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Creative Ideas for Teaching Money


Teaching money is the perfect candidate for hands-on learning. Get out the real thing, use play money, or even make your own, but the more realistic the better. Here are ideas from the forum:

Hands-on Method
"At kindergarten age, I'd say go for hands-on methods. Get some coins, teach about the value of each, then practice counting up with a single type of coin, then start mixing coins as he/she becomes proficient at counting up by 5's, 10's, etc. (Counting by 5's is also needed for telling time.)

All this can be done with worksheets and such, but I think it tends to be more interesting for a kindergartener when it looks like something done in real life." - Anachan

The Allowance Game
"For money, my parents found a great board game called "The Allowance Game" (compare prices). You move around the board and "earn" money and "spend" money in different ways. The game came fully stocked with play bills and coins, but you could probably pick up play money anywhere and create your own game." - chaimsmo1

Talk about it
"I didn't introduce money until toward the end of 1st grade. It's easier to understand money once you have covered counting by tens, fives, twos. We use Singapore Math and followed their sequence for covering time and money.

Of course, we talk about time and money in our daily life long before the end of first grade, lol." - RippleRiver

Video Store
"We have a video store in the corner of our living room. I'll call her on a pretend phone and place an order. Orders will encompass any variety of skills such as alphabetizing, numerical sense, multiplying (I have 3 kids and they each want 2 movies...) reading, etc. She will add my total, take my money, and provide me change. I can use whatever combination of skills during this game. I may pay with all nickels, or I may give her a 50 and expect change. Her dry erase board is always handy if she wants to take notes or use it to figure out the answer." - FlattSpurAcademy

Counting by 5's and 10's
"Personally, I wouldn't start with money and time UNTIL she has mastered counting by 5's and 10's. This way, it will become very easy for her to understand the principles in figuring out the time and amount of change etc. My son only knew the value of coins and telling time by o'clock and half past in K. Now, he is able to make change, count change and tell time. He is now learning how to figure out time sentence problems (How much time did it take etc.) and he is starting 2nd grade. However, while in K and 1st grade, he was able to add and subtract very large numbers and carry over etc.

So, don't be surprised if your child is not ready for this - especially if he/she cannot count by 5"s and 10's first." - Kelhyder

Money Store
"I began teaching my daughter time, money and computation (addition and subtraction facts) in Kindergarten/1st grade. I used the McGraw Hill Complete book of Time and Money purchased from Sam's Club. It's a workbook. She seemed to take to it very well. It really breaks it all down and has plenty of practice.

We also have plastic coins and that we use to play Money Store. We will use baked cookies or extra candy as products for purchase in the store. I set the prices and she has to make the exact amount I've asked for . I vary the prices of each item she wants to purchase. She makes sure to "buy" plenty to share with her brothers.

Sometimes, it takes her some time to get the exact amount, but it's worth it. When all the products have been either purchased or she's out of money, the store closes. I allow her to earn the money "plastic coins" for the Money Store by asking her to tell me the time on some time flashcards I purchased from the Dollar Store.

We usually kill two birds with one "store" doing it this way. She's learning, practicing, and having fun all at the same time." - Tamara

Car Coin Game
"We made a cash drawer for our money and my daughter loves playing store. We also cook a lot and she does all the measuring and dividing.

We play games in the car where I will take a coin out of the ashtray (where I keep my change) and ask a math question (I have 3 twenties, 1 five, a quarter and a dime. How much money do I have?). If she answers right she gets the coin. Every time I see something that might make her understand, I go for it." - rlhx21

Play Money
"I went to Wal-Mart and bought $2-$3 worth of play money and he's learning from that. Though I do start off the lesson by showing him a real coin to let him study it and get to know it better. *smile* Then we switch to the plastic coins for playing with.

One more thing... I was reading about how difficult it is to teach a child money before he/she can count by 5s etc. My son cannot do that right now either... But I'm planning on using money to teach him that skill as well. Why not tackle two math skills for the price of one?" - Erin

Quarters, Nickles, and Dimes, Oh My
"We did a unit study on money recently. My children are ages 4 and 6. We cut out circles of various sizes - quarter, nickle, dime, penny and then colored each one and included the appropriate number (.25, .10 etc) on the front of each circle. We also used the coin exercise worksheets from this site during the week.

At the end of the week, I set up a "store" and the children placed price tags on all the items in the amount of .01, .05, .10, .25. We have a toy cash register and shopping cart, so we used those as well. Then we went shopping with real quarters, nickle, dimes, and pennies. We have played this over and over and the children have really grasped the concept of money. We will continue to use the "shopping game" as we learn additional math skills - adding, subtracting, making change etc." - Bebb


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Career Advice: Creative Ideas for Teaching Money
Creative Ideas for Teaching Money
Career Advice
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