1. Use the templates provided to create wallets for your children to give them some responsibility. The kids LOVE the idea of being able to keep track of their own classroom dollars! I laminated the name labels for longevity since they will use them for the duration of the year. You can use envelopes or Ziploc bags. Explain to the students that they will earn money for good behavior or excellent work.
2. You can either give out money immediately when someone earns it or use this recording chart to tally up their earnings for the month (or whatever time frame you prefer). I would like to suggest to post this tally chart up and allow students to give themselves a tick whenever they earn money. This will also let them practice yet another skill - tallying. One template has the denominations of $1, $5 and $10. If you choose to make different denominations, you can use the blank template provided as well.
4. Declare a specific day of the month (bi-monthly or any time frame of your choice) as "Pay Day" where you will total up their earnings of the month and present them with their "Paycheck" and the cash that goes with it! The kids get very excited about this. Who doesn't love a fat paycheck?
5. From the second "Market Day" onwards, have them complete this worksheet to keep track of their progress. They need to count the existing cash in their wallets from the last "Market Day" and add it with their newly earned money. They worked hard for that money!
6. Buy some inexpensive prizes and separate them into four (or more) baskets based on how you feel that the kids would value the items at. For my own class, I only used $20-50 but there are templates from $10-50. There are also 5 blank templates for you to make up your own as well. I recommend you to laminate the price tags as well (you will find that I love to laminate everything!). If your school has a play cash register, this would be the best time to use it! FYI, I took this photo right after a "Market Day" which explains why it is quite empty!
7. You are finally ready to open the market to the public! Sometimes, I let them shop by random selection or lining up in a specific order such as alphabetical. If you have some students who are quick & accurate at mental math calculations like I do, you can tell one of the students to be the cashier instead of yourself. This will motivate others to practice their math skills to become the next cashier at future "Market Day" events. The cashier and customer can work together to make the correct calculations and money exchange. It is so much fun and it never gets old.
8. Afterwards, they are free to keep the leftover money in their wallets for next time. Some children would choose to save up money to buy something from the most expensive basket. I always encouraged this to teach them a thing or two about savings while they are still young!
Happy shopping from my class to yours!
If you are interested, please find the product here: