Elementary Counting: Using Money to Practice Counting

In second grade, students learn to count money by using fake money in class. Practice this new skill with your child by counting real money at home or at the store. Keep reading for possible activities and sample problems.

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How Can I Help My Child Practice Counting Using Real Money?

If you give your child an allowance, you can help him practice counting - and expose him to different combinations of coins - by giving him the money in a new way each week. For instance, if his allowance is $2.50, you might give him eight quarters and five dimes one week and twenty dimes and ten nickles the next. Then, have him recount the money for practice.

Alternatively, at the store, you could have your child count out the money needed to pay your bill. For example, if the total is $54.10, ask your child to determine the correct number of dollars and coins. Large values can be challenging, but they also provide a good learning experience.

You also might encourage your child to create her own shop. If your child likes to make lemonade or crafts, she might sell these item to friends, family and neighbors. This activity can be fun and can introduce your child to basic economics.

Additionally, you can use money as a visual and provide your child with practice worksheets. Encourage her to use the physical money while solving the written problems. This can help familiarize her with working with real money, as well as helping her visualize the amounts.

Practice Problems

1. 5.75 + 3.21

Encourage your child to begin by counting the coins (75 + 21 = 96). Then, count the dollar bills (5 + 3 = 8). The total is $8.96.

2. If you have seven quarters and eight nickels, how much money do you have in all?

Seven quarters are worth $1.75 (7 x 0.25 = 1.75). Eight nickels are worth 40 cents (8 x 0.05 = 0.40). To find the total amount, add the values: 1.75 + 0.40 = $2.15.

3. 1.50 - 0.75

Remember to supply your child with money so that he or she can practice counting it. For this problem, use only quarters, or provide four quarters, four dimes and two nickels. Leave it up to your child to remove the correct coins. The answer is $0.75.

4. 0.80 + 3.15 - 0.10

If your child is up for a challenge, provide him or her with a multi-step problem like the one featured above. Begin with the addition problem (0.80 + 3.15 = 3.85). Then, subtract (3.85 - 10 = 3.75). The answer is $3.75.
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