One of my big goals this year is to make math FUN. A few weeks ago I was looking for ideas online, and came across the site, Making Learning Fun. They had a great idea for setting up a candy shop, and had some printable cards with pictures, prices, and even circles to put down the appropriate amount of money. You can download them here - click on Candy Money Counting Cards and you will get to the link. I laminated the cards because I hope to make this a Friday event (if everything has gone well during the week).
Yesterday we set up the candy shop! We had lots of fun - but just so you know, I did limit the candy they could eat to 2 pieces, but they could save up the candy they bought for later times. We used play money and I gave each child $4 to spend.
Here is what some of the cards in our store looked like:
Each child got a turn to be the "cashier" - learning to key in $.03 for a Tootsie Roll and $.13 for a piece of gum was a good lesson for both of my children - their first instinct was to just punch "3" and "13". I know this is old-fashioned because today it's all barcodes! We had ten different candies to choose from.
My son loved the activity because he was acting quite official, and my daughter delighted in teaching him how to make change, which in turn reinforced her ability to make change. Clever.
Daddy even visited the store - he was taking a day off from work to pressure wash the house, so he was stopping in on breaks to visit the candy store. We also invited a four year old friend from across the street to come to our candy store. I think next time we do this I'll let the kids invite a few more people. Our friend paid for the candy, but then we gave him his money back. :-)
I bet you could even do this same thing with trinkets from the dollar store and link it to a reward system during your homeschool week. All in all, it was a great way to learn some real world math and have FUN!
Do your kids like to play store? Do they have a cash register? It's one of our favorite homeschool math tools!