I’m sure our house isn’t the only one with pots of change around the place! Unfortunately, they aren’t the ones that add up to a great deal! We do save them up and take them to those supermarket machines that make you feel like you’ve just got free money, even though you just poured it in! Somehow, when you see the total; it’s so much more appealing! While we wait for those coins to build up, there is nothing wrong with J having an explore with them! I know he can play with plastic money but, in my opinion, there is no substitute for the real thing!
This activity couldn’t be simpler to set up. I wanted it to be as open ended as possible so J could do what he wanted with the money! There was no right or wrong way to play with and discover the coins! If I was to talk about an ‘essentials tool kit,’ I would definitely say a chunky magnifying glass should be in there! They can be used for a variety of activities and children just love them. They are completely inexpensive, yet played with all the time! I also love my little trinket boxes from the local craft shop. I have different shapes to make the use of them more versatile. We have used them for so many activities to do with sorting and J simply loves putting things in them and then emptying them again!
I laid these items, along with the coins, on the floor and left J to it! J is a typical three year old boy and often leaves things and comes back to them intermittently throughout the day, which is why I find the play stations so successful as they tend to be there for a week and they really get played with! However, for some reason, J played with this money non-stop for just short of an hour and it was only intended to be a short activity before lunch! After lunch, he went back to it again! (Yes, he did wash his hands; money is FILTHY!!)
J began by lining up the coins that matched on a green mat! He collected the mat himself as he, ‘needed something to lean on!’ He then looked at them through the magnifying glass and talked about the numbers he could see! He was delighted to spot a number ‘2’ on these particular ones and said, ‘I knew they matched Mummy!’
J spent AGES examining the coin below; using a magnifying glass and just looking at it! He kept saying it was a ‘jungle book’ coin! I had NO IDEA what he was talking about as I was feeding G but he was adamant! He then started to sort the coins into the trinket boxes. He put the one he had been staring at in first and then started frantically looking at the others! As he tossed 2 pence coin, after 2 pence coin to one side, I wondered what he was doing! I did ask but he ‘shushed’ me and said he was busy! (haha)After much confusion (mine not his), J came and showed me his box! I looked at it and still (in my grown up, small brain) couldn’t understand why he had matched these coins with a 10 pence coin!! J declared, ‘they have lions on Mummy!’ I adore my boy!! He is just FAB!
J did not give up and sorted all the coins! As I say, he spent a long time on this activity and got so much out of it! After sorting, he tipped them all on the floor and started again!! Bless him!
What did J learn?
- Recognition and recall of numbers on the coins.
- Sorted and matched objects according to his own criteria.
- Examined and discovered about the real world using materials in his own way.
- Talked about matching and sorting.