Most children love to pretend they are someone else. The Orange County, Florida, Public School District says that at ages 4 and 5, many children like to explore community roles, such as shopkeepers, so planning shopkeeper games at this age will likely keep students engaged. Older children will enjoy shopkeeper games, too, as they work on math and literacy skills.
Learning about Money
Because children see many ways of paying for items, help them understand each way to pay. Create a cash drawer that has room for dollar bills, change and checks, and also have an old credit card swiping machine. As children take turns being a shopkeeper, help them appropriately sort the denominations of money. Use play money and coins and old credit cards. Give the children in line different forms of payment so that for each person, the shopkeeper has to decide how he will organise the money.
Set up the shop to have several items for sale, all labelled with a price. Give the shopkeeper a platform to hold her play money. Ask the other children to each pick an item and to give the shopkeeper money to pay for the item. The shopkeeper should do basic math in his head to figure out the change due. Make the prices simple for young students and more complicated for advanced grades. As students take turns being the shopkeeper, they can compete to see who can best make accurate change.
Designing a Store
If you have a lot of old boxes, divide students into groups and ask them to use boxes, markers, tape and other decorating items to create their own shops. Allow students to decide what kind of shop their group will make. Have them decorate their boxes to add colour and variety to their shops. Once every group has a chance to create a shop, have them explain their shops. Allow students to vote on the most creative shop idea.
Students can use different scents to create perfumes to sell in their pretend shops. Have several scents available. You can use food flavourings, such as maple or vanilla extract. Students can combine the scents as they wish and put their creations in a bottle. When every student has created a bottle, she can try to convince her other classmates why they should buy her perfume. Ask students to focus on descriptive words as they talk up their scents. At the end of the activity, students can vote on which perfume they would be most likely to buy based on scent and sales pitch.