My first-grader is still struggling with learning money skills. Please send me some activities that might help her learn. -- Challenged


Here are two money activities you can use to help your child:

Your Money's Worth


Lots of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, plus a couple half-dollars.


To teach your child the equivalent value of coins, start with pennies and nickels. Show that one nickel is worth five pennies. Give or loan her the pennies and let her trade pennies for nickels. Next, help your child learn the relations between pennies, nickels and dimes following the same procedure. Have her trade 10 pennies, two nickels or one nickel and five pennies for one dime. When your child seems comfortable with the values of pennies, nickels and dimes, introduce quarters. Then move to half-dollars.

Money Counts


A piggy bank filled with pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.


Your child's first efforts to count coins of equal value should start with pennies. Set out a number of pennies and ask her to count them and tell you how many there are.

The next step is to move on to nickels. Make sure your child can count rotely by fives (five, 10, 15 and so on.) Give her a set of nickels and have her count them by fives. Then have her count the nickels two at a time, counting by 10s.

Introduce the counting of dimes as you did the counting of nickels. Your child will find counting dimes easier than counting nickels; it is easier to count by 10s than by fives.

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