Gifted for review
When I realised I would be having the children at home for quite a while, I wanted to make sure that I had toys and craft materials that could be used in many different ways – We already have lots of lego, board games and a whole load of crafty bits and bobs so one thing I really wanted was some play money. I had a look around and found some a set of coins that are HM Treasury Approved like a set that Learning Resources do – but then I found this Money activity set which has a money set with it but also goes a lot further with a range of different activities.
Why would you need a money set?
Having the children at home, unplanned for and for an uncertain amount of time, I wanted to spend our time together helping them learn life skills like cooking and cleaning and how to generally look after themselves. The money, of course, plays a big part in this and I honestly don’t think as a child I was given half the money education I should have had. I originally wanted a set of play money, so that we could play ‘shops’, open a tuck shop for their lunches, or a popcorn stand for movie nights and so that I could get them to start to understand that money doesn’t stretch to every item they want. To understand the differences between the coins and their values but also, to learn to count in multiples etc.
The Money Activity Set from Learning Resources does all of that and more. It can be used to for addition, subtraction, multiplication, making change and all sorts of things.
What’s in the box?
Included in the Money Activity Set from Learning Resources is
- 70 plastic coins
- 12 play notes
- 8 double-sided price tags
- 12 double-sided money puzzle cards
- Write and wipe piggy bank card
- Double sided spinner
- Activity guide
The coins are plastic and HM Treasury approved and the notes, although slightly smaller, do look like the real thing
What can you do with the Money Activity Set from Learning Resources?
Thre are so many ways that you can use this set to help your children understand money, its value and how to work it out but here are just a couple using some of the things in the sets. This is not all of the ways it can be used, there is literally so much you can do with it…
Coin and value recognition:
Starting with the most basic of money activities, you can create games around value recognition: Whish one is a 5p? Which is the largest coin? What colour is a 2p? What other coins are the same colour? Which one is worth the most?
You can then move on to things like picking three coins at random and working out how much they are worth together – again really simple things that we as adults take for granted.
Using the Spinner:
The spinner is double-sided so that your child can recognise both sides of a coin.
You can take turns to spin the spinner and pick up the corresponding coin. After 5 turns, the player with the highest value of combined coins is the winner.
You can also play a game where you spin the spinner and must make the value that it points to without using the coin indicated.
The Piggy Bank Card:
Using a Dry Wipe pen, write an amount on the board and ask your children to make that amount with coins. Make it trickier by asking them to make it in the fewest coins possible. Then maybe give them a £5 not and ask them for the correct change for that amount.
Your child can also practice writing amounts in different formats, ie: 20p or £0.20 etc
We have the IKEA play kitchen which I’m sure many families have or are familiar with. We often turn it around and keep old supermarket leaflets to use as posters stuck on the back. With these, open up a shop and use actual pricing on the posters to work out costs and change. You don’t just have to play shops, you can make a cafe, a fast food place or even a popcorn stand for your movie nights and serve up real popcorn.
Using Price Tags:
The price tags are great for playing with the above idea of playing shops etc but you can also use them with the spinner to try and make the amount shown on the tag, without using the coin selected by the spinner.
What did we think of the set Money Activity Set from Learning Resources?
Overall we loved it.
I think the price point of £15 is exactly where it needs to be for what you get. I saw some coin sets around that cost and they were without everything else you get in the box.
The kids have enjoyed it, especially playing shops and I see it being something they come back to time and again.
My only criticisms are that it doesn’t come with a pen that is safe to use on the piggy bank and the money notes are paper so I see these getting screwed up or lost. I’m lucky enough to have a laminator so I might laminate these myself to improve the longevity of them but I appreciate not everyone will be able to do that.
My criticisms are really small. Yet again, Learning Resources have put together a great product that is both educational and can be used in many ways. We’ve had several items from them over the years, from coding robots to maths toys and they remain to be one of my favourite brands for educational materials.