Pretend Play Store (ages 5+)

Materials: writing utensil, writing surface (paper, whiteboard, etc.), objects to "sell" 

  1. Tell child that today you are going to make a Pretend Play Store at home.  
  2. Ask, "What items should we sell?"  Help child arrange items in the store.
  3. Ask, "How much should each item cost?"  Let child guide this part, even if the costs are not realistic.
  4. Help child label the items with price tags using the materials listed above.  
  5. Ask, "Who do you think will shop at our store?"  Discuss this with your child to figure out ways that people will find out about the store and why they will come to this store rather than a different store.
  6. Take a pretend shopping trip through the store and pick out items to buy from your child.
  7. Have fun with this and go in whatever direction your child wants to go, you can always reflect later about what worked and what didn't work!

Make it more challenging:

  • Use real or pretend money to actually complete transactions at the store. 
  • Child can create a budget and a shopping list before going to the pretend store.
  • Venture out to the real store and let child make some purchasing decisions or use allowance to buy something.  Compare the pretend prices to real items in the store.

Money in Different Ways (ages 5+)

Materials: real or fake coins (getting rolls of coins at the bank is one way to do this)

  1. Show your child a group of coins (start small, ex. 2 dimes and 1 nickel)
  2. Count the money together and determine the value.
  3. Ask, "Can you show me the same amount of money in a different way?"
  4. Let your child count the new combination of coins to show it has the same value.

Make it more challenging:

  • Increase the value to amounts over one dollar.
  • Mix dollar bills and coins together.
  • Record the different combinations and see how many different combinations your child can make.

Sorting and Counting Money

Materials: real or fake coins, 4 plates (optional)

  1. Explore and talk with your child about each coin. What does it look like? Heads side vs. tails side. How much is it worth?
  2. Ask child to sort coins by type (optional: use a plate for each type).
  3. Count the value of money in each pile. (by 1s, 5s, 10s, and 25s)
  4. Mix coins together and count the value.

Make it more challenging:

  • Go to a store together or browse online to find items that cost different amounts.
  • Name and describe the person on each coin.  Penny - Abraham Lincoln; Nickel - Thomas Jefferson; Dime - Franklin D. Roosevelt; Quarter - George Washington.