Thursday, February 2, 2012

Budgeting at any age.

When I worked at Block Buster many,  many, many, many years ago we had a power outage. When the lights came back on the registers were not working. So we had to add all the movies and candy, Add the tax and then give them change all without using a calculator. Mind you, this is when Block Buster was crazy busy, so it needed to be done efficiently.  Sounds easy right? Actually for most of the employees including the manager on duty, it was tough. They were having a hard time figuring it out. I loved it and was having fun. Not because I am so smart, but because that is how I was taught. To not use the calculator. I loved Chemistry and Algebra as a kid. It was so fun to have to write everything out and figure out the answer.

I am well aware that my kids are young and would not use a calculator anyway, but I want them to really get the basics down. It's easier to move forward when you all ready know what you are doing without having to think about it.

So my point to all this is when I do math with my kids we play a game called "Shop". I know.... it's a very clever name.

What we do is we lay out toys and I randomly put price tags on them.

One person is the shopper. I will give them a set amount of money. They have to go through the "store" and buy what they can and get as close to their budget without going over.

Brianna adding up what she wants to buy to see if she has enough.

Once they figure out what they are able to buy. The shopper then takes their purchases to the owner and he must add up the total and figure out the change that needs to come back.

Adding up what the customer owes.

Giving back change.
This works both ways. The person playing the customer needs to also know what they will be getting back. So they too must calculate their total, how much they owe, and what change they should get back.

We do this several times and then switch.

They are learning to budget, add, and subtract. And also the value of money. My oldest is in third grade so I do make it more challenging for him.

As they get older I will start to add tax and sale prices. Meaning using percentages off and coupons.

They always have fun playing this game. 

My youngest will either play in their rooms or join their siblings with writing things down.

What learning games do you do with your kids? I would love to steal ideas :) No really, I would. As you can see "shop" is not that clever. The easy fun ideas usually escape me, So comment please!!