Teaching Kids About Money is near and dear to my heart. I grew up in an extremely resourceful home because we were forced to live that way but it taught me a lot of values and responsibilities I'd like my children to hold with them as they walk through life. The main idea behind this activity is to explore $.10 and $.25 through sight and sound. Using different coins to add up to the same amount my son will hopefully gain an understanding and familiarity of the value and look of coins. We started with $.10, then moved onto $.25.
What you need:
- Mason Jars
- Various Coins
- A small cardboard box
- Review this post for a good introductory activity.
- Before involving my son in the activity, I set up four identical mason jars and a small basket full of coins on a tray.
- In a separate bowl, I counted out 25 pennies, 6 nickels, 2 dimes and 1 quarter. I used this bowl as my control of error* in the activity.
- Then I invited my son to come over. I explained the activity to him by pointing out the jars and the bowl of coins.
- A goal is for him to get familiar with the different coins. We explored the coins, talked about them, sorted, stacked and counting them.
- I counted out various coins adding to 10 cents and then 25 cents (e.g. 25 pennies, 5 nickels, 2 dimes and a nickel and 1 quarter, etc.).
- We picked up each coin and talked about what each coin looks like individually, then compared to other coins. There really are some great features of these coins and each looks remarkably different.
- I pointed to each jar and had him drop the coins into the jars. We started with $.10 and then moved onto $.25.
What does $.25 look like?
Clear mason jars help give a visual and made for great sound effects.
I asked him these questions:
- Which jar is heaviest? Lightest?
- Which jar has the most coins in it? The least amount?
- Which jar is loudest? The quietest?
Again, we shook the jars a bit to hear the different sounds before I “tested” him a bit by placing the different combinations of $.25 in a small card board box to see if he could tell the difference (i.e. 25 pennies sound different than 1 quarter).
Pretty simple introductory to money activity but one that I think was effective on my son's learning. If you are interested in more activities and ideas on Teaching Kids about Money, check out this Pinterest board! Let me know if you need an invite to Pinterest and I will send one on over to you!
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*”A way of providing instant feedback. Every Montessori activity provides the child with some way of assessing his own progress. This puts the control in the hands of the learner and protects the young child’s self-esteem and self-motivation. Control of error is an essential aspect of auto-education.”
Source: Maria Montessori