Monday, August 30, 2010

The Money Game...

Okay, the title is pretty lame, but it's the best I've got so far. :)  This "game" is based on an idea I got from this book:

The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas: 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12

By the way, I sooooo wish I had come across this book last year. There are tons of great ideas in there that any parent could use to supplement concepts at home (whether math, language arts, character building, etc).  Definitely not just a "homeschooling" book.

Anyway, the "Money Game".  :)  I scored some great toy money at a garage sale last week. I love it because it is realistic looking and gives the kids a good look at "real" money without me having to fork over tons of real coins that I know will get lost...

I started by creating a "cheat sheet" where I taped each coin and wrote how much it was worth.  You'll notice I also included a "P" or "N" or whatever in a circle. This is how our elementary school has the kids write the coins, so for Abi and Hana especially, I wanted to make sure they could draw the connection between the real coin and the symbol they need to write at school.
The point of the game is simple, but seemed to be effective. Simply set a "goal" at the beginning (as you can see, in this game our goal was 31 cents).  Then each player rolls the die to see how much money to take.  If you roll a 4, take 4 pennies, if you roll a 6, take 6 pennies, etc.  The trick is that you have to trade up (i.e. once you have 5 pennies, you have to trade for a nickel, 2 nickels for a dime, etc).  It was great counting practice  and was a nice way to visualize the money and note the names of the coins and their values.  Although this is a very simplistic game, even Grace enjoyed it.  And it was great practice for Selam - although she obviously has no problem with basic counting, the names and values of the American coins are still things she struggles with.

All in all - a thumbs up!

If I was playing with just the older girls, I would use 2 die and set a higher goal (over $1) and mix the change and bills.  I just didn't think Abi had it in him tonight.  :)

Hana summed it up best:  "Wow, that was fun mom!  And I thought we were just going to be learning!"  hahaha

Fooled her.  ;o)