Math for Kids: Learning Coins Through Play {Free Printable}

By encouraging various kinds of play activities using money, you’re not only helping your children or students with learning coins, but you’re also providing them with the opportunity to practice other important skills like sorting, counting, and even letter sounds. And the best part- all you need is a bunch of coins! (There’s also a free coin poem printable at the end of the post. Be sure to print it out!)

Are you following our Math for Kids Pinterest board?

Learning with Coins through Play ~

Do you have a change jar or piggy bank full of coins at home? If so, you can easily set up some fun math activities for your child. (This post contains affiliate links.)

We have a coin jar at home (similar to this one) where all our spare change goes. Since we really didn’t have any plans today, it seemed like a good day to explore coins and introduce the kids to math concepts through play at the same time. So I took the change jar off the shelf and dumped it out on the floor, and we were off to play and explore!

Sorting Coins

Lucy and her friend started by sorting coins. As they were sorting we practiced naming the coins and describing how they looked and felt. They  also practiced one-to-one counting by counting how many coins they had in each pile.

sorting coin activity

Easy Sorting Coins Game

Next, we played a game with the coins. We took one handful of coins. Then we created a line graph with the coins by lining up all the like coins. We compared the coins, figuring out which we had the most of and which we had the fewest of. The coin we had the most of was the winning coin! The girls enjoyed playing this quite a few times!

sorting coin game for kids

Coin Play for Young Children

Even little children can learn so much with playing with coins. Theo loved lining his coins up and making his cars drive over them- great fine motor practice!  (Reminder: Coins are choking hazards.)

fine motor practice with coins

Exploring Coins Using Paper

Later I taped some drawing paper to a little table and the girls traced the coins. We listened for the beginning sound as we said the name of each coin and wrote it’s first letter inside the circle.

sketching coins

Later on Lucy’s friend decided to try drawing things from the real coins into her traced circles- love the combination of art and math! Lucy spent her time reading the words on the coins and asking what they meant.

Learning Patterns with Coins

When it was time to clean up, we all took turns putting the coins back into the coin jar. We made different patterns while doing it: Lucy’s turn, Theo’s turn, Lucy’s friend’s turn, Lucy’s turn…and so on. The kids would suggest different patterns to try!

exploring patterns with coins

It was so fun listening to the kids questions and comments as they explored the coins. “Look how many pennies I have!” “The quarters feel rough on the sides, but not the pennies.” And all the while they were practicing counting skills, coin recognition, sorting, patterning and letter sounds.


Free Coin Poem Printable

In the next few days I’m planning on including some coin poems in our poetry journal. I previously used them in the classroom as a teacher, and I think Lucy may enjoy them now.

Here are the poems if you’d like to print them out!

coin poem printable

Have you done any play with coins at home? I’d love to hear about it!

Be sure not to miss these other math activities for kids on Buggy and Buddy:




Fizz, Pop, Bang! 40 Playful Science and Math Activities for Kids


  1. We started playing with coins at the laundry facility, and it seems to be an activity with endless possibilities. I just started a pinterest board just for money games. I hadn’t thought of poems though!

  2. My kindergarteners loved those coin poems when I was in the classroom. Thanks for the handy printout.

  3. You came up with some great money activities. I like the graphs and writing letters inside the circles. We made designs with our coins.

  4. Love this! I would like to invite you to link up this post to my Money Saving Monday Link Up. These are great resources and I would love to share them.
    Thank You,

  5. Great post! Thanks for linking up at Family Fun Friday. Sincerely,

  6. What a great idea!! We have been giving allowances $1 in coins to divide between her three cups–Spending, Savings, & Charity. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  7. Great idea! I’ll keep this in mind for when my 2 year old is a little older. I like that you used real coins and not pretend ones for the activity, it’s always better to use the real thing if you can! 🙂


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