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Blogs » Mummy Blogger

The Money Game

Read below for some fun and inventive games to educate your children about cash! 

What colour is a ten pound note? Now, who is on the back of that note? What about the bird which also graces every tenner? If you said Brown, Charles Darwin and Humming Bird, consider yourself congratulated. Now do the same exercise for a fiver and a twenty pound note, and what about a fifty? If you know all of those then I’m seriously impressed.

So what about your children? How familiar are they with our currency? A common symptom of our plastic society is the lack of real understanding from children of what money is and its worth. You many not consider this to be of particular importance but in fact without an intrinsic understanding of the tangible qualities of a currency it is very difficult to assess and appreciate its value. 

Consider how we feel about foreign currency. You arrive on holiday with a wallet stuffed full of alien looking bits of paper, and when faced with a bill randomly hand over the largest denomination for fear of embarrassment. The bills themselves mean nothing which can give us a skewed appreciation of their worth.

It’s important for our children to know what each note and coin looks and feels like and understand its worth. One way of assisting this process is through playing The Money Game and tailoring it to suit different age groups.

For 3-6 year olds
Spread out assorted coins across the table. Hold up a specific coin and ask them to match it as fast as they can. Play simple counting games with pennies, 2s, 5s and 10s to show them how the value increases and ask them to identify specific values. You can print off examples of specimen banknotes from the Bank of England website if, like me, you don’t happen to have a stash of cash close to hand and ask your children to identify them by colour and denomination before using them to play shops and guess how much every day items are worth.

For 7+ year olds
Older children will enjoy the challenge of racing to make up a specific value, for example, £1.65 using as few (or as many) coins as possible. Children of all ages will enjoy producing charcoal or crayon rubbings of coins, and these could be cut out and used to make a collage or similar. Encourage older children to research the historical figures that appear on our notes and ponder why they were considered influential enough to grace our tender.

Finally, let kids of all ages have a crack at designing their own currency! Younger children can design and colour in on pre-sized notes whilst the older ones could embark on a design process that includes questioning how they might improve on our current tender, what factors they need to consider such as, are the notes currently the most appropriate size and shape, and are the made of the right material. Ask them how they would go about ‘re-launching’ their new currency to the world!

Let us know how they get on!
 

Thursday, 17th February 2011

Tags:   Children's Activities  /  Games  /  Cash  /  Money  /  Currency  /  Foreign Currency  /  Parenting
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