Math challenges are easy to come by when you are traveling. As adults, we are well aware of the magical powers of subtraction in our ever-shrinking bank accounts during family travel.
Learn math skills using foreign currency! For little ones, money is a charmed vehicle for teaching math. Very quickly kids learn they can get something in exchange for money and it is downright thrilling. Charles has a pink pig piggy bank that he wants to fill with as many coins he can get his hands on, and of course, his piggy bank is fat with coins from all over the world.
Foreign currency is definitely cooler than American money. Most notes are much more colorful than the drab American dollar and the varying sizes of the notes always seems to be so fascinating for kids. While you are waiting for your meal at a restaurant, pull out the country’s notes and coins and chat about the colors and designs with your kid.
Here are some educational activities that can teach your child math on your trips to foreign countries:
- Recreate notes with paper, pencils and scissors. Play store with the money you made.
- Make coin rubbings. Note the various shapes, sizes, colors, designs and weight.
- Practice adding and subtracting foreign money.
- Create an art project out of your left over coins. We have made some great keepsakes using coins, receipts, postcards, maps, ticket stubs, and dried flowers that have become treasured travel memory books.
- Hand over a handful of coins and ask your child to add it up. Once the count is accurate, he/she can buy a treat with the money. Voila!, a clever math challenge with incentive!
Learning math should be fun, interactive and memorable. Create family time around teachable moments and learn together as a family.