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Five Coins

Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?

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Buying a Balloon

Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?

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The Puzzling Sweet Shop

There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?

Christmas Shopping

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Why do this problem?

Children can use a range of strategies to work on this problem . The youngest children might rely on counting and would benefit from using real or 'play' coins. Other children might use strategies related to counting 2's and 5's. More experienced children could use addition and think in multiples.

Key questions

What would you like to try to buy first?
Which things can you buy using the 20?
Which things can you buy using the 10?

Possible extension

Encourage the children to find all the combinations of coins that could be used for each item. When the answer to the problem has been found, ask them to calculate the change that would be given when the items identified in the solution were purchased.

Challenge the children to make up more questions to be answered. For example:
  • Choose what you would buy, then work out the total price.
  • Is it possible to spend all the coins?
  • What is the maximum number of items that could be bought?
  • Change the prices so that all items would need change given.
The prices and coins could be changed and the problem repeated.

Possible support

Some children will find it helpful to use real or plastic coins and real objects.