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How Kids Can Have Fun While Learning About Money

By Yolanda Spivey

Are you looking for a new and exciting game to play with your children? Well maybe you should try the money game.  The money game, which is played with change from your own pockets, is a brain teasing game and a good way to pass the time on a rainy or snowy day.  You can even play the game while waiting at a restaurant, at the doctor’s office, or while taking a long ride.

Here’s how to play:

You’re Going to Need:

  •  pocket change (pennies, nickels, and dimes)

Directions:

  1. When your child is not looking, take a few coins (two or three) from your pocket or wallet and add them up. Then tell your child how many coins you are holding, as well as their total value, and invite your child to name the coins. (For example, “I have two coins worth fifteen cents. What could they be?”)
  2. Once your child has given an answer, ask “What makes you think I have those coins?” If your child comes up with an answer that doesn’t name what you are holding, talk about the coins and their values. Could your child’s answer be correct as well? Together, do the simple arithmetic to check.
  3. Switch roles and let your child do the same with two or three coins, asking you to name what the coins could be. Have fun — suggest an incorrect answer once in a while so your child can correct you!

When first playing this game, you should start with combinations of pennies, nickels and dimes.  You can later incorporate quarters once your child feels comfortable with the other coins.

As your child progress with this game, you can increase the difficulty level by not revealing how many coins you are holding—just give them the total amount.

This activity will not only teach your child coin values, but it will also help him/her develop reasoning skills.

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