This week our Smart Summer Challenge theme is Government–and what better way to start the week off than by playing with money? Okay, so we really started the week off with a flag cake, but who’s really keeping track?
We’ve had a huge jug in our craft room, just sitting there collecting loose change for months and months and months so I thought it would be a perfect day and unload those coins so Maddy, Owen, and Cora could practice some counting, estimating, and wrapping.
We skipped swim and dive today because Maddy and Owen are still not 100%, but before we took Cora to her ‘mini-team’, we did some serious money-playing. . .
- Playing With Money–Counting, Wrapping, and Estimating: We started off by sorting the coins, and in order to keep things separate, I put a piece of colored construction paper in front of Maddy, Owen, Cora, and myself.
I said, Okay, we’ve got soooo many coins in here, and they’re just sitting here waiting to be counted and wrapped. How about we sort and count this money and then use it to go out tonight to celebrate Mommy and Daddy’s anniversary?
Yeeeesssss! Hoooray! Let’s go out for dinner–a family date! Woooo-hoooo! It was unanimous. We were counting and spending.
Super. Each one of us is going to be in charge of one coin–either a quarter, dime, nickel, or penny. Who wants what?
They decided that Cora would do quarters, Maddy pennies, Owen dimes, and I’d do nickels.
We dumped the coins on the dining room table, and started sorting, each person putting his or her coin on the paper in front of them.
We sorted and sorted and sorted some more.
We sorted and chatted, sorted and chatted, and we sorted some more until all of the coins were in the correct spot and we had a huge pile of ‘extras’–random coins from other countries, paper clips, beads, and other funny things that somehow found a home in our coin jar.
The Uglies. And they were realllly ugly.
Before we started counting and wrapping, we really examined and talked about the coins:
- We went on an ‘Ugly Hunt‘–we all searched for the absolute most dirty, beat-up, and ugly coin;
- We hunted for the most perfectly perfect, shiny and sparkly coin;
- We studied on our coin for 3 cool things to share with everyone–a picture, word, or something unusual or awesome about your coin;
- We shared our ‘cool things’ with each other and looked at each other’s coin;
- We talked about how many cents each coin was worth (this was obviously hard for Cora to understand, but Owen’s slowly getting it, and Maddy learned about money last year, so it was a great review for her);
- We looked at the wrappers and figured out how many we needed of each coin so that the appropriate amount was in each wrapper;
- We estimated–we each took a guess at how much money we had total, and wrote down our predictions (Maddy guessed $175; Owen guessed $820; Cora guessed $85; and I guessed $60).
Owen counts his dimes–five rows of ten.
And then we started counting.
I modeled for each kiddo how to do it in an organized way–Maddy put her pennies in five piles of ten; Owen placed his dimes in rows of ten; Cora put her quarters in ten rows of four.
And then they were on their own.
One row is wrapped, and he’s got four to go!
We double-checked their rows before we wrapped, and then I started the wrapping for the kids–it’s very difficult at first to fold and get it started.
And after the coins were lined up and ready, they wrapped and wrapped and wrapped.
We took a big break for Cora’s mini-team and then lunch, and after lunch we finished it up.
And then. . . for the finale–counting our wrapped coins! We organized the coins by type and added it all together. As much as I truly wished that Owen was closest in his estimation, I was the closest (boo).
But no complaints here–we were all totally excited to use our $58.00 on a happy anniversary family dinner tonight! Woo-hoo!
Our wrapped coins, ready to get cashed in at the bank and our final tally. . .
And that’s it for today–with two kids on the mend, counting and wrapping coins was about all we could do. . . but it was a blast! We all had fun, and Maddy, Owen, and Cora had no idea that they were practicing their math and fine motor skills today–I love it!
Remember to please join Candace of Naturally Educational, MaryLea of Pink and Green Mama, and me for the Smart Summer Challenge, a six-week campaign where we all pledging to sneak in some sort of fun learning into our children’s summer days.
You can follow our calendar if you’d like, but you don’t have to. You can get really crazy, but you don’t have to do that either.
It can be simple learning–even 5 or 10 minutes a day. Anything and everything counts, and all we ask is that you link up here on Fridays and share what you’ve done (meaning: share one way you participated). Each Friday for the next six weeks, we’ll choose one participant to receive an awesome (and I mean totally worth your time awesome) prize.
Our goal is to show all parents that if we can do it, anyone can do it. And if we want our kids meet with success in school and to enjoy learning about the world around them, it’s our job to create a lifestyle of learning for our families. Join us!
Happy anniversary!!! Great idea too!!
What a great day you had. Thanks for sharing.
A fun follow-up to this is to do a penny cleaning experiment. The kids picked 15 things in the kitchen they thought might clean pennies. (milk, vinegar, ketchup, sprite, etc.) They broke down the ingredients in ketchup and discovered the tomato paste vs. vinegar played into the experiment. It was fun to dunk, rinse, rub with old toothbrushes, etc.
LOVE it!! So cool–did you get any photos of it? I’d love to see them!! I bet it was a blast!!