Suggested cross-curricular extension activities

Here we have suggested a variety of extension ideas linked into different curriculum subjects. The children can do them individually, in pairs, in groups or as a whole class activity.

Cross-curricular extension activities


  • Create their own class newspaper about money. Research online and gather, save, cut/paste articles/photos to make their own document.
  • Encourage them to use the Nationwide Education site at home with their parents - re-read the story, play the interactive games and use the downloadable sheets.

PSHE/PSE/Health & Wellbeing/PD&MU & Citizenship

  • Discuss how money is raised doing 'sponsored' walks, etc. Decide as a class which charity they want to raise money for and each look at different ways they can raise money. Emphasise that even pennies count.


  • Write their own story about 'wanting' something, 'saving' for it and at last being able to buy it.
  • Make their own word bank with as many words to do with money as possible. Have a competition to see who has the most (and can explain what each means).


  • Find pictures or samples of American currency and compare to English. What representations are on their dollars and our pounds? Discuss differences and talk about how many dollars would make £1 at the time.
  • Look at how people in developing countries live. Research how they get food/clothing. Discuss what happens when they have no 'money'.


  • Research how early civilisations used to exchange one valuable item for another - bartering. What types of things were used for early money?
  • Have a class display of money boxes through the ages. Research what they looked like. Have children draw them, collect pictures and montage, etc.


  • Make a shopping list for a family. Either online, looking at catalogues, or on the next trip to the supermarket, work out the total cost of their family's food.


  • Make their own rubbings of coins and then copy and label them.
  • Create their own designs using different sized circles, in bronze, gold and silver.
  • Make their own papier maché piggy bank. Get a newspaper, tear into strips, dampen, cover inflated balloon with PVA on each strip. Use egg box sections for feet/part of cardboard tube for nose. Dry and paint; cut slot.

Other financial ideas for young children

General activities around counting out money and what it's worth:

  • Recalling: How many pence in £1, how many 2p's, how many 10p's, how many 20p's and how many 50p's?
  • Applying: How many 50p's would we need to pay for a £2.50 toy. Which coins would you use to make 65p, etc?
  • Predicting: What would happen if we spent more than we had? What could happen if change was kept in our pocket?
  • Discussions: What could you buy for £1/£10/£100?
  • Numerics: Count in 2's, 5's an 10's. Stop every now and then and get them to add 1, 2 or 3p to the number they are at.
  • Role-play: At home giving pocket money, in a restaurant paying the bill, cashiers at banks, at supermarket tills etc.
  • Weigh money: This is a worthwhile experiment but you do need real coins e.g. use 2p coins. Count out certain amounts of coins, add up their value then weigh and record. Now in reverse. Pour coins onto scales until exact amount is shown on scales. Now count out to find value. Discuss this is how early buying and selling took place.
  • 'Feely' exercises: Have bag of coins and have 'feely' exercises guessing total amount inside.
  • Shop play: Buying and selling individual items giving correct money, counting out change etc.
  • Invent their own money game: After playing Nationwide Education interactive games, develop their own money games.

General discussions:

  • Where parents get their money.
  • How everything they use at home costs money.
  • Pocket money - for and against. Do they 'earn' it by doing jobs like clearing up their rooms, etc?
  • Saving for something special - where? In a piggy bank or in a building society or bank account?
  • What sorts of services do the Government pay for?
  • The difference between coins in the UK and how other countries have different currencies.

Potential discussions

1. Accounts

looking at how to read statements. What's included.

2. Building societies/bank:

how they operate. What they do.

3. Borrowing money:

from friends, from parents, from a building society or bank. How interest is involved.

4. Budgeting:

planning/choices. Balancing what's coming in and what has to go out and what can be worked towards. Looking at salaries and ongoing regular household expenses.

5. Change:

the importance of always checking change carefully. Often mistakes are made.

6. Energy efficiency:

realising that lights left on, heat too high, doors and windows left open, all mean wasting electricity and puts up bills.

7. Entrepreneur:

what's involved? Balancing good ideas with setting up finance.

8. Fundraising:

for charities to help less able in this country and abroad.

9. Mortgage/rents:

discussions of differences between a mortgage and rent (be sensitive to their varying home circumstances).

10. Necessities:

realising what's a necessity for living and which items are pleasures or luxuries.

11. Overspending:

debt/pressurising parents for latest gadget/clothes.

12. Paying back what you owe:

understanding this should be a priority plan as soon as you can.

13. Pocket money:

for and against/earning through completing tasks.

14. Savings:

why is it important? Where - in building society/bank/in piggy bank/hidden? Paying in full at the end, rather than taking credit.

15. Shopping trips:

just looking trips/choosing something specific.

16. Store cards/credit cards:

the difference and how they represent invisible money.

17. Taxes:

who gets the money? What's it used for? How everyone who works has to pay towards it.

18. Utilities:

what services are included? How we depend on them therefore need to make allowances in budget.

19. Value for money:

how can you tell? By quality, amount, or that it's needed. Include 'cheap and expensive' terminology.

20. Waste/recycling:

knowing that 'waste' means throwing money away e.g. buying more than you need. Throwing something away when it can be re-used.