Counting bills and coins is a stepping stone for kids to learn how to use money.

Activities to Teach Kids to Count Coins & Bills

by Wannikki Taylor

Learning how to count bills and coins will be part of your primary school child's math curriculum. She will learn how to count the value of each type of bill and coin which will ultimately help her to save and spend money. Allow her to partake in at-home activities that will enhance her money counting skills.


There are several nursery rhymes that mention money in the lyrics. Use the songs' lyrics as a teaching tool to help your child count money. Set pennies on a table. Sing the lyrics to "Hot Cross Buns" aloud. When you get to the part of the tune that says, "One a penny, Two a penny," let him count one penny and then two pennies and put them to the side. This will teach him that the value of a penny is equal to one. Use dollar bills for the rhyme, "A Dillar, A Dollar" and use dollar bills and nickels for the rhyme, "Consolation."

Scavenger Hunt

Plan a scavenger hunt as an active approach for your child to learn to count money. Hide coins and a few small-value bills around the house. Ideal places are couches, under beds or even the pockets of some of her clothes. Set a timer and let her search the house to find as many bills and coins as she can and place them in a bag. When the timer dings, she must report back to you. Have her add up all the money she collected. Tell her she can keep the money as a prize to spend on something she'd like.

Fun Games

Games will serve as a creative and fun way to teach your child how to identify money. Take bills of different values out and place them on the table. Have your child find the number in the center. Let him put all the money in the proper order according to the value and attempt to add it up. You can also play a coin guessing game with him. Show him one coin or some change. Tell him if he correctly guesses them that you will let him keep them to put in a piggy bank.

Pretend Play

Engage your child in pretend play to teach her about counting money. Real-life scenarios will enhance her skills. Set up a mock supermarket with aisles of pretend food. Place price tags on the food. Provide her with a shopping basket and a set amount of money to spend. She can count her bills and coins beforehand to see how much she has. She must look at the price tags on the food and shop within her budget. Serve as a cashier and see how much money is left over from her spending. Allow her to count her change.

About the Author

Wannikki Taylor is a professional writer with a Bachelors of Arts in journalism from Temple University. She serves as a children's columnist and covers family entertainment for several print and online publications. She specializes in games, crafts and party planning ideas for kids and their families.

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