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Money and Math

Money and change are great resources for learning and developing math skills such as number sense and understanding currency. The very first step in learning about money is understanding what money is all about. Talk with your child about what money is and how it is used. Then introduce the value of each coin. Talk about the value of a dollar bill and the different combinations of coins that have the same value as a dollar. Money is a great math manipulative for sorting, counting, comparing, measuring, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. Exploring the different coin combinations that can be used to make a dollar is a great way to start thinking about fractions, decimals, and percentages. Soon your child will understand if they have two quarters they have half of a dollar or if they have three dimes they have 30%, .30, or 3/10 of a dollar.

Activities Involving Money:

I'm Ready! Videos about Money:

Ideas to Explore Money with your Child:

  • Identify each coin with your child. Talk about the value of each coin and the appearance of each coin.

  • Ask your child to compare coins. What is similar about them? What is different? 

  • Talk about paper money with your child. What value is associated with each bill? How can you tell them apart?

  • Practice making change together. Talk about strategies to make change. 

  • Play store together with fake money. Ask your child to be in charge of the cash register.

  • Talk about saving money and money saving strategies.

  • Ask your child to count out the coins needed at the cash register.

  • Start a piggy bank together. Discuss strategies to count the money.

  • Talk about why some things cost more money than others. Ask your child to help you compare prices.

  • Explore how many pennies equal a nickel? a dime? a quarter? $1?


Money Math Conversation Starters:

  • Share what you would do if you wanted to buy something and you didn't have any money. 

  • Describe a good way to save money. 

  • If you found $100 what would you do with it? 

  • How can you make $1 out of coins?

  • Describe a time when you wanted something and saved money for it before you bought it. 

  • Talk about a book, song, or movie that taught you or your child something about money. 

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