Who doesn't like going to shopping? I love walking through shops (particularly if I have the time to do so), wandering through the aisles, browsing the wares of the shopkeeper. As I am a homemade/handmade advocate, I have thoroughly enjoyed attending markets and purchasing handcrafted items or browsing websites that promote handmade items (eg. www.madeit.com.au) scrolling through all the lovingly crafted goodies.
This week, the children that I have been working with, have enjoyed learning about Australian coins and their values. We had a big bucket of play money and once given a handful or two of coins, the children sorted them into groups that had the same picture and number on them. We talked about what the picture was and why. As we are in Australia, we had a fascinating discussion on what a lyrebird is, as it is featured on the 10 cent coin. I found a 'youtube' clip of 'Chook' that used to be the lyrebird at the South Australian Zoo. The zoo went through renovations and since lyrebirds imitate sounds that they hear, 'Chook' could perfectly mimic the sounds of saws, drills and hammering, as well as mimic the sounds of other birds. You can find it here. The children were amazed!
We made our own 'shops' by cutting out pictures of items from catalogues, gluing one item on squares of cardboard complete with price tag, which was a picture of an Australian coin. Half the children opened their 'shops' while the other half were given a small handful of play money to 'buy' products. The interaction of the children was priceless - the concentration of matching coins that they had in their 'purse' to the price tag, the assistance that they gave one another, the talk about what products they 'bought'. I had to giggle how some 'shopkeepers' patiently waited for 'shoppers' to look through their items, while others had the gift of luring customers to buy.
These activities were a great introduction to money, the value of coins and the use of money for young children. It also assisted their conversation skills as they interacted with one another.
Have fun shopping!