Activities Can Teach
Next Dollar Up!
Spending money can be fun! Here’s a strategy to help teach this important life skill. This game teaches kids how to combine coins and currency.
You can practice this activity at home or during an outing to the store.
Activity: Next Dollar Up.
Object of the Activity: Using money to learn to make purchases that required rounding up to the next dollar.
Targeted Skill: Sound discrimination/Listening skills
Materials: $1, $5, and $10 bills. This can be real money or play money. Prices of products from grocery store flyers, flash cards, or simply written on a piece of paper.
Prerequisite skills: Student should be able to read money amounts such as $1.29 (one dollar and twenty-nine cents).
- To introduce the concept, begin only with $1 bills. Give the student some real or paper money.
- While looking through a store flyer, point to a dollar amount and ask the student to read the amount. Such as $2.59.
- Ask the student how many dollars are in the dollars place. The student should say “two”. Ask the student to give you two dollars.
- Explain to the student money must be given for the amount of money in the “cents” place. Tell the student to give you “one more” dollar.
- Initially, provide simple responses after the student has read the money amount. Such as “How many dollars?” and “How many for the cents?” The term “change” can be substituted for the word “cents”. Find out the students level of understanding when making this decision.
- After asking the student “How many for the cents?” Teach the student to say “one more” either verbally or to himself when giving the money. Slowly fade the responses to gestures such as holding your hand out or tapping on the table.
- As the student becomes proficient using dollars, introduce $5 bills for larger money amounts such as $6.29, and so on until all amounts of currency have been introduced.
Once the student has the basic idea, plan short purchasing trips to the store so the student can build confidence with the new skill they are learning. To increase the student’s level of independence, have an envelope with currency available for the student to carry.
Need ideas for an activity that practices on a targeted skill? Send us an email.