July 4th was always an extra special holiday in our home when I was a child because it was also my brother’s birthday. Not only was Yankee Doodle about him being… “born on the 4th of July” but he also got to celebrate with fireworks. It was also special because we took our family vacation at that time.
My parents loved to take us camping. One year we were at Grand Lake, Colorado where we parked by the lake to view the 4th of July fireworks display. I’ve seen many firework displays but this one is etched in my memories as one of the most beautiful… mountains in the background… fireworks reflecting off the lake filled with boats…. Even now, some thirty-five years later, I can still see it as vividly as if it happened yesterday.
Camping was a lot of fun when we stayed at a site for a few days, especially when the campground had a game room. My mother’s purse was a treasure trove for coins, so when I needed money, guess who I would go running to. Yep, my mom. She’d tell me to go grab some coins out of her purse. Her purse must have weighed an extra ten pounds for all the coins. Coming out with a handful of quarters was the best! They were much needed for playing the pinball machines.
This week’s game is a money game involving coins. I’ve never met a child yet who doesn’t like to play with coins. This is a fairly simple game called Make the Amount, game M10 in the Math Card Games book. You want to make sure your child knows which coin is which, what amount it’s valued at as well as counting by 5’s and 10’s.
In this game, the goal is to use the least amount of coins to make an amount.
From the deck of money cards you’ll give each player 2 half-dollars, 4 quarters, 7 dimes, 4 nickels, and 7 pennies. Or if you are like me and want them to be comfortable with the real deal, you can give them actual coins. Half dollars are not as easy to come by so, unless you have a stash, you may need to run by the bank and see if they have any. If you don’t want to go to that trouble, then you could use coins for all the other amounts and the money card for the half-dollar. Regardless, each player will keep this same amount all through the game.
For the stock, you need an assortment of multiplication cards. Pick out the cards depending on the ability of the child.
Start the game by turning over the top card of the stock of multiplication cards. Both players will play their coins to make the amount at the same time. The player who uses the fewest cards/coins receives one point. If there is a tie then both players will get a point.
This game is fun because you get to see a variety of ways to reach the amount. It also requires some strategy as you want to use the least amount of coins.
The game is over when the stock of multiplication cards is used up.
For older children: If making the amount on the card is too easy, they can show what coins they need to make one dollar. This way you can have children of various abilities playing the same game.