Money Math in the Bay Area

Is your Bay Area child struggling to learn how to count money? Could they use extra practice with a skill that will be valuable for the rest of their life? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then Pigs will be Pigs by Amy Axelrod is the right book for you! When the Pigs are hungry, they go to the fridge but find that the fridge is empty! Mother Pig hasn’t been to the bank recently so the pigs need to find more money before they go to eat out at a restaurant. They search the entire house and find money hidden in random places. Help the pigs add up the money and see how much money they have! The pigs gather their money and head to a restaurant. Your child find the total amount of money the pigs collected and then find how much money they spent on their meal. I recommend Pigs will be Pigs to all children in the Bay Area and the Silicon Valley who are learning how to count money. Check out Pigs will be Pigs at your local library in the Bay Area or purchase it at the nearest bookstore! You won’t regret reading this book with your child.

Bay Area math information

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For more information about math help and book recommendations, check out Palo Alto – Menlo Park Mathnasium’s website.

Math Money Practice in San Carlos

I am sure you can recall the excitement your child had the last time they got their face painted in San Carlos! Now, there is a book that combines face painting and mathematics, and we like it so much that we’ve bought it at Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park. Next time your child wants a face painting, make them count out the money so that they get practice with money. In The Penny Pot, by Stuart Murphy, Jessie wants to get her face painted at a fair like the one in San Carlos but she doesn’t have enough money. She begins a penny pot so that other children getting their face painted can put their extra money in the pot as a donation to Jessie. Each child that comes to the face painting station counts their change and your child can practice their money skills as they count along with the characters in the story.

With practice questions and practical applications in the back, The Penny Pot is a good book of any child in San Carlos who needs additional practice with counting money. There are also activities in the back that will help your child learn how to count money in an easy and fun way! I recommend this book to all young children in the Redwood City and San Carlos area who would like to improve their money counting skills.

San Carlos math book

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Money Math in Palo Alto

Less Than Zero by Stuart J. Murphy is a wonderful math story of Perry the penguin who wants to buy an ice scooter but does not have enough clams to do so. In this story, clams are used as a form of currency that is equivalent to our dollar bills. While saving up for his scooter, Perry keeps track of how many clams he has on a graph. The story Less Than Zero will teach your child how to graph and use money. When Perry first learns to use clams, he spends all of them and has to borrow clams from friends. He soon realizes that borrowing money from other people only increases his debt, hence the title less than zero clams, and he will need to earn more clams to get to his goal of buying an ice scooter. Eventually, Perry finds a job and saves up enough clams to get his ice scooter. Perry’s persistence will teach your child that they are able to save up money to purchase items that they really want. If they want something badly enough, they will find ways to control their impulse to spend money on items they want simply because they are available. As your child follows Perry’s graph, they might even be inspired to make their own.

A great way for you and your child to spend time together while doing math is by taking your child to Palo Alto’s ice skating rink! Use the same techniques Perry used with your child. Give your Palo Alto child a currency that he or she would need to convert to dollars. Your child will not only have fun reenacting Perry’s dilemma, but he or she will also get to practice their math skills. Less Than Zero will teach your child valuable skills and I definitely recommend this book to all young children in the Palo Alto-Menlo Park area.


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Money Math – Your Bay Area Child’s New Allowance

Allowance for Bay Area Elementary School Children


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I recently stumbled across and they had a great idea to help children learn math by giving them an allowance. For kids in elementary school, parents should tell them that their allowance is 50 cents multiplied by their age per week. By doing this, your child will learn all sorts of math skills like: counting money, value of coins, fractions, and much more. You  should help your child save their money, and once it seems like they have a significant amount amount of money, have your Bay Area child count how much they have.

Now, you can ask your child to:

  1. Count how many dollars, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies there are
  2. Count how much money they have
  3. Calculate how much money they have until a certain value

Practice problems:

  1. Riley is 9 years old. If he gets paid 50 cents times his age every week, how much money does he get paid every week?
  2. Riley has $18.00 in his piggy bank. He wants to use his money to buy a toy that costs $21.99. How much money does he need?

    Mom teaching son to save money

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Allowance for Bay Area Middle School Students

Once your child is in middle school, you can start setting a constant dollar amount as your Bay Area child’s allowance, or give your child a certain amount of money for each chore they do. Using this system you can help teach your child how to save their money and you can give them harder math problems!

Practice Problems:

  1. Camille is 14 years old living in the Bay Area. Her parents decided to give her an allowance based on her chores. If she washes the dishes, she gets $0.50. If she makes her bed in the morning, she gets $1.00. If she waters the plants, she gets $3.00. If she vacuums, she gets $2.25.
    This week, Camille washed the dishes 3 times, made her bed 4 times, watered the plants twice, and vacuumed once. How much money did Camille make this week?
  2. Billy is Camille’s brother, and he has the same allowance plan as his sister, and the same chores. He is saving his money so that he would be able to buy a video game that costs $42.50. If he does each chore everyday, how many days does he have to do every chore until he can afford the video game?

Learn more about Math Tutoring and Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park (and find more fun problems) —


Mathin’ with Enchiladas at Cafe Del Sol

Looking for a great restaurant in downtown Menlo park? Cafe del Sol is a great place to go if you love Mexican food and want to apply your math skills to the real world. One of my favorite dishes to get there is the Enchiladas de Mariscos. These tasty enchiladas are expertly made of grilled red snapper and shrimp marinated in grilled adobe sauce all wrapped in a flour tortilla, covered in a delicious sauce and served with a side of rice.

Waiting to order? Have the kids estimate the bill!

A great way to get your kids introduced to the many ways math is used in the real world is by having them practice calculating the price of food or by asking them how much they could buy at a store with a certain amount of money. Practice makes perfect, and the younger your child starts to practice solving real world math problems, the more savvy they will become with their savings. This is one of the most useful tactics we use to make math interesting for kids in our Menlo Park Mathnasium center, but parents can give their kids even more practice in daily life. A great place to practice this important skill is at Cafe del Sol in Menlo Park, which has a old-fashioned ambiance, friendly and knowledgeable waitstaff, and delicious enchiladas. Make sure to take your child to Cafe del Sol so they can apply their math skills.

> Learn more about Math Tutoring in Palo Alto / Menlo Park

Apply Your Math Skills

The possibilities for practicing math skills at a great Menlo Park restaurant like this are almost endless, but here are some ideas for questions you can ask your kids:

You order two Enchiladas de Mariscos at $14.00 each to share between the three people, how much will the bill be and how much enchilada will each person get?

If you order a vegetarian burrito for $5.65 and a seafood burrito for $7.45, how much (rounded to the nearest dollar) will the two burritos cost?

If you order a hot tea at $3.75 each, and a beef taco for $4.35, how much will the bill be, rounded to the nearest dollar?

Math fun with Enchiladas in Menlo Park

By Steve Dunham on Flickr as Enchiladas Suizas

Read more about Cafe del Sol on Yelp!