Monday, May 7, 2012

Yard Sale Board Game [Counting Money]

It’s yard sale season, which is a wonderful time to work on counting money! I drummed up a game to play with my son that works on the following:
  1. Spending your money wisely (e.g. if you have $0.30, you can buy one thing for $0.30 or three things for $0.10).
  2. Saving your money to buy bigger ticket items.
  3. Exchanging money (e.g. ten dimes can be exchanged for $1.00).
  4. Making change (e.g. you buy something that costs $0.75 and pay with a one dollar bill; how much change do you get back?).

What you need to play:
Poker chips (each player uses a different color as gamepieces)
The game board and money cards (download a PDF here)
Funny money in $1.00, $5.00, and $10.00 increments (you can download some here)
Lots of U.S. coins
Yard sale pricing stickers

Once you’ve taped the game board together and cut apart the money cards, stick one yard sale pricing sticker on each item on the board (use only a few $5 and $10 stickers).

Buy as many items as you can. The player with the most items purchased (i.e. poker chips on the board) when the entire board is filled is the winner.

Play alternates between players. We played with two players, but I think you can play with as many as four. Each player gets $1.00 in funny money to start. Then, they draw from the pile of cards.

Whatever amount of money on the card is given to the player and he/she can purchase as many items as they’d like until they are out of money. A gamepiece (i.e. poker chip) is placed on all of the items that are purchased.

A purchase should be made during each turn, unless the player does not have enough money to buy any of the remaining items on the board, or they get the “Oh No” card. In which case, a gamepiece is removed and play resumes with the next player drawing a card from the draw pile.

Before we played, we read a great Mercer Mayer book. This got my son in the spirit of yard saling!

Then we both put on our game faces and raided my husband’s bowl of pocket change. It was a buying frenzy at first, but as the low-ticket items were purchased, the pace slowed. Now, we forced to “save” our money to see who would get the remaining few $5 and $10 items. This was a lot of fun and although it was intended just to work on counting money, there were loads of other lessons built right in.

I think we’re both in the mood to bargain hunt at next weekend’s yard sales now!

CREDIT: I downloaded the currency clip art from


  1. you could use this board as a scavenger hunt when you go to yard sales, see how many items they can find!

  2. How fun. This can also be played with real objects and real money too. We played something similar once, and daughter was shocked when she ran out of money :)

  3. Love this idea! What a fun and practical way to practice math! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Oh, I LOVE this! We're just starting to talk about money, and my daughter is a huge fan of games! I'm pinning this one too--thanks for sharing at Teach Me Tuesday!!

  5. What a fun idea - and so appropriate for this time of year! I shared it with my Facebook fans =-) Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a great weekend,

  6. What a great idea!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday! I hope you are having a great week!

  7. Just found you via Preschool Powol Packets, love this idea. I'm following via Google Reader now.

  8. Hmmmm, I apparently pinned w/o commenting, shame on me, I just came back to print it, thanks for sharing where you got the money from because I've been looking for money clip art FOREVER! (you know to not be old school and use my stamps from 10 years ago when I was teaching).

  9. That looks like a fun game! I have been asked to babysit for two families, and I would rather have then outside playing yard games instead of trying to play video games all day. I really like this idea a lot and I will be trying it out soon. Thank you so much!