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Money, Money, Money

Hubby took Crevette and Beanie to the school disco yesterday. They danced and jumped around for an hour or so (the kids, not hubby!) and came back home really happy, excited and full of sugar. They did not use the money they had gathered from their piggy banks, as this time round the entrance fee included the snacks.

Crevette decided this morning that he wanted to go online and buy something with his money. I told him he could save the money for another time but he was determined to use it and I thought, “Why not?”

His first trip to the cinema was in December to see ‘Frozen’, and he loved it. At the moment, both Crevette and Beanie are really into the soundtrack (no idea where they have heard it but there you go) and he decided he wanted to spend his money on the DVD.

I pointed out that there was probably not enough money in his purse. We went online, he typed ‘Frozen’ and found out the DVD cost £10. He had £5.20 in his purse. Beanie suddenly got interested as she wanted to watch the film. There were a few coins on the table and hubby allowed the children to have those. They still needed a couple of pounds so they went upstairs to fetch their money boxes. They emptied them on the table and got busy trying to find the rest of the money they needed to buy the DVD.

Using Money for Numeracy

Quite a few skills were involved in the process.

Crevette (5 years 7 months):

Numeracy: counting to 100; adding in 5s, 10s, 20s; recognising coins and adding their values

Literacy: spelling; writing the title of the film focusing on letter formation (remembering not to mirror letters)

ICT: being precise whilst using the mouse pad; clicking; typing and pressing ‘enter’

Beanie (3 years 5 months): 

Numeracy: counting coins; recognising coins that were the same: £1, 20p, 10p, 5p

She really enjoyed finding and passing the 20p coins to her brother, sliding them on the table and shouting, “It’s like a game, mummy!”

Literacy:  letter recognition

Letter Recognition for Pre-Schoolers

We also threw in a bit of speculation, arranging items by size and hand-eye coordination in the mix. After they had gathered all the money and we had checked it was the right amount, I asked them if they thought they could make a tower with all the coins. Crevette thought it was not possible because there was “lots and lots of money.”

Sorting by Size

Crevette decided they had to go with biggest on bottom to smallest on top and Beanie arranged them by size. The ‘coin tower’ was a team effort, Crevette giving coins to Beanie who carefully started arranging them on top of each other.

Coin Tower

Crevette took over when his sister had had enough and he kept repeating “I know it’s going to fall.” Beanie thought it looked “like a wriggly worm.”  It did fall eventually after they had piled up all the money, but it turned out the tower was made of £11.30 worth of coins, not £10.

Hand-eye Coordination

It was time to give me the money to pay for the DVD. They double-checked quickly, just to make sure they were not giving me too much money. Crevette completed the whole ordering process himself, finding my name and our address in the list on our online account.

We decided to organise a sleepover with a friend on the day the DVD is released and that made the whole experience even more exciting for them. We realised that to get the DVD on that day, we would have to pay for first class postage and therefore add £1.49 to the total price. Crevette fumbled a bit more in his piggy bank and was relieved to have enough money.

The whole thing took a couple of hours. We enjoyed ourselves, the children shared their money, learnt something in the process and I even managed to squeeze in a cup of tea. Time to move to emptying the tumble dryer and organise a sock matching competition for the kids!

The Reading Residence           


  1. 22/03/2014 / 7:37 pm

    You must be so proud of your kids, they’ve participated in so much learning there! At the moment I feel like one of my biggest failures as a parent is not organising any kind of educational activities (and very little creative stuff either). I’d be useless at home educating and frankly long for JJ to start school so that I can find out whether he’s actually any good at anything useful (from preschool I know that he is sociable and good at sharing). Having said that I know that they learn through play and you don’t necessarily always take on board the acquisition of knowledge as it happens. X

    • Mel
      22/03/2014 / 9:28 pm

      Sam, don’t beat yourself up! The learning was coincidental; it kind of just happened. It was not planned at all but when Crevette started getting money out, it was just an opportunity to focus on a couple of skills without going crazy (or boring!). Being sociable and good at sharing are the best skills JJ could have at the stage he is at. What we want for our pre-schoolers is to be happy as they start their learning journey in a nice, welcoming environment. No pressure there or they would be unhappy and unsettled! x Mel

  2. adeline
    22/03/2014 / 8:32 pm

    une chouette activité!!!!! dommage pour moi par contre car je pensais demander à la cloche qu’elle leur apporte le dvd… je vais devoir trouver une autre idée….

    • Mel
      22/03/2014 / 9:21 pm

      On est vraiment sur la même longueur d’ondes, toi et moi, je pensais le prendre pour ta puce pour Pâques ! Je peux ? Mes loulous seront ravis si tu leur prends en livre! x

      • adeline
        22/03/2014 / 9:47 pm

        très bonne idée elle a vraiment adoré, il faut aller sur You tube pour chanter la chanson. Je prendrai des choco et le livre. Quelle taille fait Ellie? 2 ans??? un petit plus pour ma filleule!

        • Mel
          22/03/2014 / 9:52 pm

          Non mais tu ne crois pas que je vais les encourager! Ils chantent déjà à tue-tête sans que je le leur demande et ils ont autant de talent (pardon les enfants !) que leur maman, donc tu imagines ! Oui, 2 ans pour la poupette. Bisous

  3. Alexandra Mercer (Broody Me)
    23/03/2014 / 12:03 pm

    It’s so much easier to learn when children can see the way they can us their new skills. x

    • Mel
      23/03/2014 / 8:19 pm

      Definitely! The learning just happened, really! It is my favourite way to see my little ones acquiring new skills. x Mel

  4. The Free From Fairy
    23/03/2014 / 7:28 pm

    That’s a lovely idea, well done!! I like the way you outline all the learning in the task. Very clever!

    • Mel
      23/03/2014 / 8:17 pm

      Thanks Vicki. x

  5. 23/03/2014 / 9:48 pm

    Wow, thats a very positive “money” post (unlike mine)… I really should make Lewis work out his pennies like you have done with your children what a great experience for them both x

    • Mel
      23/03/2014 / 9:58 pm

      Thanks Bex!

  6. Jess @ Catch A Single Thought
    24/03/2014 / 7:55 am

    This is such a great idea, so much learning involved and life lessons too except they don’t realise they are learning (which is the best kind!) you can’t be a Frozen singalong either! #magicmoments

    • Mel
      26/03/2014 / 9:40 pm

      I anticipate a lot of singing next Monday! x Mel

  7. 24/03/2014 / 8:09 am

    I think that was a wonderful idea.Lots of learning but lots of fun. I used to take my kids to the park and collect stuff we found. Then we would come home and make pictures with what we had found . Cost so little and they loved it

    • Mel
      26/03/2014 / 9:41 pm

      Fab idea! My little ones would love collecting leaves and twigs to make pictures. Something to think about on our next trip to the park. Mel

  8. 24/03/2014 / 10:37 am

    Wow you should feel so proud of your kids that’s amazing. What great learning they are participating in. Great ideas when my two get older. 😉

    • Mel
      26/03/2014 / 9:43 pm

      I have to say I am always very proud of my little ones, Jenny! They are such a bunch of fun, clever little people (just a tad biased!). x Mel

  9. 24/03/2014 / 2:24 pm

    wow. this is probably play for them and yet they are doing math! My son is starting to save now. He is saving for traffic signs (which is his current obsession) and I cant wait for us to start with the counting too!


    • Mel
      26/03/2014 / 9:47 pm

      Awww, bless him! My little man is (was) saving for a loft extension for our home, but buying the DVD has made a serious dent in his savings! x Mel

  10. 24/03/2014 / 2:39 pm

    It’s amazing how much you can learn while having fun. x

    • Mel
      25/03/2014 / 11:12 pm

      Definitely! Learning tends to be more memorable when it is done in a fun, active way. Mel

  11. Victoria Welton (@VicWelton)
    24/03/2014 / 4:01 pm

    What a great way to help your children understand the value of money – for something they really want. Enjoy the sleepover. We can’t wait for the DVD in this house either! #MagicMoments x

    • Mel
      26/03/2014 / 9:34 pm

      The sleepover should be fun and I am quite looking forward to seeing ‘Frozen’ again! x Mel

  12. 24/03/2014 / 5:39 pm

    Great idea! We started doing this now for my eldest when she spots something she wants as she’s earning pocket money. You packed in some really good learning points too 🙂

    • Mel
      25/03/2014 / 11:18 pm

      It is never too early to learn that if there is not enough money in their piggy banks, they cannot have what they want (although Daddy does help by letting coins on tables and in drawers). Thanks for your comment, Iona. x Mel

  13. 24/03/2014 / 7:58 pm

    A great way to teach children about money. All of mine have jobs on the farm and save their money to buy the things they want. Great lessons in life learned at a young age. #MagicMoments

    • Mel
      26/03/2014 / 9:49 pm

      It is great for them to earn their own money early on. I bet they are always busy on your farm; it looks huge (and amazing!). x Mel

  14. 24/03/2014 / 8:25 pm

    awww Mel, what a really great experience for them to learn from! i love the fact they became a team!!

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments x

    • Mel
      25/03/2014 / 11:10 pm

      They do make a really cute team! x Mel

  15. 25/03/2014 / 3:07 pm

    It’s so wonderful seeing children learning the value of money I’m sure your littlies will grow up being super savers and very responsible with their money

    • Mel
      25/03/2014 / 10:56 pm

      I am not sure about that, but that is a nice thought! Crevette kept saying: “Let’s just get the money from Daddy’s wallet; we do it all the time!” so I am not convinced much of the money in their piggy banks was actually theirs! x Mel

  16. 25/03/2014 / 8:20 pm

    Oh, I love this post. So many learns here, out of an off the cuff activity. My daughter loves Frozen, too, and the soundtrack, so I’ve ordered it for her for Easter, rather than buying her chocolate – she’ll get plenty from others! Thanks for sharing this with #WotW

    • Mel
      25/03/2014 / 10:50 pm

      Jocelyn, I cannot believe you are reading posts during your holidays! That is dedication. Thanks a lot for your lovely comment and enjoy the rest of your stay. x Mel

  17. Ness
    30/03/2014 / 11:51 am

    Thanks Mel, your post are always so inspiring!! I ‘ll just finish my slice of easy crusty bread then I’m off to buy Ella a piggy bank! xx Ness

    • Mel
      30/03/2014 / 3:02 pm

      You are too kind, Ness! Glad to hear the bread has become a staple with you guys. If Ella has not got a piggy bank yet, let me know, I would love to make it her next birthday pressie! x Mel

  18. sarahhillwheeler
    01/04/2014 / 10:24 am

    A great “money” post. As you show, turning the “everyday” into something special can be a great learning process, so important also to teach the value of money (just watch out for when they get a bit older and make sure you disable “one click” on Amazon though!

    • Mel
      02/04/2014 / 10:05 am

      Sarah, that is such a great piece of advice! I would never have thought of disabling the ‘one click’ option. I tend to save everything and anything I like in my basket. I currently have my dream camera in there, it would be a nightmare if they pressed the button as I can definitely not afford it! x Mel

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