Help Build Math Skills: Playing Store

The wonderful thing about playing store is that your child can "sell" many things that are already in your house. The experience will help your child gain an understanding of how commerce works in the real world, as well as an opportunity to play adult roles. Each time children play store, they use their imaginations -- and they get to practice language, memory, sorting, matching and number skills.

What this activity will develop:
Math, thinking, emotional and language skills

What you'll need:
Various small items from around the house:
• Cans of food
• Magazines
• Empty boxes
• Paper bags
• Play money
• Markers or crayons
• Construction paper or cardboard

Setting up:
In a corner of your kitchen, let your child "set up shop" using small cans or packages of food from the cupboard. Make signs to show the name of the store, the prices and "specials."

What to do:
Let your child use play money to sell goods to you or other children. Ask your child questions about the various items, as a customer might. Take turns being "storekeeper" and "customer." At another time, set up different kinds of stores (shoes, clothing, toys, pets). Make sure the child understands that playing store also requires cleaning up all the various props.

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