Counting money is an important life skill. It takes a lot of practice to count coins correctly. Get your child ahead by playing these 5 hands-on games with them. Everything you need to play these games is sitting in your child’s piggy bank right now.

Name It Game

Introduce the penny by telling your child its name. Let your child hold the penny and encourage them to look at both sides. Introduce the nickel, dime, and quarter. Place a selection of coins in a bag or container. Ask your child to reach in and pull out one coin. Ask them its name. Continue for several rounds until each coin has been picked several times.

How Much is it Worth?

The next step is to show your child how much each coin is valued. Start with a penny and explain to your child it is worth one cent. Place the penny down on a flat surface along with one block or one sticker on a piece of paper. One block or sticker will represent one cent.

Do the same with a nickel, dime, and quarter. Your child will visually see the difference in values for each coin by seeing the amount of blocks or stickers placed by each one. Then, randomly select a coin and ask your child to tell you how much it is valued.


Gather four bowls or cups and label with 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, and 25¢. Place a mixed coin bag in front of your child. Ask them to sort the coins by placing them in the correct cup. This game is another way to reinforce coin recognition and how much each coin is worth.

Give Me

Place a pile of mixed coins in front of your child. Ask them to give you 14¢, then 37¢ and 82¢. Call out random numbers until the entire pile is gone. Remind them to first choose the highest valued coin to get started. Play this game on a weekly basis. It will help your child master this important life skill of counting coins.


An advanced way to count coins is by counting in 2s, 5s, 10s, and 25s. Get a group of pennies together and count by 2s. Then, count nickels, dimes, and quarters in multiplies. Count each group up to one dollar. This exercise will show them many different ways to count to 100. It will help them down the road with multiplication tables, which are a big math focus in third grade.

Start with the first game and once you think your child has mastered it move on to the next one. Each game builds upon the next. Repetition is key to understanding coin names and values. Before long, your child will be helping you count change in the checkout lane.

Photo Credit: Sara Kendall

This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.

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Sara Kendall writes about travel, parenting and lifestyle. She is just as passionate about photography as she is about writing, so you will find her writing paired with her beautifully captured images. Sara’s work has appeared in numerous print and online publications including the following CLT ones – Charlotte Observer, Charlotte Parent and Epicurean Charlotte. Need travel inspiration? Check out Sara’s travels at