We are working on giving change in math and Cameron is having a lot of fun with it. I started out letting him use the change from a jar in the kitchen and Monopoly money since we no longer had any play money (the stuff that looks real.)
I decided to head to our local teacher supply store, Learning Palace to pick up a set of play money to make something for school. I was taken back by the cost of a box of play money, $24.95 for the smallest set they had. I know it is meant for a classroom, but still I was not going to pay that much. On the drive home I started thinking about how much currency we would need to set up a little box of money. I figured it would be less than $25.00 to include enough to make basic change, so I decided to build one myself.
I have a small collection of old cigar boxes that I have been repurposing lately. This one seemed like a good fit for this project.
I started out with some 3 x 5 index cards and folded them to create the sections for the dollar bills. I had to trim them down slightly for them to fit inside the box.
The I cut out a section of an egg carton for the change, again I knew I would need that many coins (6 of each is more than enough)
I taped the bills section down as well as the coin holders down.
Finally I labeled the bill sections $10, $5, and $1
This little box is put away, but filled with just enough money that we can practice making change and counting it back to people. Using real money also means when both boys are done learning to count money and make change, I still have my $25.