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8 Hands On Money Activities for the Primary Classroom

Welcome to part two of my three-part series all about teaching money in the primary classroom! I’m all about using hands-on activities rather than just worksheets when teaching math skills. Using materials such as white boards, task cards, manipulatives, and more help reinforce skills that students are learning and they can be lots of fun! In the post below, I’ll be discussing different money activities that you can use to reinforce money with mixed coins.

If you’d like to check out the other parts of this series click the following links below:

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A great way to begin reinforcing money is by reading The Coin Book by Roxanne Williams. It is a perfect introduction for reviewing the value of coins along with counting values of mixed coins. This book could also be used as you wrap up your money unit!

Money Games for the Elementary Classroom

When first starting out with finding the value of mixed coins, make sure to give kids lots of exposure to manipulating coins. One way I like to do this is by using money cups. You can read all about them and grab the free recording sheet for your math centers here! Money cups are the perfect way to differentiate your instruction.

Activity #1: Money Scoot

Grab yourself some small containers such as these that I found at Family Dollar for a couple dollars each. Inside each container is a random assortment of coins up to \$1.00. (You can use real money or play money).

You can use any mixture of coins you’d like based on the needs of your students. I have some that contain only dimes, nickels, and pennies while others have quarters in them too. I’ve even used half dollars for my higher-level kids.

Once you have the coins in the various containers, it’s time to play one of my favorite games for small groups! It is very similar to Scoot if you have ever played that before. Give each table group a set of money cups. Then have students dump their coins out onto their desk and put them in order from greatest to least in value.

After that, have students draw hairs to count and find the different values, if needed, and write the value two different ways. If you’re not familiar with the hairy money method for teaching coins, click here. Once they find the value, do a quick spot check and have them put all their coins back in the cup and trade with someone at their group. This will become one of your students favorite money activities.

Activity #2: Scoop & Count

Another one of my favorite hands-on money activities is a simple, but fun game called Scoop and Count. The kids LOVE it!

Dump a random assortment of coins into a large container. Use spoons to scoop coins onto their table. Have them put the coins in order from greatest to least in value then write the number multiple ways.

The larger the spoon used, the more coins they have to count. It is a good idea to only let them get one scoop at a time. Have students use whiteboards or a scrap piece of paper to write their number amount in lots of ways! This math game is a fun activity for students to practice identifying the value of each coin and get in more independent practice.

Activity #3: Roll, Add, and Count

Another low prep game that I like to play is called Roll, Add and Count. In this game students add the value of different coins. Using dice, have students roll two, add the numbers together, and then create the value that they made using any mixture of coins.

I bought this pack of dice off of Amazon that comes with all types. This is another fun way to differentiate to meet the needs of your kids. You could also have them roll one, two, or three dice to find different sums. An easy way to differentiate this game is to add in subtraction or even multiplication! Click here to see them on Amazon.

Include Interactive Notebook Money Activities

Once you feel comfortable that your students can recognize and count coins properly, move towards using paper money. Using this interactive journal activity to sort values of mixed coins greater and less than 50 cents is the best way to review of this important skill! Students will write the value on the back of each strip and then sort them into the correct pockets in their math journals. These money worksheets will be a hit in your 2nd grade classroom as students understand the concept of money.

Once you have completed these engaging money activities, you can wrap up your unit by having students create these cupcake crafts to show what they’ve learned! Let them pick any value of money under a dollar, have them create their craft, and write the value on the front. Students will love the end product of this fun money activity!

I hope this gave you some new and fun money activities and money games on how to reinforce money. Don’t forget to check out Part 1 and Part 3 of this series for all about teaching money skills!

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