Teaching the Kids the Difference Between Coins

By Carrie Cross
Money skills are an important part of a child's repertoire.
Money skills are an important part of a child's repertoire.

Many people would say that money, not love, makes the world go round. To a certain degree, that’s true. Currency plays an intricate part in your everyday life. Teaching your kids about money is not only a valuable lesson, but a necessary one. From the time your child is able to count to three, teaching him to identify coins and the value of money becomes an important lesson you can tackle.

Pennies From Heaven

Learning is fun when you can set it to music. Use a song that has penny or pennies in the lyrics, such as “Pennies From Heaven,” or “Penny Lane” by the Beatles. Give your child several pennies to hold while you sing or play the song. Have your child inspect the coin and tell you what he sees. Ask questions like, “Who is the face on the coin?” and “What picture is on the other side?”

Fistful of Dimes

Explain that a penny, or cent, is worth one, like one finger, and hold up a finger. Have her put her fingers flat on a surface and put a penny at the end of each finger and thumb -- one penny for one finger and thumb. You can use the same concept for nickels and dimes. Change the allocation of coins as one nickel for one fist -- five fingers -- and one dime for two fists -- 10 fingers. See how many nickels or dimes she can hold in her hands.

Coin Collection

On a piece of cardboard, tape two pennies, two nickels, two dimes and two quarters, each showing a different side of the respective coin. Label his collection with the written name and the monetary value of each coin. For example, above the quarter you would write “quarter” and “25.” Underneath each coin, draw the number of rabbits that correlate, or whatever item is relevant for the age of your child. Put this on the wall above a piggy bank or other receptacle. As he collects his coins, have him explain what each one is and how much it’s worth before saving it in his bank.

Name That Coin

On a piece of paper, have your kids draw each coin, both sides. The picture doesn’t have to be perfect. and they can use a real coin to draw it from. Beside each coin, have them write what it is and its worth. This is going to be their reference. Now create a pile of mixed coins. Give them various tasks, such as “Pick out two pennies and a dime from the pile,” or, if their money skills are more advanced, “Choose enough coins from the pile to make up $1.10,” or any other amount.

About the Author

Carrie Cross has been writing for profit and pleasure for more than 35 years. Her background includes business, real estate, entrepreneurship, management, health and nutrition. A registered nurse, she has published various pieces, including web content, numerous newspaper and magazine articles and columns and six books.