My daughter unfortunately really struggles with her number work so I am always looking for ways to help pique her interest in mathematics, and to expand her maths skills. I know though, that simply sitting her down in front of maths worksheets is not going to do this!
As my daughter loves her painting, drawing, and imaginative play, I thought that a lovely way to help her to practice her number skills would be to implement these things into an activity! I decided that we should make a creative cafe!
You will need – paper plates, paints, play money, card, paper and pens.
My daughter painted some ‘meals’ onto paper plates which would be ‘served’ in her cafe. Some of the meals she chose to paint included curry and rice, pizza and salad, fish fingers and chips, and a ham salad! She also made a menu from card which she wrote down all of her menu choices with their prices.
Once all the paper plate meals were dry she set up her play kitchen with her play till, and laid out a table for her ‘customers’ (made from a toy box with a blanket laid over it as a tablecloth)! Then the customers (myself and her brother!) could order the meal which we wanted. If you don’t have a play kitchen, you could set up on a table, the floor etc instead.
We ordered our food from her, she ‘served’ us and when we had finished we used play money to pay. She had to work out how much our order had cost us and work out our change. She really enjoyed it and her working out got quicker as the game continued. We have played this several times since and she really enjoys it (we all do)! It definitely helps her number and working out skills, and her money skills have improved lots. I wholeheartedly believe that children learn best when having fun!