Monday, September 10, 2012

Meal-Time Activities: Buy Dinner and Make Change

By Deborah Pace Rowley

For this fun learning activity all you need is a homemade menu and some play money. You can create the menu on the computer or even on a small chalkboard. Assign a dollar value to each of the items for dinner. You can even charge for a glass of water and for ketchup to go with the french fries! For younger children, just use whole dollar amounts. For older children, throw in some change. 

Give each family member some money and start out the meal by letting your child act as the waiter and cashier. First he can take each person’s order on a small notepad. Then he can total up all the purchases. Math Practice! 

After each family member has paid for their meal, your child can calculate how much change each person should receive back. More Math Practice! If your child figures the correct change, give a big tip. The waiter can then use that money to buy a yummy dessert.

Now that my older children have started working in fast food restaurants, I know how important figuring change can be.

P.S. Learn how to make the cute menu board shown above for just a few dollars at

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