Math the Fun Way: Cashing in on Learning with My Little Girl

“Everything is one dollar! Since you have three things, your total is three dollars,” she said. I then replied, “Okay, here’s a five dollar bill.” She then thought for a moment as she went back to her cash register and responded, “Since you gave me five dollars and purchased three toys for a dollar a piece, you get back…two dollars!” She then reached in her drawer, grabbed the two one dollar bills and gave me my change.

Playing store with my four year old is a fun activity. She enjoys setting up her items for sell and determining the prices. Sometimes, she even comes up with backstories on the items to explain why they cost what they cost.

I especially love playing store with her because I know it is so much more than an imaginative play activity. Quinn is using math skills and critical thinking. Sometimes, she’ll negotiate with me on the price. It also teaches her the value of a dollar, what different coins are worth and even information about who’s on the money. “This penny has Abraham Lincoln on it, right Mommy? This one is easy to remember because the coin is brown,” she informed me.

One day when I picked her up from preschool, her teacher told me how excited Quinn was when she found a shiny dime when they were outside and how she couldn’t wait to put it in her piggy bank. It is never too young to learn about money, and I am glad that my daughter loves not just spending but saving and collecting.

All the best,

Tanya

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