# It Makes Cents Math Activity

Kids love money! It's shiny, it's round and they can buy candy with it. So learning how to count, use and identify coins is not just useful math, it's fun!
What you need:
• Coins
How to do it:
• Go for a coin hunt in your house. Look under cushions, on dressers, in pockets.
• Put all of your found goodies in a jar of change and have your child sort the coins.
• For younger children, start with having them find and count just pennies. (Watch that they don't put them in their mouths!). Teach them to touch the coin and then move it out of the way as you count them, so they don't double count. Then see if your child can make several piles of 10 coins in each pile.
• Older children can sort the coins by type (piles for pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters).
• And for kids who can do some higher number counting, have them put the coins into piles of 50 pennies, 40 nickels, 50 dimes, and 40 quarters. Then, put all of the coins in bank rolls and use them to purchase a something special, like a new book or a trinket at the local dollar store!
Brain Builder Bonus: Some older children may be ready to learn the different coin values. Use a spinner or dice from a board game. The number she gets on the die or spinner determines how many pennies she is awarded. When she has accumulated 5 pennies, your child can trade them in for a nickel. When she wins two nickels, she can trade those in for a dime, etc. (You get the gist!).

How this builds brains: For younger children, coins are great for practicing their sorting and classifying, and figuring out how to be a more efficient counter. Older children can start to understand value (one coin = 25 cents) as well as how to count by 5's, 10's, and 25's. Don't hesitate to take it to the next step and explain the concepts of saving and spending.
Get more brain-building activities for your kid! Check out our Brain Building Boot Camp with Dr. Christine Ricci.

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