Last month I discovered my old Sindys, Pippas and Barbie in a box we'd had in the loft. I decided that Iona was now old enough to play with some of them, although I didn't feel I could trust her with my beloved Sindys or proper Pippas, so I gave her the spare clothes, and Barbie (who was a late addition to my family) and a couple of imitation Pippas:
Iona was absolutely thrilled, and loved trying to dress (but mainly undress) the dolls:We talked about how different the clothes were from those we wear today, and Iona quickly learned the word "flares"! This led me to think "Why don't we do a lapbook about the 1970's!".
We started off by putting "Mummy's Pippas and Barbie" under the 1970's on our timeline which leads up the stairs. I also bought our own copy of a book which Iona loved to bits when we borrowed it from the library some months ago, Before I Was Your Mother, as it talks about a little girl's mother being a little girl, as I was in the 1970's.
We did various activities, which I will detail later, then yesterday, when reading another library book about the '70's with Iona, I was reminded that decimal currency was brought in in 1971. I explained to her that the coins we use were first used in the 1970's, and showed her how to make coin rubbings. We've talked about money a bit before, usually when checking what's in her piggy bank, but this is the first time that I've systematically shown her all the coins (except 10p, which we couldn't find one of anywhere in the house). She really enjoyed making rubbings of all the coins, although she needed a lot of help to cover each one - if I hadn't stepped in we would just have had circle shapes vaguely around each one. Today, I decided I wanted to make her a set of 1p coins that we could use to play shopping. In order to help her in identifying real coins I tried to make them as realistic as possible. I got a sheet of thick card, drew around a real 1p ten times on it, drew the 1p design on them, front and back, coloured them with a brown crayon, then cut them out. To stop Iona drawing on them (which she was keen to do), and to make them last a bit longer, I wrapped them in sticky tape. Iona was very pleased with them, and insisted on spending the evening "buying" things from me, which was good practice for her counting skills as I made her give me the correct number of 1p's for whatever price I quoted up to 10p. I considered using real 1p coins for this activity, but at such a tender age Iona is already very aware that money is valuable, and wants as much as she can keep for her piggy bank! Of course, I could use coins from said money box, but then I was concerned that, once playing with them, she might forget their value and insist on keeping them in one of her toy boxes, bags, etc. and that we'd end up losing them. Overall, I think I made the right decision to make cardboard coins, and so far I'm very pleased with the result.