Menus & Money

Menus & Money lesson plan

Learning to use money to make change? Count on a pretend restaurant or store—complete with bills and coins—to captivate the imaginations of clerks and customers alike.

  • 1.

    Here’s a great way to use your writing, drawing, and money skills at the same time. These ideas are for opening a pretend diner. You could open your own pet shop with stuffed animals. Or set up a grocery store with food cartons. How about designing a bank with recycled boxes? Create any place where you can practice counting money and making change.

  • 2.

    What could you name your restaurant? What kinds of food will you serve? Pick a theme, catchy name, and logo. Decorate the outside of a pocket folder with your restaurant’s name and logo using Crayola® Colored Pencils and Markers.

  • 3.

    On construction paper, draw and color foods and beverages that you will serve. Cut them out with Crayola Scissors. To make your restaurant menu, glue the food pictures to the inside of your file folder using Crayola Glue Sticks. Write the prices next to each picture.

  • 4.

    Draw pretend paper money on construction paper. Look at samples of your country’s currency to make sure you have some of each denomination. Decorate each bill with numerals showing the amount, your country’s name, and a picture. Color your pretend bills and cut them out.

  • 5.

    Use Crayola Model Magic to form coins. To create your own colors of Model Magic, knead color from a Crayola Washable Marker into white Model Magic. Continue to add marker color until you’ve made the shade you want. Shape your coins. Let them air-dry.

  • 6.

    Cut small pieces of recycled paper on which to write orders and receipts. Staple your pages together. Add your restaurant’s name and logo to each sheet.

  • 7.

    Place everything in your folder pockets. Set up your restaurant. You’re ready for your first customer!


  • Students distinguish between the various amounts of paper money and coins and their monetary values.
  • Students create their own props for imaginary play in a situation that requires writing, drawing, and making change with local currency.
  • Students practice writing orders, adding bills, and making change during their pretend play.


  • Children who have special needs may benefit from starting with only paper bills, which are whole numbers. Include coins as their math skills increase.
  • Design a price list for your school store. Volunteer to help with inventory and sales.
  • Ask your family to give you opportunities to use your money skills when you go shopping. Set up a pretend store at home to play with friends and family members.