In my recent review of Math Mammoth Money I shared how Gess was getting good at counting coins using dimes and pennies. To practice that skill we came up with a silly little game I called "Can I buy that?" I didn't even actually come up with the title or call it a game until we were playing it for awhile. However, it was something Gess enjoyed and now she will ask to play the game "Can I buy that?" whether we are doing school or not.
I got the idea from an online friend who also homeschools their child that has Down syndrome. She said they make up a store around the house and have the kids spend their play money there. So far in money all we had done was recognize coins and know how much each one was worth. Now that we began counting coins in math I decided to implement the shopping idea into our lesson. I wanted Gess to see counting coins in an every day life situation however, instead of just pretending to play store, we acted as if it were a game to see how many things we could buy with our money.
So first I had her fetch about 6 to 7 toys. Then I took little stickers and priced them all under a dollar in ways that would help her practice counting using only dimes and pennies. Once I had the stickers made I let Gess put them on the toys. I noticed she did it randomly, the toy that was cheapest in real life was priced much higher than her most expensive and favorite of all the toys. So as we play, we are also trying to teach her about value.
Now that the toys are priced I then place her coins out in a way that makes it easy for her to count them. We start by counting the coins to see how much money she has to begin with.
Then she makes her first purchase. We confirm that she can "buy that" with the amount of coins she has. Then she counts the coins out and pays me that much money. Of course eventually she discovers that no, she does not have enough money to buy that, which is an important lesson every kid needs to learn!
That's all there is to it. As we add more coins in our math work we will add those in our game. We will eventually get fancier and have the shopping cart and actual groceries and all that. I think she will love setting up the store herself. As I have mentioned before, I already try to make our grocery shopping educational and this just adds a whole new aspect to that. For now I figured I would share phase one of our little shopping game called "Can I buy that?"