Want your child to learn the difference between the various coins we use and the value of each? This activity is a great way for children to discover the differences between various coins and learn that different coins have different values.
What You’ll Need:
- A pile of mixed coins making sure to have at least one of each type
- Pencils (colored or regular) OR clay
- Animals crackers or other “store items”
- Have the children separate coins into like piles by type, all the pennies in one pile, all the nickels in another, etc. Have them count the number of coins in each. If the kids are older, have them total up the amount of all the coins.
- Have the kids select one or two coins and do a coin rubbing by taking a sheet of white paper and placing the coin beneath it. Using a colored pencil or regular pencil, lay the lead flat against the paper on top of the coin and have the child rub it until the image of the coin appears. You may also use clay and mold it around each coin. Discuss the difference between the coins asking some of the following questions:
- What color is the coin?
- Does it have a rough edge?
- Which coin is largest or smallest?
- What do you see on the coins (presidents, buildings, trees)?
- Give the child five pennies and one nickel. Have the child “buy” five animal crackers together with the nickel and then singly with a penny each. Set up other play store opportunities at home where children can buy different items using different coins.
Other Money Teaching Ideas:
- Visit the store and give the child 50 cents or a dollar and let the child purchase an item.
- When shopping with your child, have them count items as they are put into the cart to understand how much money is needed for all of them.
- Save money in clear containers so kids can see it increasing.
- Conduct a treasure hunt for coins in a room at home. Sort into like piles and count.
- Read a book!
The Coin Counting Book by Rozanne Lanczak Williams is a unique book that offers the kids the opportunity to see the coins in detail and to appreciate their value. This book is a good way to introduce simple math to children.
My First Book of Money: Counting Coins from Kumon Publishing is a great book if your child can add numbers up to 100, and is familiar with the concept of money. This workbook will build on that foundation and is a fun and easy introduction to coins and their value, which will help strengthen your child’s mathematical skills.
What are your tips for teaching children about money at school or at home? Let us know what you do by leaving us a comment below or tweeting us at @UNLExtensionTLC!
Leanne Manning, Extension Educator | The Learning Child
(This post has been used with permission and adapted from a previous publication of this article by Leanne Manning from Nebraska Extension IANR)
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