Lately, my son is fascinated with money. I know, you think I mean spending it, right? Nope. He wants to know who’s on each bill and loves the ‘secret’ watermarks you see when you hold the newly designed bills up to the light.
To give him a little practice counting bills, though, I decided to make some funny money for him. (I wasn’t about to risk him losing all of our Monopoly money.)
I printed several sheets of each denomination (1s, 5s, 10s, 20s, 50s, and 100s) on cardstock.
Once I cut the bills apart, it was time I put on my acting hat. I admit; I was pretty rusty (the last time I acted was in an 8th-grade school play). Thankfully, my son isn’t a tough critic.
the clown-faced funny money here.|
If you’d rather add your child’s picture to the bills like I did,
e-mail me and I’ll send you the Microsoft Publisher files to adapt.
I told him to pretend he worked at a bank and gave him a (shuffled) random amount of money. He needed to sort the funny money into piles and put the piles in order from smallest to largest denomination. Next, he counted each pile.
I made three columns in his notebook. Down the first column, I wrote each denomination. Over the second column, I wrote “how many?” And under the third column I wrote “how much $?” His task was to write down the number of bills he had in each pile and figure out how much money that amounted to (essentially how much money was “in the bank”). I added all his subtotals up for him.
Then, I held a stick up with a small toy squirt gun (don’t worry, it wasn’t loaded). My son thought I was being funny until I took some bills from each of his piles; then, his jaw dropped.
Now it was time to count the money again, recording the values once more in his notebook. After counting each denomination, he’d look at the previous numbers and tell me things like, “You took three ten-dollar bills.”
After he’d recounted his money, I told him that the police had caught the crook and recovered the money; however, he needed to count it to make sure that they got all the money back.
This was SO much fun that my son never complained about all the counting and subtracting. It really put his skip-counting skills to the test, too. Success!