Checkout Line Estimation

Recommended Age: 6+ | Mathematical Topic: Early Arithmetic

What To Do

On your next shopping trip, ask your child to look at all the items in the cart and estimate what the total will be. See who can come the closest to the correct total without going over.

At first, you may want to show them how to do it, by looking at the items, rounding up to the nearest dollar (or nearest five or ten dollars) on each item, and then quickly counting up the estimates.

With older children, you might let them come up with a strategy, and then compare notes on how everyone did it. There are many ways to get to a close answer.

Moving On

As long as it’s fun, keep doing it! You can also add to the difficulty by giving your child a budget and asking them to estimate the purchases before they get to the cash register, attempting to keep their total under the amount of money you’ve given them.