Learn to recognize coins

Image by Stopnlook

In the past few days I decided it's time for my younger girl to start learning how to recognize coins and learn the cent-values of various coins. She's generally been doing kindergarten-1st grade addition and subtraction and I figured she's ready.

First, I got a pile of pennies, a pile of nickels, and a pile of dimes (no quarters at first). We played where I told her to make a certain amount, such as "Make 24 cents." She made it, I checked. Then she told me to make some amount. We just take turns.

It's like a game, and great fun for her! I figure it'll work the same with other kindergarten or 1st grade kids.

Since she did pretty good, I was able to introduce quarters the next day. I showed her that two of them makes 50, and we practiced making 62 or 58 or other such amounts that use 2 quarters.

Then I showed her a quarter and a nickel, and we figured out how much that was. That's always a difficult thing - to combine just one quarter with other coins. I soon asked her to make 30 cents, or 32 - and she was able to use the quarter and nickel combination to make 30 cents.

One important thing I've done is that I have deliberately NOT yet introduced the words "nickel", "dime", and "quarter". She's heard of the penny so much that she was fine with that. I want to scaffold the teaching so that we'll first learn the coin values, and later the customary names.

So, in essence, for now I've been calling them as "5-cent coin", "10-cent coin", and "25-cent coin". Has anyone else done that?


Anonymous said…
Thank you! I am going to do this with my 6 yr old son. I was never good at math in school so this blog will help tremendously! Thank you so much. I am bookmarking so that I can refer back to it. :)
DJ said…
I just started doing this with my son last week. I'm doing the same thing, using 5 cents, 10 cents etc.
That way I think the numerical value will be easier to learn than if I said, dime or quarter.
Chris2267 said…
I did this with my daughter and she loved it. she also was frustrated when I introduced the names of the coins too early.

She is still struggling with purchasings something and only have a dollared bill to pay for it. Working on that.
Anonymous said…
I really like this. I do this with developmently delayed teens and they like sorting and handling the coins. I think your strategy of naming the coins first is effective and I am going to use your idea. Thanks.
Chili said…
That's a great idea about using the numerical values instead of the names of the coins. Thanks.
Anonymous said…
We have cents and dollars in Singapore but we just call it 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents and 50 cents. So yes, I think its okay not to name the coins at first.
Math-Aids.Com said…
Math-Aids.Com - The Math Worksheet Generator.
I have built a free worksheet that is perfect for challenging your child in adding coins. The overall site has addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, telling time and money worksheets. Go to the site and click on the money menu bar on the left. Select the Counting Coins - United States Money link, and select the parameters you want to use and it will generate a new worksheet for adding coins with the answer key.
Try it, it is free.
Bag Monster said…
I give my 6 year old daughter $2 allowance each Saturday. I dump a pile of coins in front of her and ask how she would like her $2 value this week. Sometimes wants a lot of coins, sometimes not so many. (Sometimes I make sure there are no loonies or toonies). When she's chosen, we count how much she has in total (organize the money from largest value to smallest). I ask if she wants to trade any in for bills, and sometiems she does. Very very valuable.

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