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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Sharing an idea

My friend L commented that it was going to be an expensive night in our house with 5 teeth going under pillows! I just have to share this. Probably too late for most of you, but for those who haven't started with loose teeth yet, our tooth fairy bring FOREIGN CURRENCY. It's great! First, no worries about keeping up with "the Jones family" in terms of what the tooth fairy bring them. Second, it's a homeschooling lesson too. We look at the currency and discuss it: what pictures are on it, what the denomination is, where it is from, etc. Then we find the country on a map. We have little cardboard coin pockets we staple them in to, and they we put them in a photo album with coin collection pages in it.
I have to confess, the idea came from a reader of Family Fun magazine a few years ago, and is not mine, but we have embraced it fully, and it really works for us.
Today's yield will be coins from Canada and Australia (lots of opportunity for discussion about the fact that there is the same lady on the front side of the coin for those two different countries), and then also Chile, which we just happened to look at on the map yesterday. Oh, and the added bonus is we are doing MFW Exploring Countries and Cultures for our curriculum right now, so it ties in perfectly.
For those of you thinking that sounds great, but how would the tooth fairy FIND foreign currency, let me give you a few resources. First, we started with the Usborne book Kid Kit that comes with a Flag book and some foreign currency in it. That gave us a resource to look up the flags of the countries, and gave a nice starting place for the money. Also, for us, my brother travels a lot with work, and he knows to bring back his pocket change. You can ask people going on mission trips, etc. also. Easier than that, banks carry foreign currency. In some cases, you may have to order it, but just plan ahead to get a bunch once, and then you won't need to do it again. Finally, the easiest resource may be a coin shop. Plus it's a great "field trip". We have a vendor at our local flea market, Renningers, and they have foreign currency that you can buy for $1.00 for 10 coins. Really, it's probably ridiculously expensive given that most of those coins probably have an exchange rate of 1000 to 1, but it's one stop shopping and sometimes you can't put a price on that. Also, if I can cover all the teeth that will fall out of their mouth for $2 each, I am WAY ahead of the tooth fairy game.
Just wanted to share, since I was blessed so many years ago when that reader shared with the world what they did.
Can't wait until the kids discover their treasure this morning.
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Melissa said...

What a fantastic idea!! I love it!

Michelle said...

Our tooth fairy also leaves "special coins" instead of actual spending pocket money. So far, Eli has gotten state quarters that the fairy knew he would think are neat--Indiana with a race car, NC with an airplane, CO with rocky mountains and KS with a buffalo (around the time of our vacation this summer). We also went to Niagra this summer so I have a couple Canadian coins to give him when his next tooth drops out. It is fabulously fun! And you are right. I'm figuring on $3 per kid for the tooth fairy and some meaningful discussions. :o)