Coin collectors

Our preK students recently spent some time exploring coins.  We took a look at pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.  And while this activity took a little different turn than expected, it turned out to be the perfect way to introduce money to preschoolers…

Coin collectors by Teach Preschool

We started out our activity by examining our coins.  We try to use real hands-on materials whenever possible to give children life-like experiences, so, of course, our coins were real.  But if you can’t use real change in your classroom, that’s okay too.  There are a lot of plastic coins available that bear a close resemblance to the real thing.  The children all took one of each coin.  We looked at the colors and shapes of the coins and compared their similarities and differences. And then we began naming the coins.   We explained that a penny equals one cent, that a nickel equals five cents, and so on.  We decided to take it step further and began to explain how five pennies equal one nickel, and how ten pennies equal one dime…

Coin collectors by Teach Preschool

Coin collectors by Teach Preschool

Well, our lesson started to get confusing to the children so we decided to take the activity in a different direction…

Coin collectors by Teach Preschool

One of our students had already figured out how to do coin rubbings and was working on his coin rubbing so the rest of us just joined in on his idea…

Coin collectors by Teach Preschool

The children loved coloring over the different coins to see the imprint magically appear on their paper.  The children colored over each of the different coins, over and over again, always excited to see what picture would appear…

Coin collectors by Teach Preschool

And it turned out that coin rubbings were the perfect way to introduce money to our preschoolers…

Coin collectors by Teach Preschool

The lesson to be learned here?  It’s okay to scrap an idea mid-lesson if it just isn’t working out.  It’s okay to switch directions or to abandon the idea altogether.  Follow your children’s lead and the learning will happen but perhaps not in the way you have expected at that moment…

Coin collectors by Teach Preschool

A simple thing like crayon rubbings can spark interest in an activity in a way that just may surprise you!

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Money Math for Preschoolers from Crayon Freckles

Coin Rubbing Matching Game from Blog Me Mom

By |2014-03-07T07:00:41+00:00March 7th, 2014|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Rhythm March 11, 2014 at 11:11 am - Reply

    A great lesson to be learned!

  2. Jennifer Gibbons March 19, 2014 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    I found a great book called Jenny Found a Penny, which I use as an introduction to coins. The children then have the opportunity to sort real coins, which was more challenging than I’d thought-for example, quarters can be confusing, what with all the state coins. I also use a piggy bank grid game from the website-for this I use realistic plastic coins, so the real coins don’t go home with the children!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 19, 2014 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      I will have to get me a copy of that book Jennifer!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 22, 2014 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      I bought the book and it arrived today! It is wonderful!

      • Jennifer Gibbons March 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm

        Glad to know! I love to share ideas, activities, and books (I consider myself a “bookaholic”). I enjoy your website…thanks for your awesome ideas!

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