Learn at Home Activities for Money Math

Shopping Game

Have pictures of objects with prices to make a variety of stores. We have created a ‘virtual store’ template. Search Google for pictures of items your child would be motivated to ‘shop’ for and copy and paste to replace the pictures in the template. Add prices that are within your child’s understanding of numbers. For example, some children will need to work with prices that match currency ($1, $2, $5, etc), while others may be able to use mixed currency to ‘pay’ ($7, $12, $15 etc.).  Save and use the template make another store (or restaurant) so that your child can choose which one they want to shop at.

Use the number line and more/ less visual provided in the Day 3 Post (Getting Ready for Math). Ask your child to compare the prices of any two products:

  • Which costs more, ____ or ____?
  • Which costs less, ____ or ____?

Use the items in the store for a ‘scavenger hunt’.

  • Find something that costs more than $____.
  • Find something that costs less than $____.
  • Can you find two items that are equal?
  • What can I buy with $5/$10/$20/etc.?


You will need some form of money for the activities below. Some options:

  • real money if you have an abundance of it
  • play money if you have it
  • print and cut out a few sheets of money from this site
  • this website has Canadian currency and features that let you customize the money tray (only use certain currency and choose to have amounts displayed, for example $2 on the Toonie) and add numbers and writing to the screen, so after your child chooses the item they want to buy, you can write it on the screen so they can still see it while they are figuring out how much money to ‘give’ you

Earn or Pay?

Using the virtual stores, help your child understand the concepts earn and pay. Give your child a set amount of money to start with. We’ll use 10 loonies as an example. Show the virtual store and ask your child, “How much money do you have ($10).  Write the number down, then ask, “what do you want to buy?” and “how much does it cost?” Write the amount down (eg. $4) and then ask, “do I give you $4, or do I take it away from you?” Add the minus sign – to the equation and have your child give you the money and then count how much they have left. When they run out of money to shop, write down how much money they currently have and have them pick a ‘job card’. Read the card together and say, “the card says wash dishes and get $3; do I give you $3, or do I take it away from you?” Complete the equation by adding the amount they ‘earned’. Have your child count all their money to find their new total.  Use the words enough/ not enough when applicable. For example, “Do you have enough money to buy that? That is not enough money, how can you get more money to shop with?” Here are some customizable earn and pay cards – you can use the pay cards in place of the virtual store and just fill in items your child would like to shop for.

Real World Scenarios

Use story problems involving real world scenarios so that your child gets used to using math for a purpose. For example: “You saw a hat you liked at the store. It cost $10. Your dad pays you $6 for raking the leaves. Your mom pays you $5 for taking out the garbage. Do you have enough money to buy the hat?”

Round Up and Pay

Have your child pick an item from a menu, flyer, or online store, write down the price, round it up to the next dollar, then pay with the smallest bill. Have a number line available to reference.

Flyer or Menu Math

Use flyers or menus from stores that your child is familiar with to work on simple budgeting and purchasing. Give them a set amount of money and ask them to choose some items that they can afford. Use a calculator to figure out how much change they should get back. Discuss which items are more expensive and what the better deals are.

Skip Counting

Practice counting by 2, 5, and 10 using a hundred chart. Put the hundred chart in a sheet protector and use a dry erase marker to indicate the numbers used to count in a given way (eg. by 2s-  2, 4, 6, 8, 10). Stay within the range of numbers your child is comfortable counting in, for example, if they can only count to 20 by 1s, only count to 20 by 2s, 5s and 10s as well. Count sets that naturally occur in these denominations so that they make a connection between saying the numbers this way (rote counting) and using the strategy in practical applications. You can practice counting money on these hundred charts. Use real money as well, if you can. For other things to skip count, open a Word document and paste multiple copies of the same picture for your child to count in a given way (eg. stars- count the points by 5). Add and remove pictures to change the answer and provide opportunities for repetition. Write the numbers on or under the pictures if support is needed (eg. 5, 10, 15, 20)

Things to count by two:
Toonies, shoes, seats on the bus, bread for making sandwiches, chopsticks, earrings

Things to count by five:
Nickels, Five-dollar bills, points on a star, tally marks, fingers on one hand

Things to count by ten:
Dimes, ten-dollar bills, fingers, toes on both feet, legs on crab, bowling pins, players on
a basketball court

These videos, while not exact examples of any one of these activities in particular, show how you can practice some of the concepts and skills mentioned in this post.