Are you looking for a way to reinforce essential math skills in an engaging way that helps your students make connections? “Run a Babysitting Business” is a real-life math project where students will complete eleven different tasks, each one focusing on math in a real-life context. It includes skills involving time, money, arrays, graphing, place value, and more. This project will help your students see how these concepts are used in real life.
Ideas for Use
Math projects are an ideal way to consolidate learning. I recommend using them as an engaging activity AFTER skills have been learned rather than during learning. You will likely find that engagement is very high and that your students ask to do more of these!
There are many ways to use math projects in your classroom. Some of the most popular are:
•a small-group or pairs activity
•a guided math activity to allow you to see where your students are struggling
•a fun, rewarding way to engage your early finishers
•a low-prep, easy-to-implement activity for a substitute teacher
You might choose to print specific tasks to use during math centers, or you might make a booklet out of all of the tasks and let your students choose which one to do when.
This resource is included in PDF format for printing and in Google Slides™️ format for digital learning. This makes it useable with Google Classroom™️.
Take a look at what you’ll find inside this math project:
TASK #1: YOUR FIRST JOB!
You are finally old enough to start babysitting and can’t wait to start earning money. But first there are some things to think about. In this activity you’ll brainstorm a list of do’s and don’ts.
TASK #2: PLANNING YOUR TOOL KIT
You’re going to put together a “babysitting tool kit.” This will be a bag of toys and craft supplies to take along with you to babysitting jobs. Figure out some different options for what you can buy.
Skills: money, addition
TASK #3: HIRED – THE DUNCAN FAMILY
You were just offered your first babysitting job! The Duncan family has three children and have hired you for Friday evening. In this activity you’ll work with the different aspects of your job at the Duncan house.
Skills: time, elapsed time, problem-solving, time on a number line
TASK #4: MANAGING YOUR MONEY
Now that you’ve been babysitting for a few months, you decide to make a plan for the money that you are earning. In this activity you’ll work with your saving, spending, and giving jars.
Skills: money, addition or multiplication, problem-solving
TASK #5: NUMBER OF JOBS
Since you started babysitting, you’ve been a lot busier than you thought you would be! Word must be getting around that you are a good babysitter! Take a look at the different jobs you’ve had over the past six months.
Skills: picture graph, data interpretation, tally chart, representing data, problem-solving
TASK #6: BAKING WITH KIDS
One thing is for certain – the kids that you babysit LOVE to bake! In this activity you’ll work with a recipe that everyone loves – your peanut butter cookies.
Skills: simple fractions, addition or multiplication, problem-solving
TASK #7: HOMEWORK HELP
When you get to the Larson house on Saturday, you find the kids busy doing their homework. Your task is to help the Larson kids with their array and left-to-right addition homework.
Skills: arrays (using repeated addition or multiplication), left-to-right addition
TASK #8: MOVIE NIGHT
Another activity that the kids love is movie night. The Baxter kids can’t wait for this and you are going to make it extra special for them!
Skills: time, problem-solving, halves, skip-counting
TASK #9: DRESS-UP
Another thing you’ve discovered is that almost every kid you babysit loves to dress up in costumes! In this activity you’ll figure out part of the game that you’re playing with the Livingston kids.
Skills: place value, addition, expanded form
TASK #10: MEAL IDEAS
It seems like the only meal that kids will eat is grilled cheese sandwiches! You decide to do a survey to figure out some other meal options that kids like.
Skills: bar graph, data interpretation and comparison
TASK #11: PROBLEM SOLVING
When you are a babysitter you have to be ready to think of solutions to many problems!
Skills: elapsed time on a number line, money, problem-solving, addition
What Teachers Are Saying
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "My students love project based learning activities and I love using them for Math skill practice! We have used other resources of yours and while my special needs students definitely need to have adult support to complete many of the tasks because Math is not their super power they never complain! You have made Math class much more enjoyable for all of us! Thank you!" Karen G.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "My students enjoyed this math greatly. We had a lot of great conversations based on each math activity. I am glad I purchased this resource. Project-based learning (PBL) is a great way to help students deepen their conceptual knowledge of key academic concepts while having fun around a theme!" Monica R.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "My students are very excited about the babysitting business! I like how your projects focus on a skill, but also spiral into several others." Sarah P.