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ELC Play Money
Member Name: lyndsey1989
ELC Play Money
Date: 01/12/12, updated on 02/12/12 (24 review reads)
Advantages: Lots of different denominations, well made, very good price, so much play and educational value
Disadvantages: The debit card could be stronger
I'm sure just about all of us have played with play money at some point either when we were children ourselves or even with our own children/nieces or nephews/grandchildren etc.
Play money is exactly what it says on the tin - money for playing with! This particular set from ELC seems to be the most popular and in all honesty I'm not sure if I've ever actually seen play money in high street stores other than ELC but I'm sure that it is available in other toy stores.
The play money set contains a selection of 'money' which is designed to be like real money. The money can then be used to provide currency in games eg. playing shops, cinemas, post offices, vets, anything really! I had a set when I was younger, my niece of course had a set too and I have always seen these in schools and nursery settings also.
The set has changed slightly over the years and when I was little it just had 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, £5, £10, £20 and £50 (a selection of all) whilst my niece had the set with the cheque book and the debit card and of course the addition of the £2 coin. It also has Euro coins and notes. This version is the one that ELC still stock today and it is priced at just £4.00. However, it is currently out of stock on the website but I am sure that most people have an ELC nearby if it is something you think someone you know would like.
Play money has a number of uses both in the home and educational settings. Aswell as being a useful addition to role playing games where the exchange of money is required it is also an excellent maths resource. Of course, learning to count is an essential part of a childs education as it is something that everybody will need at some point. Money is something that we all have to count and deal with pretty much every day so therefore it is essential to help children to grasp the concept of money and what is what from an early age therefore making it easier to deal with later in life.
With my niece we tended to just use the sterling currency simply because otherwise she did find it quite confusing however she was quite young at this point. The dual currency would be an absolutely fantastic aspect if you were holidaying in Europe or maybe had family (or you, yourselves) are in Ireland and I do like the fact that you get both, after all the set is only £4.00 so you really cant complain!
There are a good amount of each coin and note and as with most small toys it is more than likely that a few of these will get lost over time or notes maybe even torn. This is not too much of a problem because there are plenty more and never have we found ourselves needing more of one particular coin. However, if these are used in an educational setting where a coin is needed for each child or pair of children then multiple packs may need to be purchased.
The coins are good, they dont look much like our real money but of course they cannot be too realistic, they certainly can be recognised for what they are supposed to be and all coins have the name written on both numerically and with letters which helps the childs development and understanding. They are roughly the same size as the real coins and they are all the same shape and roughly the same colour which makes it very easy for children to make connections between their money and real money. The notes are made of a thick type of paper which is of a high quality. Again, these dont look realistic but they do have a gorgeous lion on as the king which personally I like as I am a fan of lions! The cheque book again is of a similar quality and is certainly a welcome addition that can be used for those larger purchases. The debit card is made from cardboard. If your child has a tendency to chew on things this could pose a problem and personally I think a plastic card would be better but the card is designed to work with the ELC cash register and others on the market so maybe a plastic variety wouldnt have fitted through the swipe slot, it is a very minor issue anyway.
Children can either use these coins on their own, with friends/siblings or with you as a parent or guardian. The coins have a fantastic longevity because pretty much every situation they will be used in will be different so the scenarios never get boring. When children are young then these can be used simply as counters eg. 'one banana is 4 coins' and then of course this can be developed further as the child progresses, starting with easy equations eg. 'one banana is 10p, and an apple is 5p, how much do I need?' and then of course progressing with your child to much more difficult scenarios eg. 'I have bought one banana (10p), some sugar (£1.10), a carton of milk (89p), bread (£1.35) and some cat food (83p), If I pay with a £10 note how much change do I need?'
I have found that children love playing with this money and I too used to when I was younger because it gives a realistic aspect to the games and allows you to learn a little more about the coins that your parents use in the shops etc. My Mum used to often play shops with me when I was little and whilst I thought it was great fun I now know that she also enjoyed it when I said 'lets play shops!!!' because she knew I was also learning something along the way.
Maths is something that my niece has struggled with since she began school and therefore games with this play money can really help her progress, of course the difficulty of problems or games that we present her with can change with time depending on how much further she has progressed. For example when she was around 5 we may have asked her to make up 6p with the coins, when she was 8 maybe to work out our change from £1 etc.
The coins, notes, chequebook and debit card are all of a great quality. Naturally, as the coins are made from a much longer lasting product (plastic) than the rest these do stay in better condition for longer but all of the set does remain in good condition and useable for years and years providing it is looked after.
For £4.00 I think you are getting a real bargain with this play money because it has so much play value but also educational value too. It can be used time and time again for a number of different purposes and the play money always seems very popular amongst children. It is well made and looks good and there is plenty of each denomination allowing all sorts of games to be played. I would definitely recommend this play money but please note that it is not suitable for under 3's because of small parts and this toy would probably be better as a supervised toy initially just to ensure that no coins find their way into your little ones mouth.
Summary: A great little set
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