Teaching your child about money reinforces the basic
number facts of the base 10 number system: 0, 1, 2,
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. At first, for
younger children, you can count the number of each
denomination you have on hand. And, as you
move up the currency you can show how each is
related to the others. Another important
concept to teach here grouping similar coins and
bills. One way to reinforce this grouping, is
to count more than $2 worth of pennies, nickels
and/or dimes. Let your child count until
half of the coins have been counted, then distract
him/her to read a few pages of his/her favorite
book, better if it relates to counting. After
that task has been completed, return your child to
continue counting the coins. He/she will
probably start over, and here is where you step in
to show your child how to group the coins in
separate piles; doing so makes it easy to return to
the task and later to actually find the value of all
So, a penny represents 1,
a nickel represents 5 (pennies)
a dime represents 10 (pennies)
a quarter represents 25 (pennies)
a fifty cent piece (half dollar) represents
and a dollar piece represents 100 (pennies).
Notice how I related each denomination to pennies.
As your child masters these equivalences he/she will
make relationships between the others, like 2
nickels makes a dime.
10 groups of
Here we go.... start with a bag of
100 pennies. Use real currency here,
you are not doing your child any favors with fake
money. Have your child start counting the
pennies, as I mentioned earlier. Now interrupt
and return. Suggest to you child to place
these pennies into separate piles with the same
number of pennies in each. 10 is a number
familiar to probably every child and is the number
to use. Your child already counts 1, 2, 3,
..., 9, 10 and starts over, 11, 12, 13,
..., 19, 20 etc. Interrupt your child
again, then return. Point out it is much
easier to continue then to start all over again.
10 groups of
10 = 100 = 1 dollar
Your child has now separated the pennies into 10
piles of 10. Count these, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50,
60 , 70, 80, 90, 100. Point out if all the
pennies are placed in a pile, you wouldn't know
there were 100 pennies. We've grouped
the pennies into equal piles of 10. Point this
out, it is most important. Move the piles next
to each other and place a dollar piece next to it
(or a dollar bill if you have no dollar piece.)
Make the equivalence between the pennies and the
dollar. 100 pennies is 1 dollar. As k
your child which would be easier to carry around, a
bag of 100 pennies or a single dollar coin (or
This is still too abstract! What's a penny?
What's a dollar? Ok, a "cent" is a
"penny." So, in words, if a toy costs 1 dollar
and 35 cents, then ask your child how many pennies
it would take to buy that toy? Help your child
make the connection between the pennies already
counted and the price of this toy. Not enough
pennies. Now place the dollar piece there and
ask your child if there is enough. How many of
the pennies would be required with the dollar?
How many pennies are left?
10 dimes = 1
Once again, have your child divide the pennies into
10 piles of 10. Ask your child to verify
he/she has 100 pennies. Repetition is most
important throughout. Now, explain with 10
dimes handy that each dime is the same as each pile
of pennies by placing a dime by each pile. Ask
your child if the pennies added up to a dollar.
Hopefully with the answer yes, then, ask how many
dimes add up to a dollar. Help your child
arrive to the answer 10. So, help your child
make the connection that 10 dimes represents 100
pennies which represents a dollar. Now with
the pennies, dimes and dollar, ask your child to pay
for the toy mentioned above. Any answer as
long as it's correct is fine. For example, use
the dollar and 35 pennies. But help your child
connect the dimes, the dollar and the pennies to pay
for the toy with the dollar, 3 dimes and 5 pennies.
piece (half dollar)
Here we go again, have your child divide the pennies
into 10 columns of 10 pennies apiece.
Reinforce that 100 pennies in 10 columns of 10
pennies apiece is the same as 1 dollar.
Now separate the first 5 columns from the last five
columns. Place a 50 cent piece above each
group of 5 columns. Explain to your child that
each 50 cent piece is 50 pennies. So 2 half
dollars is 100 pennies is 1 dollar.
Now, ask your child to place the dimes back into the
picture, one above each column. then ask, how
many dimes are in the half dollar.
This time have your child separate the pennies into
piles of 5 each. When done, ask how many piles
there are. then ask if this makes sense?
10 piles of 10 is 20 piles of 5. this can be
hard to grasp, if so, have your child separate into
columns of ten, then carefully pull the bottom five
pennies from each column a bit below the top five.
Now count the groups of 5. Have your child
place a nickel by each 5 pennies. And say with
your child "5 pennies is a nickel" for each
nickel. So 20 nickels represents 100 pennies
which is 1 dollar. Recall the half dollar
exercise. How many nickels are in the each of the
two groups? 10 nickels is a half dollar.
Have your child group the pennies in
columns of 10 each. Now count the pennies
starting from 1 down one column then the next.
When your child reaches 25, group those pennies
together, then start counting again, 1 to 25.
You should have 4 groups of 25 pennies, 2 and 1/2
columns each. Now have your child place a
quarter next to each group. So, each quarter
is 25 pennies, and 4 quarters are 100 pennies.
Now is a good time to have your child relate dimes
and nickels to quarters, quarters to half dollars,
etc. Ask your child with all of these choices
how he/she would pay for that 1 dollar and 35 cent
toy. Explore all possibilities.
Finally, have your child play play bank teller.
Ask your child to convert one denomination to the
other. More advance, ask your child to make
change for a purchase of some pretend item.
Oh, one final note, its fine to tell your child that
$1.35 means 1 dollar and 35 cents. That
is, the number to the left of the decimal point
(dot) is the number of dollars and the number to the
right of the dot is the number of pennies.
And don't try to do this all in one sitting!
This takes time!
Kindergarten Money Lesson Plan