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Fizzy's Lunch Lab 2013: Fresh Pick Challenge: Lunch Counter

What's The Point

Don’t you wish there were a Lunch Lab diner in your neighborhood? Mixie does, too, and has hired your little Lunch Labber to build the business. Using items from your own kitchen, help your child create a simple lunch counter where she can learn about dollars and cents and sharpen her business skills at the same time.

Related Games

Buying Groceries – Shop smart, scan prices, and stay within budget.

Customer Change – What do you owe your customer? Grab the right coins.

This Activity Will Help Your Child

  • Learn coin values
  • Count by fives and tens
  • Practice simple addition

Book Suggestions

  • A Dollar, a Penny, How Much and How Many?
    by Brian P. Cleary
  • Counting Money
    by M.W. Penn
  • Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money
    by Emily Jenkins


  • Assorted lunch or snack items
  • Piece of paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Nickels and dimes
  • Coin purse or toy cash register (optional)

How Do I Do It?

  1. Invite your child to choose a name for her Lunch Lab diner and make a sign.
  2. Gather a few food items from your fridge or pantry.
  3. With your child, create a menu. Assign a price to each item. Prices should be in multiples of five or ten, such as 25 or 30 cents.
  4. Arrange chairs in a row at the kitchen counter or along the edge of your kitchen table.
  5. Enjoy playing pretend together. Invite your child to be the customer.
  6. Welcome your new customer, offer the menu and take the order.
  7. Help your child count the correct payment amount.
  8. Now switch roles!

Take It Further

Create prices that end in fives, such as 25 or 45 cents. Give the customer only dimes. Give the cashier only nickels. Practice giving change.

Now create new prices. Add pennies to the game and move beyond multiples of five. Try prices like 32 or 97 cents.