Clever Ways To Use Money to Teach Your Child Math  


This post is sponsored by Westpac

Who doesn’t love money haha.  Once my eldest daughter realised what money was and what she could do with it, it was game on.  Money is a pretty powerful thing as it enables us to get and do the stuff we want.  Once kids realise this their interest in money increases significantly.

Luckily in our house their wants list revolves mostly around food items that cost a couple of dollars.  I know this won’t last forever but for now I am just going to run with that.

I soon realised that the motivation to be in possession of money was strong in my daughter.  I thought to myself, why not embrace that and use it as an opportunity to teach her about math.

Math is such a fundamental part of life and so is money which makes them a match made in heaven.

Over the years we have used a few different methods to teach our kids about math using money and below are some of my favourites.

  • Tuckshop

This would be have to be up there as one of my kids favourite approaches to learning about Math.   One of the ways I have used money to teach my kids math is by giving them tuckshop money to spend at school.  It’s only ever a few dollars here and there but it has been a great learning opportunity.  Firstly, they have to find out what they want from the tuckshop, then they have to know how much it costs and we have to add that up to know how much money they need.  They then take that money to school and have to negotiate the whole transaction without me present knowing how much they have, how much things cost and the change they should get back.  I have even given them $5 and told them they have to bring $2 change home so can only spend $3.  It’s a really simple and practical way to help them understand money and some basic math.

  • Involve a screen

My kids love screens and I am sure that I am not alone in this haha.  We recently had the chance to try out the latest free Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Schools Program App and I have to say it’s pretty cool.   You can read our full review of that here …

There is a play and a learn aspect to this app.  The educational part of this app is fantastic as it is aligned with the Australian curriculum and involves using Australian currency to buy things.

My husband is a teacher and he said what he loves most about this app is that it did not do the work for the child counting the coins they were using to buy items.  They had to use their own memory which was so important.  It was a fun way to understand money and how it works but also challenged the mind to add the coins together.

There are also 2 play based games on the app called ‘Westpac Rescue Rangers’ and ‘Westpac Little Ripper’ which are fun games that give your kids an idea of what it would be like to be a rescue crew member for a day.

It’s pretty fun and opens up opportunities to talk to your kids about the amazing work that community service organisations do for our country.  Did you know that 70% of the people who work with the QLD Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service do so in a volunteer capacity and I think this is an amazing contribution to our community and one worth telling our kids about.

This app is completely free and there are no annoying advertising popups so that is a win if you ask me.

You can download the app here … for iOS or google play.

  • Play games using real money

Nothing beats sitting around on a lazy afternoon or evening playing games around the family table with your kids.  I have found using real life money makes it that little bit more fun and engaging for the kids as it feels more legit.

Below is one simple game you can play with your kids using money to teach them about Math.

What You Will Need:

  • Two – Four players
  • Real Coins (approximately fifty 5c pieces, twenty 10c pieces, ten 20c pieces and 5 50c pieces, one $1 coin)
  • One dice
  • Some paper
  • A pencil

What You Do:

  1. Each player takes a turn rolling the die once. Whatever number they roll each dot on the die equals one cent.
  2. On each turn the player writes on a piece of paper the number they rolled on the die next to their name representing how many cents they have.
  3. On each turn they add up their individual cents until they can get a coin. Once they have 5 cents they can get a 5c coin.
  4. Once they get 2 x 5c coins they can then trade it in for a 10c coin.
  5. They all continue to roll the die and add cents to their total amount and trade them for bigger coins when they can.
  6. The first person to reach 100 cents and can trade their coins in for the $1 coin wins.

Money is such a great starting point for teaching kids about math as it is such a natural part of everyday life.

I just want to say thanks so much to Westpac for sponsoring this post and supporting the great work the QLD Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service does in our community.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out their free app you can download the app here … for iOS or google play.



About Author

School Mum

Being a mum to 3 kids (one of them full time at home with me) and trying to juggle everything became pretty crazy.

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