Montessori Inspired Shopping Game
This was a favourite game of my sons for a long time, and is very easy to set up. It is great for number recognition and to practice counting, depending on your child you can make it easier or more difficult.
Using number cards, which are an abstract idea, and one that is difficult for a child to grasp. Then pairing it with the concrete idea of counting actual items, the child can mentally make the connection of the number card and the number of items. Just because a child can count to ten doesn’t mean they grasp the actual concept of counting.
What you need:
- A variety of items to shop for, multiples of one item, so we used fruit and veg. Maybe 10 apples, 8 lemons etc. But you could use any items as long as you have multiples of them.
- Number cards 0 – 10
- A shopping basket
First of all you need to set up your ‘shop’. You can use a couple of stairs or a table in the corner of the room, it is a good idea to set the shop up in the opposite end of the room or even another room as this will challenge your child to remember what it is they are going shopping for!
The child then takes the basket and picks up a random number card, for example 3, ask the child if they know what the number is, if they are still learning it is OK to tell them. Get them to trace the number with their finger as they say it. Then ask them to collect a certain item…
“Could you get me 3 apples please?”
The child then goes off to the shop to get your apples.
When he or she returns ask them to put the number card on the rug or table then count out the items in their basket. If they bought the wrong amount, ask them to go back to the shop and try again. It is easier if they take the items out of their basket and put them back in the shop and re-counts from scratch, you might need to guide them to do this.
If you have more than one child you could ask each child to go and get you something from the shop. Alternatively, they take it in turns so one does the asking the other does the shopping. This is a perfect situation for the older child to take the role of teacher.
Saving mini boxes of food such as cereal or raisins and mini bottles like the shampoo you get a hotel, make for great shopping items and don’t take up much storage space.
- Make the shopping request more difficult by using two or three cards. “Can you get me 2 apples, 4 carrots and 6 cherries please?”
- If you child is going through a ‘crazy about dinosaurs’ or any other craze swap the fruit and veg for their topic of interest and go shopping for T-rex, butterflies, pretty beads or whatever it is that they are currently in love with.
- Ask the child to leave the number card on the table and got to the shop with only the basket.
- Later you can introduce money so the items have to be paid for.
What do you think your child would like to go shopping for? Let me know in the comments below.
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