Menus & Money


Learning to use money to make change? Count on a pretend restaurant or store—complete with bills and coins—to captivate the imaginations of clerks and customers alike.


1. Here’s a great way to use your writing, drawing, and money skills at the same time. These ideas are for opening a pretend diner. You could open your own pet shop with stuffed animals. Or set up a grocery store with food cartons. How about designing a bank with recycled boxes? Create any place where you can practice counting money and making change.

2. What could you name your restaurant? What kinds of food will you serve? Pick a theme, catchy name, and logo. Decorate the outside of a pocket folder with your restaurant’s name and logo using Crayola® Colored Pencils and Markers.

3. On construction paper, draw and color foods and beverages that you will serve. Cut them out with Crayola Scissors. To make your restaurant menu, glue the food pictures to the inside of your file folder using Crayola Glue Sticks. Write the prices next to each picture.

4. Draw pretend paper money on construction paper. Look at samples of your country’s currency to make sure you have some of each denomination. Decorate each bill with numerals showing the amount, your country’s name, and a picture. Color your pretend bills and cut them out.

5. Use Crayola Model Magic to form coins. To create your own colors of Model Magic, knead color from a Crayola Washable Marker into white Model Magic. Continue to add marker color until you’ve made the shade you want. Shape your coins. Let them air-dry.

6. Cut small pieces of recycled paper on which to write orders and receipts. Staple your pages together. Add your restaurant’s name and logo to each sheet.

7. Place everything in your folder pockets. Set up your restaurant. You’re ready for your first customer!

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.


  • Children who have special needs may benefit from starting with only paper bills, which are whole numbers. Include coins as their math skills increase.
  • Design a price list for your school store. Volunteer to help with inventory and sales.
  • Ask your family to give you opportunities to use your money skills when you go shopping. Set up a pretend store at home to play with friends and family members.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Colored Pencils
  • Markers
  • Model Magic®
  • Glue Sticks
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Construction Paper
household supplies
  • stapler and staples
  • pocket folder



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Special Needs


  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Visual Arts



  • Students distinguish between the various amounts of paper money and coins and their monetary values.

  • Students create their own props for imaginary play in a situation that requires writing, drawing, and making change with local currency.

  • Students practice writing orders, adding bills, and making change during their pretend play.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards