To explore sliders and levers
To generate ideas
To make and decorate
To apply a chosen mechanism
Activity 1 - Getting to know money
On a mat or tray, place different items all relating to money. These can include: coins, notes, debit/credit cards, till, price tags/labels, receipts, purses/wallets, piggy bank.
- Can you tell me anything about these things?
- What have you heard about money?
- Where do we use money?
- What does it look like?
Follow this with a discussion about money. Prompts you could ask are:
- What do we do with money?
- Why do we need money?
Look closer at the coins and notes. See whether the children recognise any of the coins.
- Can you find the numbers hiding on the coins?
- Can they tell those which are worth more than others?
Work together, encouraging your child to take the lead to order the coins from the lowest value to the highest. It might help to draw a number line for your child to refer to.
Set up or create a role play shop/stall. Make the children a part of ‘opening up’ and organising the shop. They can make signs and price labels. The actual price of items doesn’t need to be accurate but it could provide an opportunity to discuss which items are more expensive than others and to have the price labels reflect this.
Give your child a purse/wallet of money (you can use play money or make your own) to use when they’re in the shop so they have to consider how much money they have when they choose what they want to buy. Some children may need support in selecting the correct coins.
When playing in the shop, encourage the children to compare how much things cost.
Ask questions such as:
- Why do they cost more?
- What can you buy lots of?
Playing ‘shop’ is also a great way to model and discuss manners and the importance of saying, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
Encourage your child to play independently, using soft toys as customers.
Read The Great Pet Sale by Mick Inkpen - there are several video versions available online.
This book is a great way to encourage counting out the coins as each price is mentioned. (You’ll need a pile of pennies.)