Monday, December 21, 2009

Munchkin Math: Counting Money - DVD Review

Many of my reviews concentrate on early reading skills and books. I spend a lot of time with my children working on language and reading skills. But other basic concepts such as mathematics and science are equally important to teach children at a young age. It's easy to turn every day activities into learning moments.

Just this last week, I took both my children to the bank with me. We had collected two large bags worth of change. They watched in awe as the special, automated coin machine at the bank counted and sorted all the coins we brought. This fun activity helped increase my daughter's interest in money. She wanted to know more about all the coins and their worth and was surprised at the final total amount of the change we brought to the bank to deposit.

After we visited the bank we went home and watched a Munchkin Math DVD called Counting Money. The DVD helps preschool and early elementary age kids identify the names of the U.S. coins, talks about the different values and teaches basic math concepts by showing kids how to count their money.

The format of the DVD reminds me of the lesson type programs we have watch on our public television station. The video production is more educational based than entertainment based and features Wendy Miller (the creator of Munchkin Math) along with two children talking about coins and teaching corresponding rhymes, chants and hand movements. My preschool aged daughter did not lose interest while watching the DVD and even participated along with several segments. The 22 minute DVD is divided into four segments:
♦ Lesson 1: Coins; The New Coin Game
♦ Lesson 2: Dollars; Dollar Chant
♦ Lesson 3: The Dollar & Cent Signs
♦ Lesson 4: Trading and Sorts; Making a Money Worm; Money Worm Song
After watching the video, I quizzed my preschool daughter on how much she retained. She was able to identify the penny, but still had difficulty with the other coins. With practice and repetition and the use of some of the rhymes, I'm sure she'll easily pick up the names and values. However, I think she is still a little too young to understand how to count money, besides adding up her pennies. She did enjoy assembling her own money worm on the mat I downloaded from the website. Within the next few years, those skills will develop and she will be able to understand the counting concepts a little better. The DVD does not include information about the half dollar or golden dollar.

I've read that by the end of kindergarten, kids should be able to identify all the basic coins and the dollar. This DVD works well when used as a supplemental resource in teaching money basics at home. The DVD would also be appropriate for teachers to show in the classroom. However, I would recommend that parents and teachers use other fun activities such as role playing with cash registers and coin collecting in conjunction with the video. I wish the Munchkin Math website included more corresponding printable pages, games and worksheets. The Counting Money Worm Mat was the only downloadable I could find. View a YouTube video of the Money Worm segment below:

The Munchkin Math series also includes two other DVDs: Shapes! and Telling Time! Bolster early math skills by sharing the practical, everyday concepts taught in the Munchkin Math series.

Related Links:
Munchkin Math Website
Math Worksheet Wizard Kindergarten Money Worksheets and Activities
H.I.P. Pocket Change ( kids - includes lesson plans) Teaching Kids with Money Games
Kai-lan Coins & Counting Pack Printable
Moms Inspire Learning - When Coins and Picture Books Collide (5 parts)

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Munchkin Math and received a sample DVD to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”