Sharon DeVellis: Inside Scoop


Adding Machine Activities

Fun Doesn't Have To Come In A Brightly Coloured Toy

Last weekend my youngest son came home from his grandparent's house with an adding machine thanks to a visit to the local Value Village. 

Not be outdone by his brother, my older son counted his money and off we went to Walmart so he could buy an adding machine as well.

What, you may wonder, could two kids do with an adding machine?

Well, they:

  • Counted the money in our vacation jar (adding)
  • Played store and learned how to calculate taxes (percentages)
  • Had math contests (adding/subtracting/percentages AND how to lose graciously)
  • Calculated our cat's weight (subtracting)

They've been coming up with games ever since and the best part is they had no idea they were actually learning math while they were playing.  If there's anything I've learned since I've started my parenting journey is that fun doesn't have to come in a brightly coloured toy, and sometimes you just need to let you child guide the way.

My boys also came up with a simple code so they could send each other secret messages via the adding machine. You don't an adding machine to do this. Click on the image below and print off the code to send your kids a secret message today.