Last time, I shared how to help your child learn about percentages and money calculations through a simple home activity. This time, grab a local newspaper, because your child will be helping out with the shopping.
What You’ll Need
Newspaper (or shopping catalogue), calculator, pencil, paper, and graph paper (can be hand-drawn).
What to Do
- List it. Give your child the grocery section of the newspaper (or shopping catalogue) in order to make up a list of foods that will feed the family for a week and also meet a budget of a certain amount of money. Have your child make a chart and use mental maths or a calculator to figure the cost of a few items. If the total for the groceries is more than you have budgeted for, talk about which items can be eliminated. Could the list be cut down by a few items or by buying less of another item? What will best serve the needs of the family?
- Shop around. Have your child search for advertisements in the newspaper/catalogue for an item they have been wanting, such as a piece of clothing or tennis shoes, in order to find the lowest price for the item. After your child finds the best buy, have him or her compare the best buy to the rest of the advertised prices. Are this store’s prices lower for everything or just items in demand?
- Highs and lows. Have your child search the newspaper for daily price range and create a graph showing weekly trends. Ask your child for the rise and fall in price range from day to day.
Parent Pointer: This activity helps children see how much maths is used in everyday life. It also helps in the variety of ways in which maths is used to tell a story, read a timetable or schedule, plan a shopping list, or study the weather.