Brilliant Coin Value Recognition and Counting Activity

This Coin Recognition and Counting Activity is a fun way of sorting coin money. Learning to count money is boring the regular way. This is exciting for the kids. #teachingsecondgrade #math #money #coinrecognition #countingmoney #teachingmoney | Coin Recognition | Teaching Money Value | Counting Money Activities | Math Activities | First Grade Math | Second Grade Math | Third Grade Math

Who is excited to teach their kids more about money? This Coin Value Recognition and Counting Activity is a fun way of sorting coin money into a muffin tin. Learning to count money is boring when you do it the regular way. If you teach this way, it’s much more exciting for the kids. Touching the money and getting to understand what a quarter, dime, nickel, and penny feel like is amazing. Kids need to feel the money, so they can learn how to count it and eventually use it. 

What age should kids learn to count money?

When a child turns 3 or 4, this is a great age to begin teaching them how to count money. Of course, they won’t get this concept right away because it is a concept taught over time. However, you can easily teach kids of this age all about early concepts of money. What it looks like, what it feels like, and what it’s for. The counting will come later, but it’s fun for kids to begin understanding it! 

This activity is perfect for young elementary-aged children.
Kids can practice with engaging activities!

Importance of learning about money

Kids need to learn about the importance of learning about money because it’s a concept that they will need for the rest of their life. Kids will need to know about money at a young age to do the math. They’ll need to learn about money as an adult to survive. Money is what makes the world go round and your child will need to know as much as possible to help them make it in the real world (money-wise). 

Related Post: Counting Money Teaching Videos

Money is a concept that can be learned early, but it’s also a concept that teachers will continue to build on for the rest of your children’s life. Money is a fun concept, but this Coin Value Recognition and Counting Activity makes learning about money even more fun

Looking to extend the lesson? Use this 48 page resource with your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade classroom or home school students. These printable money worksheets are great for review, morning work, seat work, math centers or stations, homework, assessment, and more. Counting money will be a breeze.

Brilliant Coin Value Recognition and Counting Activity


Muffin pan (mini or large will work)

Baking cups (size depends on your pan and how many cups fit the pan)

Permanent marker

Play money or real money (pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters)

(Tip: Use play money for school settings and real money for home settings. *If you don’t have enough to fill an entire muffin tray up, kids can use money from other cups as they work through the activity. For the older activities up to $1.00, it’s best to have a good amount of play money to fill the larger amounts.)


Line a muffin pan with baking cups.

Using a permanent marker, write different money amounts on the center inside of the baking cup. For smaller children, consider smaller amounts and work up to larger amounts. For older children, start with higher amounts and work up.

Have children fill in the baking cups using the play money, counting the appropriate amount of money for each baking cup.

Check their work when completed.

Challenge #1:

You can repeat the steps above. Empty cups and have them show the amounts in a different way with different coins. (Example: Instead of two quarters for 50 cents, go back and have them do 3 dimes and 4 nickels, etc.)

Challenge #2:

Try to match the change amount with the least amount of coins as possible. 

For older kids:

Have them count coins up to $1. The same concept as coin recognition with the muffin tin and the amounts, just make the amounts higher and the kids will have to combine multiple coins to obtain the correct answer.

This can be done by various age groups. Once the younger kids have mastered the recognition they can move onto counting money. First up to $.50 then $1 and onto higher values.

Follow Up

Need more activities to practice money in your classroom? I have you covered!

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