5 money math lessons for your kids

Money math lessons from MPE

Wouldn’t it be great to have a list of free, fun money math lessons that you can teach your children anytime? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Here are five ideas to transform household objects into “stewardship games” that teach your kids valuable life skills:

  • Coin exchanges

Age: Preschool through first grade

Once children are old enough to touch objects without mouthing them, give a quick lesson in loose change. Group coins in varying denominations to make a dollar:

    • 1 dollar coin
    • 4 quarters
    • 10 dimes
    • 20 nickels … etc. (Try 100 pennies if you’re brave!)

Explain how each group equals the same value. Let them handle coins, sort and resort piles, etc.

  • Box Tops

Age: Preschool through fifth grade

This school earnings program demonstrates how small amounts add up over time. Let kids clip Box Top coupons from items such as groceries, school supplies, and apparel. If they’re too young for scissors, let them place pre-cut coupons into a sealable plastic bag.

With each Box Top valued at 10 cents, have them calculate the total collected to benefit homeschoolers!

  • Coupon collection

Age: First grade and up

Let your children add up your coupon savings for the week, month and year, as well as the amount you would have spent without coupons. The answers may surprise even you!

If your store doubles coupons, your children can practice multiplication and division. If they know percentages and ratios, ask for the percentage saved last year or the ratio of dollars saved to dollars spent.

  • Home-cooked meals vs. dining out

Age: First grade and up

Next time your children want a favorite meal, have them estimate the cost for making it. Consider:

    • Each ingredient in the dish
    • Unit weight and measurement in calculating cost per item
    • Utility costs (did you use the oven or freezer/refrigerator?)
    • Labor costs (preparation time and how much you charge per hour!)

To make the lesson more advanced, compare the cost of a home-cooked meal against ordering the same dish at a restaurant. Remember taxes, transportation expenses, etc.

  • Shopping

Age: First grade and up

Bring a calculator on your next grocery trip, and let the games begin!

Let your children add up the cost of every item as it enters the cart. Multiply the total by the sales tax percentage, then compare their answer with your receipt.

Upgrade your game to calculate unit pricing. For example, if Brand A sells 24 oz. of tomato sauce for $2.48 and Brand B sells 48 oz. for $4.80, which is cheaper? Let them “solve for x” if they know algebra, or draw a ratio: [Brand A] 1 oz / 24 oz. = ?? / $2.48.

As your children grow, let them do the shopping for you. They could compare prices on school supplies or free / low-cost homeschool curriculum options, then “report” on the best deals!

What are some ways you incorporate more money math lessons into your homeschool? Let us know in the comments!

1 Comment

  1. deb
      October 1, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    Great ideas!

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