cloth diaper blog, news, sale, announcement, and giveaways

Mom to Mom: Preschoolers, Math and the Value of a Dollar!

Posted by Becca on 1/20/2015 to Mom Madness
preschool,homeschool,math

Teaching children about math and money

My daughter is five years old, hasn’t started kindergarten yet, and, though she’s learned some basic preschool math, she really has no concept of money yet. For instance: She had a particular dolly that she really, really, wanted. We counted up the money she had earned for chores so far. She had about $4. Then, we looked up the doll on Amazon. It cost $14.

“Okay, Mommy! I’m going to do tons and tons of chores. I’ll wash the dishes every day so I can get that dolly!”

She helped with the dishes one time, earned $.25, and asked, “Now do I have enough?”

“Bunny, the dolly is $14. You now have $4.25. No, it’s not enough. However, if you clean up the living room, I’ll give you $.50 and you’ll have almost $5.00! Then, you’ll only have about $9 left!”

coloring page,math,preschool She responded with a groan as she slumped down in her chair and decided it wasn’t worth her while. Frankly, she just didn’t really understand why there were still nine dollars left to earn and how doing the dishes hadn’t gotten her that far. She just has no concept of numbers yet—especially money.

So, I made a graph. I put 15 empty squares next to a picture of the doll that she could color. I blacked out one square, which left 14 squares for her to use. I put it on the wall and told her to color four of the squares. Then, I divided one square into four parts and told her that each part equals one quarter, and she was able to color one of the little squares.

preschool,math Suddenly the money she was working so hard to earn made so much more sense to her! She was more motivated to do her chores and eager to be able to color in the squares when she was done. A really big chore like cleaning her messy room earned her $1.00. That was easy to understand now because $1.00 meant one square! She was finally understanding the math behind our system and this was math that was very relevant to her!

The whole experience took doing chores for money to a whole new level. Up until this point she had no idea of how far she’d come or how much longer she had to wait until the item for which she was working so hard became hers. This had lead to a lot of discouragement and frustration because when I said, “Bunny, do you want to clean your room so you can earn your dolly?” she heard, “When you finish cleaning your room we will go buy the dolly at once.” Now, she understood much better the slow steps taken with each chore towards getting the dolly.

Bunny started earning her money when she was about two and a half years old.

Back then she’d do a chore and I’d give her a couple of coins to jingle in her bank and there was very little rhyme or reason to it. Over the years it has morphed and improved until we are finally at this place where both parties understand the terms of the agreement. She’s in a place where she feels more control. I’m happy, she’s happy, and she’s not only learning math and fractions, but she’s continuing to learn the hard work involved in earning each and every dollar.

Have you found any fun ways to incorporate math, money and rewards into your preschoolers life? What has or hasn't worked for you?

Comments

Date 1/22/2015
judith martinez
What a great way to use visual, concrete tools to help a young child understand money.
Date 1/23/2015
Holly Gosser
Love this :) Executive functioning skills!
Date 1/24/2015
Maggie M.
That is such a great way to help them understand! I'll have to try this with mine sometime.
Date 1/24/2015
Keara B.
This is an awesome idea. We currently use pennies as a reward when my 3-year-old does something good, and she can "buy" something (like watching Frozen or a small treat) when she has enough to get a nickel. I'll have to try this chart as she gets older!
Date 1/28/2015
Jessica Hooley
Kids thrive on visuals! This is a great idea :)
Date 1/31/2015
Beth R
I love the idea of using a visual. So much easier for littles to understand
Date 2/7/2015
Kristen M
Most of us are visual learners. What a great way to visualize her goal!
Date 2/16/2015
Theresa Hover
Wow this is a great idea. I remember when I was young (maybe 8 or 9) I saved up for a long time to buy a rainbow fabric kite for $25, I was so excited to buy my kite. I think this system is great for younger kids who can not yet visualize the value of money.
Date 2/20/2015
Amanda N
I like the graph idea! I'll have to remember that when my LO is older.
Date 2/22/2015
Jan
What a great idea to make Math more accessible! And you're teaching her the value of saving early :-)
Date 2/24/2015
Camille W
This is absolutely brilliant! I must remember this for when my little one gets to that stage.
Date 3/26/2015
Erin B.
Great idea to give her a visual to help understand! My daughter is almost 3, we have given her change randomly here and there as a bribe to cooperate in helping or if she cleaned up without being asked, but we don't have a regular system yet.
Date 8/11/2015
Jilliann M
Love this! I think my daughter would really benefit from it. I thought about maybe dividing the individual squares up into 4 triangles. That way a quarter could be a triangle and a square could be a dollar. Shapes and math!
Date 8/19/2015
Christine Cee
A great way to learn Math !!! Love the ideas !! <3

Add Comment

Gift Registry