Shopping Trip Number Hunt

Apr 11, 2012

A little while back, due to an over-enthusiastic run-in hug with Daddy (her fault, not his), my little 3 year old lost a tooth! *sob*
Thankfully she was less upset over it than I was and after receiving $5 from the Tooth Fairy I decided we'd turn this unfortunate event, into a fun Maths learning excursion.

I decided to help her learn her numbers, (one at a time) with a fun shopping trip to spend the $5. Due to her age we focused mainly on number recognition while also touching on money and very simple addition.

Ages: 2+
(See ideas at the bottom to Extend or Simplify to meet your child's needs)

game to help learn numbers, game using money, place value, addition game, shopping game
 As the focus of this trip was learning about the number 5, I gave her a $5 note (as opposed to, say 5, $1 coins) because it had the number 5 on it.

 We went to our local K-Mart as I knew that their price labels are very clear and easy to spot the numbers. Well, she found a 5 straight away (Therefore she could buy this, right?... nope) so we had the chance to talk about the preceding number and how that made it a different value, etc. This was practice recognising other numbers as well as learning about place value.

 It didn't take long for her to start spotting the 5's (on their own) all over the place

 But, what was she to buy? It was too hard to choose just 1 thing so this is where we brought the simple addition in. I exchanged her $5 note (we'd succeeded in learning to recognise the number 5 by now) for 5, $1 coins... allowing her the freedom to purchase more than one item.

This is where the simple addition came in. She finally decided on a $3 pack of markers and a $2 light-up pen. 3 and 2 together make 5! Using dollar coins for this allowed her to physically manipulate the coins to see how the addition worked and see exactly what she could buy.

Even months on from this activity, she will still inform me of any 5's she notices on price tags. They are everywhere! lol

Handy tips:

- You could use this for any number and play it while doing any kind of outing.

- Your child doesn't need to purchase anything. That just gave it more meaning and relevance for us, but you could always just play a game to see who could spot the most of a chosen number etc.

- Change the number each time you go out to learn all the numbers.

Repeat numerous times. Some children will need very few exposures to something before they have learnt and understood it, others will need the information reinforced many times before it's committed to memory. Each child is different so work to your child's abilities.

- To extend this activity, set your child different challenges with the money (eg, find me 2 items that add up to that amount etc) and start to focus more on addition and place value

- To simplify this activity, stick to one number and focus on helping your child to recognise it. Leave out any addition etc

Happy playing,
Debs :)

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