About the Activity
In this activity, kids will practice beginning skills in counting money and how to apply those skills by pretending to buy groceries.
Courtesy of Utah State University
- Dollar Bills or play money
- Play food (op substitute with real food from your pantry)
- Play cash register – Box, drawer, etc.
- Grocery bags or toy cart or basket
- Poster board or paper
Counting and Matching
- Place pennies on one side of the table in different rows. For example, put a row of five pennies, a row of eight pennies, and a row of ten pennies.
- On the other side of the table put the matching amount using different coins. Continuing the example above, place a nickel, a nickel and three pennies, and a dime.
- Count the coins and match them to the correct number of pennies.
“Visit” the Grocery Store
- Have fun and get creative staging a grocery store using whatever you have on hand! Be sure to include a checkout lane and “cash register“ and put your coins and dollars in the register.
- Price the items using some of the same sums you added up in the first counting activity.
- Select one child/adult to be the cashier, and the other to be a shopper.
- Give the shopper a sum of money – ask them to count how much they have.
- Give the shopper time to select their items, keeping in mind their budget.
- The cashier will check out the customers, adding up the price of the items, and collect the correct amount of money.
Continue the fun: Teach kids about earning money by “paying” them after their turn being the cashier so they can use that money to take another turn as a shopper.
Questions for your kids and teens.
- What kinds of things do you have to save for in order to buy?
- What is the difference between needs and wants?
- Why are money management skills important?
- What are some ways that you could save and earn money?
- In what ways can money management skills help you in the future?