Learning at Home: Coin Sorting Activity

Numbered rocks for learning counting

Learning about money can be exciting!

What You Need

  • Pile of coins — pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters
  • Cups, bowls, or plates for each coin denomination (optional)
  • Coin wrappers from the bank

How to Do this Activity

Start this activity by reviewing the value of each type of coin. Then, explain how to sort the coins based on value and have your child place them into piles (or the cups, bowls, or plates, if you’re using them). Next, help your child place the coins into their respective wrappers. Once your child is done handling the coins, take a break for hand washing. You can then work together to add up the total value and figure out what he or she can spend them on. Or, you can even take a trip to the bank with your child to deposit them into an account. Keep in mind that this activity isn’t suitable for children under 3, as coins are a choking hazard.

What Your Child Learns

Through this activity, children begin to understand the Base-10 number system upon which arithmetic is founded. They learn about more and less, and observe physical incongruities in money, e.g., nickels are larger in size than dimes, yet dimes have more value. Children also begin to connect money with its real-life purpose and value.

Written by: Bright Horizons Education Team

About The Bright Horizons Parenting Newsletter

Teacher reading to a toddler boy and girl

Whether you’re looking for parenting advice, or trying to figure out how to bring learning from the classroom to the family room, let Bright Horizons early education experts be your trusted, knowledgeable resource. Get our weekly newsletter for all things early child development—from the benefits of pretend play to at-home STEM activities, and teaching kindness—along with encouragement for every stage of your parenting journey.