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Teaching Kids The Concept of ‘Giving Change’ – Part 1

A particular math concept in addition and subtraction is giving out change. This can easily confuse kids – like Junior told me ‘ Mum, that’s just confusing things, just hand out your card, it’s just easier!!’. While he does have a point, the concept of buying and giving the necessary change is an important part of learning addition and subtraction as well as learning about the different coins!!

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Doing what’s on the worksheet is not enough, a practical aspect is very important in this exercise so that kids are aware why different coins are used as well as why the change is actually given out. Now, by now, if you know anything about me, it’s that I love constructive play and am particularly sneaky when it comes to teaching!! So here goes my next idea……………………….


I guarantee the kids will love it, it’s a fun activity and you get your kids to practice addition, subtraction and handing out change!!

What Junior I used:

  • A table full of things around the house that can be used as items for sale – toys, comb, apples – you know the usual!!
  • Price all the things – bit of paper taped onto the items
  • Coins
  • A money box
  • A wallet for the customer
  • Use whatever props you have at home! Cash register toys, baskets, scales!! The fun’s endless!!!

Once you have priced the items – you shop!!! You can vary how you shop. Start of buying one item and handing out the money so that your little one will be doing basic subtraction. Once you are done with that, buy two items and ask your little shopkeeper for the price – so he’ll need to add and then hand the money and give change!!

Junior’s school uses the british currency so just to make it easier, here are the pictures of the coins that you can printout and use.

Trust me hours of fun and sneaking teaching 😀

Happy Shopping!!money

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