Identifying coins is something I never remember learning because I always seemed to know it. I think the reason why was that I used them much more than my kids do at the same age. I bought candy with coins, we used pay phones, got on the bus with 40 cents, paid for milk at school… the list goes on. Now even when I do ask my children to pay for something small at the store and hand them a few bills they don’t bother to look at the coins because they just seem insignificant. I decided to fix that. We started rolling the coins in our piggy banks, we counted coins, played store with real money, talked about who was on each coin and then I made this fun tray activity. The best part is that it’s self-correcting. Learning about money is best out in the real world and I am finding more and more opportunities for that but simple activities like this one make learning about money fun at home too.
Gather your materials. You will need some padlocks with keys, some coins ( a quarter, a nickel, a dime, and a penny), some masking tape, some clear scotch tape, and a tray.
Start by taping your coins on the locks with the scotch tape.
Next add masking tape on the end of the keys.
Write the coin’s amount on the masking tape.
Repeat with all the locks and keys.
Remove the keys and close the locks.
Invite your coin inspector to come and unlock the locks.
It took my son about 3 seconds, but 6 months earlier it would have been a little trickier.
It took my daughter a little longer. As she did it we talked about each coin and which was worth the most and least.
She immediately re-did the activity and got each lock open without any trouble.
How have you helped your children learn what each coin in their piggy bank is worth?
Charles Stevenson says
First of all, great thanks to share this unique idea with us. I also have a 3 year old son. He is facing problem to identify coins and currency note. I used different methods but did not get sufficient success. I am highly interested to try your way.
This is such an amazingly clever idea. I love that it’s self-correcting. I can’t wait to try it with my 5 year old.
Allison McDonald says
Self-correcting that is the word I was searching for late last night as I was writing this post!
Desiree Fawn says
Ooh love this! 🙂
Allison McDonald says
My son LOVES keys (and locks) – so that will add motivation for him.
I have told him that the quarter and dime have ridges, nickel and penny are smooth.
Also – if you don’t want to play with real money, Learning Resources has some play money that is very realistic – coins and bills. You can buy money only, or you can get the Pretend and Play cash register that also comes with a credit card and a store card that you can swipe; and it has some simple games!