Holiday season budgeting activity

Holiday season budgeting activity

It’s Day 5 of our Christmas Advent Calendar!

This month, we’re sharing special deals, festive classroom inspiration, and holiday-themed activities up until 24 December, so make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss a single day!

We have a fun, mathematical learning activity that you can implement in your classroom this week – teach your learners how to create a hypothetical budget and have them plan a Christmas party!

This festive and creative activity encourages learners to apply and practise various mathematical skills they have learned throughout the year, such as:

• addition and subtraction to calculate the total cost and manage their budget
• multiplication and division when buying items in bulk or distributing costs evenly
• estimation when making precise calculations
• currency knowledge (e.g. using coins and notes.)

Without further ado, here’s our breakdown of how you can implement the activity this week!

1) Give your learners a budget

Will you give the same budget to each individual learner? Or break learners into groups and have them collaborate to present their party plan?

Consider giving learners who need further support a smaller budget, and more advanced learners a larger budget to challenge them.

2) Provide party themes

Consider giving each learner or group a theme. Providing learners with a theme can serve two benefits:

• it gives them a starting point and framework for their party planning initiatives
• you can use the theme to provide a constraint or challenge.

Here are some theme and constraint ideas:

Theme: Constraint:
Holiday dinner party Must include a roast turkey (R935)
Backyard Christmas party Must include a cricket set (R620)
Christmas beach party Must include mixed seafood platter (R1,900)
Winter wonderland party Must include an ice sculpture (R1,900)
Ugly jumper slumber party Must include an ugly jumper for each person (R250 each)
Christmas movie marathon party Must include a Netflix subscription (R190)
Polar Express Christmas party Must include a train ticket (R935 per person)
Holiday masquerade ball Must include a Christmas cake (R1,120)
Holiday decorating party Must include gingerbread house kits (R125 per person)

3) Provide a list of party planning considerations and price points

Learners can get creative with their party planning, but they will need to know the prices of their desired inclusions. There are two ways to approach this:

i.) For younger learners, consider having 2–3 set packages and prices for each category.

For example, a ‘R185 package’ could have 3 items, a ‘R620 package’ could have 5 items, and a ‘R1,550 package’ could have 10 items.

They would then select a package and customise their ‘items’ to suit their theme, all based on how many items are included (e.g. balloons, streamers, lights, etc.)

ii.) For older learners, task them with a self-led research activity to gather the information they need.

This will result in more varied price points, so they will need to be strategic with their choices.

You may require them to have at least one inclusion in every category by the end without going over budget.

Here are some planning considerations to provide your learners with:

• Number of people in attendance (is attendance free or is there a ticket cost?)
• Decorations (e.g. party theme decorations, Christmas decor, etc.)
• Food (e.g. planning a menu, calculating ingredients, getting catering, etc.)
• Gifts (e.g. gift bags, secret Santa, etc.)
• Dress code (e.g. formal, costume, ugly jumpers, etc.)
• Entertainment (e.g. music, movies, games, activities, etc.)
• Venue hire (e.g. ballroom, train rental, etc.)

4) Anticipate learner challenges

Learners might need your help and guidance with estimating costs accurately, making choices within their budget, or calculating and accounting for all costs. Consider how you will guide them through this exercise.

5) Support learning with these resources

We know this time of year can be particularly busy and challenging, so we hope this blog post gave you some inspiration for how to make learning fun during the holiday season.

If you’d like more support, consider incorporating our maths posters or our maths boxed sets into your budgeting activity as a pre-learning exercise or skills refresher.

These flexible, easy-to-implement teaching resources will help your learners master and utilise essential mathematical strategies (such as addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, and estimation) in order to complete this festive budgeting activity.