Money games aimed at preschool children should teach them counting and to recognise coins rather than adding or subtracting which is probably still beyond their understanding. Keep a collection of coins to hand, especially lots of pennies which they can count on. Here are a few ideas for games using money:-
Memory Game: Take four coins of different denominations. Show your little one what coins they are and what value or number each is (eg. 1, 2, 5, 10). Take a sheet of paper and place a coin under each corner without them seeing. Ask where '1' is and allow them one peek under one corner. If they are right, they win the coin, if not they must replace the paper over the coin. Then ask for a different coin and repeat until they have found them all.
Pairs and Sorting: Take two coins each of a variety of denominations and lay them all out on a tray. Have your little one pair the coins together based on size and colour. Can they sort them into order, either by number if they are able, otherwise by size?
Heads and Tails: Take a handful of coins and explain the difference between 'heads' showing the queen, and 'tails', the other side. Say a pattern such as 'Heads, Heads, Tails' and have them line up three coins in the right way. Make the pattern longer and longer to see how many they can remember and line up in a row.
Number Hunt: Take a selection of coins that between them display all the numbers from 0 to 9, include the year they were minted for numbers that don't appear in the denominations. Lay them all out, start at '0' and have your little one find a zero. Then look for '1', '2' and so on, up to 9.
Coin Rubbing: Tape some coins to a piece of card, lay over a sheet of paper and colour over them with a wax crayon to create copies of the coins. If they struggle to keep the paper still whilst rubbing then tape the paper down too. See if you can spot different numbers and pictures as they appear through the paper.
Olympic Challenge: This is a longer term project! To celebrate the 2012 Olympics, 29 special fifty pence pieces have been minted, each depicting an Olympic or Paralympic sport. Start collecting and see if you can collect all 29 fifty pence pieces. Every time you receive change in a shop, show your little one and ask them to pick out any 50p's. Generous retailers might be able to give you more 50 pence pieces in your change if you ask!
As excitement mounts for the queen's Diamond Jubilee this weekend, your little ones are probably just too young to understand the significance of what is going on, but they certainly aren't too young to join in the fun. Here are some fun ideas to explore royalty and help them learn who the queen is:-
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