‘India marks the first anniversary of Demonetization’, said the morning headlines of a popular news portal. A year already?? I was recollecting the disruption the sudden move had caused in the lives of the common man when my 4-year old daughter, Kaira quipped,
“Mumma, my piggy is full with pink notes, need to create a mix of other colours”.
She was smart and though she didn’t understand the value of currency she knew it was important for her to safeguard her mini bank against raids from her siblings. While her wit enthralled me, what worried were thoughts on how I could channelize her curiosity into growing her interest in Maths, a subject she dreaded. And, this in a playful manner to keep her hooked.
So, I sketched out a few fun activities, which could keep her busy during the vacation while having her understand the science of ‘moneyology’. Here are a few I could think of:
Sort and Stack: We opened the lock to her piggy and emptied it on the carpet. The next step was to ask her to stack up all like coloured notes separately; coins to be sorted and stacked in accordance to their value. The next step was to make her calculate the value of each stack and pen down the same on sticky notes, clipping it to each bundle. Head deep into the crispy notes, it was a pleasure watching her carefully add up the notes and coins and more so enjoy doing it.
Scaling the Length Bar: The new currency introduced was slimmer and shorter than the previous ones, not to mention the bright colours. This clicked another idea of familiarizing her to the values. I asked her to take out one note from each stack and place them in accordance to their length. I followed this session by asking her to spot the highest and lowest value in the stack. Once done, she had to place them in the ascending and descending orders, one after another. Lo and behold!! The task was done in the bat of an eyelid!!
Flip Flop Shapes: Notes of various shapes and colours. I now asked her to create different shapes with them, including the likes of hexagon and octagon. She could use varied notes to bring about the desired dimensions. Once done, I asked her to name the shapes followed by summing up the total value for each.
The Maths of National Flags: I fused in Geography to bring about a twist in the game besides breaking the monotony of calculations lest she understood my intentions. So, I gave her a chart that had listed all the national flags of the world along with the country names. I asked her to arrange the notes in a form to create the national flag of each country. For colours missing, she would cut out paper in the shape of the notes she was using to create the rest of the flag and paint it in the colour she wanted. A pick there and a fix the other side, my pumpkin was engrossed for hours, matching the colours with the chart and creating the flags. Once done, I took away the chart and asked her to name the countries, seeing the national flags. One more subject conquered!!
Mathematical Sting for Shopaholics: Kaira is quite a fashionista and loves following trends. So, I gave her a print of the latest designs from popular designers, specifically her personal favourites, and listed their price alongside the image. All she had to do was to dig into her new purse and keep the cost of each design on top of the image. She drooled over the couture and carefully calculated the price, placing the final amount on each image. Hola!! She knew exactly how many she could grab and the money she would have to gather for her next shopping spree.
While my bundle of joy enjoyed the activities, I equally enjoyed watching her engrossed in the little tasks not to forget her juggle with the Mathematical monster. Do share any interesting ones you did to get your kids understand the commerce of currency!!