Who Wants to…Play with Money?

Who Wants to … Play with Money?

At Camp HSR!, we have programming for all ages, starting with preschool, and it’s never too young to introduce your kids to money!  One of the last classes in our preschool program before this whole pandemic nonsense broke out was called Money Magic. It was a literature and play-based class, lending itself perfectly to an at-home unit study.

Little Nin’s Pizzeria by Karen Barbour and Dr. Seuss’s ABC’s – Goods and Services

1. We began by reading Dr. Seuss’s ABC’s to discuss the difference between goods and services.  Going page-by-page, we identified different items named or pictured in the book which are either goods or services.  

2. Little Nin’s Pizzeria by Karen Barbous is another book to read to continue the discussion.  

3. Once your child has an idea of the difference between goods and services, create an alphabet book of your own.  Make sure to meet them where they are. They could alternate pages or even make one book for each vocab word. This is a great opportunity to integrate phonics and alphabet practice into math.  Of course, let them illustrate it at the end!

Betty Bunny Wants Everything by Michael B. Kaplan – Wants and Choice

1. Let your child make a list of things they would want if you took them to a toy store.  If you have magazines with pictures of toys, let them cut out their wants and glue them onto another piece of paper.  

2. We read this book in class and discussed Betty’s problem, and her solution, together.  We introduced the vocabulary words want and choice using this book.  

3. Now that you’re familiar with the vocab, bring out their collage again.  Let them make a choice – If they can only CHOOSE one thing from the page, what would it be?  

4. Get dramatic!  Work with your child and role play various scenes from Betty Bunny Wants Everything.  Was Betty Bunny’s behavior appropriate?  Discuss appropriate and inappropriate ways of handling these situations.  

The Berenstain Bears’ Piggy Bank Blessings by Stan and Jan Berenstain – Spend and Save

1. Read this book together and discuss spending and saving.  

2. If your child has a bank, grab it to display.  If not, draw a piggy bank. Is there anything your child would like that they don’t have?  Let them draw a picture of what they would like to save money for. This was a great show-and-tell in class, so if you are doing virtual schooling or chatting with any of their friends, this might be a good activity for that time of day.  

3. Watch Cyberchase: The Snelfu Snafu and Cyberchase: Balancing Act on PBS Kids about saving and spending money.  This is Season 3, Episode 9-10 and Season 4, Episode 1 respectively.  You can follow this up with some activities from the PBS Kids website:  https://pbskids.org/cyberchase/topics/money

Just Saving My Money by Mercer Mayer and The Berenstain Bears Trouble with Money by Stan and Jan Berenstain – Money and Bank

1. After reading and discussing the vocab words for one or both of these books, let your child play with money!  I brought a whole bag of random coins and we spent most of the class period counting and making patterns. I also happen to have a lot of foreign coins around my house, so I brought a separate bag of those for them to examine.  

2. Art – All you need is a crayon or pencil, paper, and coins to make some cool etchings.  If you’ve never done this, just place the paper on top of the coin, hold it in place so it doesn’t shift, and color lightly over it.  This also gives them a chance to really examine the markings on the various coins. Follow it up by drawing or painting money. We used a template I found online, but you can draw an outline for them, or let them draw and cut the shape themselves.  

3. For students old enough to get into counting money, Money Bags is a great game.  I was playing this with my daughter when she was as young as four. We’re big game-players in our house, and she still obviously needed tons of help, but it is a basic enough game for her to play along and excel once she’s older.  

4. Science – Find some dirty old coins and experiment with different things you can use to clean them.  Hint: make sure to try ketchup!

5. Gross Motor – Make a coin toss game.  For younger children, just having them toss into a bowl or cup will be a challenge.  For older kids, you can create a competition for who lands $1.00 in the bowl first, or who lands the most pennies.