Thursday, October 24, 2013

Moneywise Kids

This is a great little game I picked up 5 years or so ago.  Sunshine and I have been playing it during Special Time all week and he's really catching on to the premise.  I see his math improving so much in just 3 days!

You begin the game with a $100 bill.  There are tokens face-down in the center.  The object is to collect all 6 tokens, which must be purchased for anywhere from $5-30 each AND have $100 in savings in order to win.  You can either shake the dice and earn money (a 1 is $10, all others are face value) OR choose a token.  There are also 4 "pay a bill" tokens--2 each of SICK or POTHOLE.  If you've purchased either the Medical Care token or Paid Your Taxes token, you won't have to pay the bill.  The only other rule in the game is that whenever able, you must trade your money for the biggest bill you can.  So when you've collected 5 ones, you must trade them for a 5.  Two fives must be traded for a ten.  Etc.  It's great for helping kids learn to make change and learn what each bill is worth, plus the idea of budgeting (to buy your tokens) and saving (the $100 to win at the end).

I already see Sunshine knowing how much change he'll get from a $20 to pay for a $15 token, and understanding that if he has 5 ones and a 5 and a 10, he can trade up for a $20.  He's also checking for himself what bills he'll collect from his roll.  Upon shaking a 4 and a 3, he recounts to tell me that for the roll of 7, he needs a five and 2 ones.

Hurray for simplicity and fun in a board game!  (and no lottery tokens!  Boo to PayDay!)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Native American Field Trip

As a fun culmination to our Native American studies, we took a day and visited the Milwaukee Public Museum.  They have some great American Indian exhibits, including a bison hunt and some neat Northwest Coast items.   Here are the kids with a totem pole and in the doorway of the plank house.

It's not a hands-on museum, but the kids were really motivated by all the things they recognized that we'd read about.  It's also home to a teepee, a life-size adobe home of the southwest and a nice display of the Northeast Woodland Indians, in addition to some we hadn't studied.

It's a great natural history museum with lots of miniature and life-size dioramas. They have a nice Wisconsin mammoth (or mastodon, I forget which) and many displays of artifacts from around the world. We've visited many times after we've studied world cultures, Wisconsin history and Native Americans.  If you're close by, check it out.  We buy a family pass and in two visits, have it paid for.  (They also let Auntie in on our pass the last two times we've been there!)

Northwest Coast Indians

 The kids really enjoyed Kahtahah and it gave a very good overview of one of the peoples of this region.  Everything else I read to them, they already knew about from reading this book.

We found the idea for these cute Totem Poles online.

 My raven and Pepper's whale

Sunshine's beaver and Banana Boy's raccoon.

Southwest Indians