Teaching the concept of money in 2nd grade is a very important math and life skill. Working on counting coins up to $1.00 is particularly important. If you are teaching money and are looking for a fun, hands-on way to practice counting money, read on to learn more about my FREE money cups activity for 2nd grade.
How to Prep the Money Cups Activity
This money cups activity for 2nd grade is easy to prep and set up. All you need are classroom coins and little cups or storage containers.
I found these small plastic storage containers at our local dollar store. You can get creative by repurposing baby food jars too if you have those laying around.
Inside each cup, place a random assortment of coins. You can differentiate as needed by putting less than $1.00 worth of coins inside or more, depending on your students, their skill level, what coins you’ve learned, and your standards.
To make storage super easy, I keep all of the small containers inside a plastic basket with a label.
How to Use the Money Cups Activity
Using the money cups activity is just as easy as prepping it! Students will be able to be successful independently and will gain confidence in their money skills as they play.
During small groups or math stations, each student will select a money cup. They will order the coins found inside their cup from greatest to least value.
Then, they will draw the coins found in their cup from greatest to least on a whiteboard or plastic dry-erase sleeve.
You can even have students write the value on a desk if the surface erases easily. This adds an extra element of engagement and saves a ton of paper and prep, too!
Lastly, they will count the coins and write the total amount in 2 different ways.
You could also use money cups to play a game of Scoot. To do so, place a cup on each student’s desk.
When you say “go,” they empty their cup and solve for the amount, writing it on a dry erase pocket or whiteboard.
When everyone is finished, say “scoot,”, and they will move on to the next desk and repeat. This is a great way to use this money activity for 2nd grade in a whole group setting. This version would make a perfect math warm-up game!
Different Ways to Use the Money Cups Activity
This money cups activity for 2nd grade is so versatile and can be used in a ton of different ways.
It can be incorporated into your money unit as a small group activity, a math station activity, or independent practice activity.
Money cups are also perfect to incorporate into your math stations throughout the year for spiral review and frequent practice. Money is one of those skills that can never be worked on too often.
If your standards require students to be able to count coins up to $1.00 using quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies, then this money activity for 2nd grade is perfect for you!
My students also had to be able to write the amount in 2 different ways, so this activity includes a writing component for them to write the value in 2 ways.
To help make planning for your math block even easier, I created a Money Cups FREEBIE for you to use with your students. All you’ll need is to create your own money cups and you’ll be set.
To grab your FREE copy of this money cups activity, fill out the form below and it’ll be sent straight to your inbox!
I hope you enjoy using money cups in your classroom! If you’re looking for more money activities and lesson plans, click here to shop my 2nd Grade Guided Math Money Unit!
For more tips and activities for teaching money in 2nd grade, check out these blog posts:
- Introducing Money in the Primary Classroom
- Reinforcing Money in the Primary Classroom
- 8 Books That Teach Kids About Money
- Math Apps for Learning How to Count Money
- Teaching Money Resources and Freebies
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