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I love thinking of ways to teach something that will be more fun for all of us than the typical worksheet. Worksheets can be fun too sometimes, depending on what they are, but I love finding hands-on tools for the kids to use. When I saw these super jumbo paper coins and bills at the Dollar Tree last year I knew I had to have them and would find a use for them at some point.
I’m glad I snatched them up because I’ve never again seen these exact ones and if you purchase them online they aren’t cheap. The jumbo money can be incorporated into lots of different learning activities. We used them for a couple of different activities in the spring and summer (this post has been sitting “in process” for quite some time) and I’m certain we’ll be using them again this school year and in the future.
You can see how large the paper coins are compared to the real thing.
We completed two different hands-on activities with the jumbo money. They were both reinforcement activities for Snootz since he is already familiar with coin and dollar amounts and is comfortable making change. For a child that is just starting out, you could certainly adapt these activities.
First, I used a marker to print various dollar amounts on 3×5 cards and used the cards for both activities. I tried to include a good variety of dollar amounts so Snootz would have to use many different bills and coins.
For the first activity, I set up a “store” for Snootz to go shopping with his super large bundle of cash. I displayed some of his favorite toys and put price tags next to them. As you can see, the prices of the items for this game do not correspond to the actual price in the store. I explained this to Snootz ahead of time and we briefly talked about whether or not the items would actually cost that much in the store. Since he has a very good grasp on money and what things cost, this was not a problem for him.
He completed several shopping trips and I had to give the money back to him after each trip because we didn’t have enough coins and bills for him to pay for it all at once. He had so much fun with this activity and immediately said he wanted to do it again sometime!
For the other activity we completed, I again used the 3×5 notecards with the prices on them and asked Snootz to find 3 different ways to make change for each amount. We mixed the cards up, put them in a stack and then he picked one from the stack. I put the money in piles for him to easily see.
Here are some books about money that we read to support these activities:
- One Cent, Two Cents, Old Cent, New Cent by Bonnie Worth
- Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst
- Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins
- If You Made a Million by David M. Schwartz
- Money Madness by David A. Adler
- Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells
- The Coin Counting Book by Rozanne Lanczak
- The Go-Around Dollar by Barbara Johnston Adams
- Benny’s Pennies by Pat Brisson
- The Story of Money by Betsy Maestro
- Curious George Saves His Pennies by Margret & H.A. Rey
- Pigs Will Be Pigs by Amy Axelrod
- Just a Piggy Bank by Gina & Mercer Mayer
In addition to learning about money – the history of it, how it works and how to spend it, I also want to make sure our children know how to save it, how to use it to help others and how to use it responsibly so we are also working through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Junior with the boxed set of books.