The Shop

This game went down a STORM with Ewan, my very nearly 4 year old. He loves his numbers and this practises counting, value and even writing numbers if they like. As usual it only took me five minutes to set up but we ended up playing it for nearly an hour. Plus it means I found a use for our Giant Jar of Change – does everyone have one or just us?!

So all you need is that, some post-its and pen, then gather up 5 random toys. If you’ve got a toy cash register grab that too but it’s not essential. If you haven’t got one but your kiddy might enjoy punching in the numbers perhaps a calculator would do?

Five easy steps as follows:

  1. Write 5 amounts on the post-its. I wanted to practice 15 for Ewan so I did 15p and 19p but also 8p, 3p and 12p because I knew he would know those.
  2. Stick the post-its on your 5 toys and get a very big handful of change and put it in a bag/purse/pot.
  3. Set up your “till” area and sit in it until they show interest in playing!
  4. Play shops – they have to choose a toy, you scan it “BEEP” and type in the amount on the cash register, then they have to count out the right number of pennies.
  5. Once you have put them in your till, say “Thanks for coming to my shop” and tell them to come again soon…they will!

After Ewan had bought all 5 toys he wanted to do his own shop. So we wrote out all his prices together, him copying mine. Then he was the shopkeeper and I was the customer of course! Lots of counting and understanding value. I didn’t worry about which coins they were – we will get to that when he’s older. For now each coin represented “one” which worked well.

Super easy to do, nothing fancy required, just some pennies, post-its and five minutes. Let me know if you like it, will try it, have played it etc etc etc. Happy playing!



5 thoughts on “The Shop

  1. Love your site and your down to earth nature in your comments 🙂 I have tried a couple and am going through more today trying to keep my 1.5 and 4.5 year old busy and learning indoors in Sydney. All the best to you and your kiddies, thanks for sharing ur ideas! So with you, quick set up with household stuff all the way! Warmest regards, Maria


  2. Great idea! My son loves shopping and his till and we play with us all the time with the pretend selling and buying but never introduced numbers this way. Thanks for all your wonderful ideas.


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