Things To Do While Babysitting A 5 Year Old Boy The ‘Notey’ Way to Learning

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The ‘Notey’ Way to Learning

“India celebrates first anniversary of demonetisation,” read the morning headlines of a popular news portal. Already a year? I was reminded of the disruption the sudden move wreaked on ordinary people’s lives when my four-year-old daughter, Kaira, quipped,

“Mommy, my piggy bank is full of pink tones, I have to make a mix of other colors.”

She was smart, and even though she didn’t understand the value of currency, she knew it was important to her to protect her mini bank from her siblings’ raids. While I was captivated by her wit, I worried about how I could channel her curiosity into growing her interest in math, a subject she dreaded. And in a playful way to keep her.

So I sketched out some fun activities for her that could keep her busy during the holidays and at the same time make her understand the science of ‘MONEYOLOGY’. Here are a few that I can think of:

Sort and stack: We opened the lock on her piggy bank and dumped it on the carpet. The next step was to ask her to stack them all as colored notes separately; sort and stack coins according to their value. The next step was to get her to calculate the value of each bundle and write the same on sticky notes and clip it to each bundle. Head deep into the crisp notes, it was a delight to watch her meticulously count the notes and coins and she enjoyed it even more.

Length scaling: The new currency was introduced slimmer and shorter than the previous ones, not to mention bright colors. This sparked another idea to introduce her to values. I asked her to take one bill from each pile and place them according to their length. After this session, I asked her to record the highest and lowest value in the stack. Once she did, she had to sort them in ascending and descending order, one by one. Lo and behold!! The task was accomplished to the letter!!

Flip Flop Shapes: Notes of different shapes and colors. Now I asked her to make different shapes with them, including a hexagon and an octagon. She could use different notes to achieve the desired dimensions. Once I did that, I asked her to name the shapes and then add up the total value of each one.

The Maths of National Flags: I teamed up in Geography to, in addition to breaking the monotony of the calculations, bring a twist to the game so that she doesn’t understand my intentions. So I gave her a table that contained all the national flags of the world along with the names of the countries. I asked her to arrange the notes into a shape to make the national flag of each country. To make the colors missing, she cut out the note paper she used to make the rest of the flag and painted it the color she wanted. Picking there and fixing on the other side, my pumpkin was absorbed for hours, matching colors with the chart and making flags. Once I did, I took the map and asked her to name the countries, I saw the national flags. Another topic conquered!!

Math Stinger for Shopaholics: Kaira is quite the fashionista and loves to follow trends. So I gave her a printout of the latest designs from popular designers, specifically her personal favorites, and listed their price next to the image. All she had to do was reach into her new purse and leave the cost of each design at the top of the picture. She drooled over the couture and carefully calculated the price, placing the final amount on each picture. Hi! She knew exactly how many she could grab and the money she would have to raise for the next shopping spree.

While my bundle of joy was enjoying the activity, I was equally enjoying watching her engrossed in small tasks so I wouldn’t forget her juggling the math monster. Share all the interesting ones you’ve done to help your kids understand currency trading!

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