Teaching My Baby To Read

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The Quarter Game

One of the many great things about no longer living in California is how much cheaper everything is. Today Jenna(2.5) and I went out to a tea shop that some friends opened in our community. For $3 they bring kids a plate of sandwiches, a little pot of hot chocolate, and some grapes. That’s pretty munificent for only a few dollars. Today Jenna chose peanut butter and jelly, but sometimes she gets Nutella instead. (The little boy from One Mouthful would love this place!)

While we were waiting for our food, we played yet another variation of the How Many? game, this time using quarters I had in my purse. It would have been even better if I had half-dollars, because the larger the pieces are the easier this game seems to be for two year olds to master. Jenna solidly knows the quantity 3 now, and is catching on to 4 quite quickly.

All I do is put some quarters on the table and ask her “How many?” It is really important to show the coins in a variety of patterns, especially now that we are getting into higher numbers.  We are doing four quantities right now; 1,2,3, and 4.

Another variation of this game that Jenna invented is to turn the tables and let the child be the teacher. Today, she kept swiping the coins from me, laying some out, and asking “How much are there?” She also liked to have me name a quantity, and then take one away to trick me, which means that this game is also teaching some beginning subtraction concepts as well.

So the next time you are out and about and are trying to keep your preschooler entertained, try reaching for some change in your purse. I’m going to make sure I always have some quarters or half-dollars in my wallet, for teachable moments in the future.


  1. Lia says:

    Ha. I just snorted reading this. Good idea with the change. Curious, how many objects are we grownups supposed to count at a glance?

    • jenbrdsly says:

      That’s a really good question. Guess who is going to start experimenting on the adults in her life? I’m going to need more quarters…

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