fun math games - "trading for a toonie"

banker's money

This title may be confusing to those outside of Canada but this simple little game can be made with any currency!

In Canada we have a lot of coins - pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies($1) and toonies($2). 
(there is also a 50 cent piece but you don't see them very often)

So to help my kids learn about the value of each coin I made up this simple little game.

The object of the game:
To keep trading your coins with the "banker" until you reach a $2 coin (aka: a toonie).

You need:
~ two dice (we used 12 sided dice)
~ photocopied money cards (I used glossy brochure paper)
~ containers for the "banker's" money
~ an assortment of coins

How to make the money cards:
Colour photocopy (or scan and print) the coins in a line 
and trim down the cards.

I made the following sets of cards:
(1 set per player)
5 pennies
2 nickels
2 dimes + 1 nickel
4 quarters
2 loonies($1)

*Note: after playing the game I realized that I need to also make a card that has 3 dimes on it as well.

The minimalist in me figured out that you need only the following coins for two players to play the game:
one $2
four $1
eight $0.25
four $0.10
six $0.05
fifteen $0.01

total cost $8.85!

To play:
Each player takes a set of boards.
The first player rolls the 3 dice and calculates the correct number (for example: 4+5=9)
The "banker" pays the player the total (in this case $0.09)
The player puts the coins on his/her board(s).
When a player has filled up their board with coins they may trade with the "banker" for larger coins.  
(Note: they should do this after each roll otherwise the banker may run out of money!)
The first person to trade in two $1 coins to get the toonie wins the game!

~ ~ ~
This game was an instant hit with my children (ages 7 and 9) without them realizing that they were in fact just doing "boring math". ;o)  This game not only familiarizes them with real money (play money could also be used) but it also reinforces addition and subtraction.
I think we may adapt the game to include multiplication and division when my son is older.

I hope your children enjoy playing this game too!
Do you have any simple games that make learning fun?
 Please share them with us!
~ joey ~ 

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  1. What a great idea! Sounds like a fun way to learn about money!

  2. I love this idea - fantastically simple way to practice math skills and learn about currency!

    Thanks for linking up to Learning Laboratory =)


I really enjoy reading your thoughts and ideas about the posts that I write here. It's nice to just say hi too!
~ joey ~