Easy Ways to Teach Children to Count Money

High angle view of a girl counting coins
Counting money (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Children may not quite understand the concept of money in terms of cost and what constitutes a good value, but most kids like money because they know you need money to buy things you want. Teaching children to count money is one of the basic concepts that they will use during the course of their entire lives, but can be confusing at first. Make sure your child has a basic understanding of simple math before introducing easy ways to count money.

Step 1

Teach your child skip-counting before you introduce money into your lesson, suggests Houghton Mifflin Mathematics. Skip-counting is counting by fives or tens, and is an easy way to count coins and bills of most American denominations. Practice skip-counting until your child can count to 100 by fives and tens.

Step 2

Introduce one coin at a time to make counting money easier for children. Learning the monetary value of a penny and what the coin looks like before adding in other coins to the mix will lead to less confusion. Once your kids can successfully count pennies to various money amounts, add in a nickel and begin the process again.

Step 3

Use worksheets that contain picture or photocopies of real coins to help kids learn to count change. Ask them to write the numeral--1, 5, 10, 25--next to or underneath each coin to practice assigning the correct value to each coin. Then count the money to get the total amount of the groupings listed on the worksheet.

Step 4

Count money with coins until the children feel comfortable with the combinations you've given them before moving on to bills. Explain that American money is based on the number 100; 100 pennies equal 1 dollar. The basic concept of money being based on 100 is essential before teaching children how to make change.

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