it again. Repetition is key to a child’s learning. I have noticed he is not consistently remembering the name for each coin or the value. This was just another way to practice the same concept.
If you have ways you have taught money to your child, please feel free to share. And by all means play pretend store with your child and see his/her imagination soar. (Thank you notimeforflashcards for the inspiration.)