Equivalent Coins Activities for Kids

Grade Levels: K-3

In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about eauivalent coins. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Equivalent Coins topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Teaching Equivalent Coins


Dollar Store

Have pairs or small groups set up a “dollar store.” They may wish to create artwork to sell in their store or bring in healthy snacks to sell. Then give students a collection of fake coins (or real ones) to buy goods. Make sure the “seller” and the “customer” both check the coins to make sure the correct amount has been offered. The seller should also write down what coins the customer used to buy the good as a record of sales.

Coin Challenge

Give small groups a collection of fake or real coins. Then have students come up with different ways to make 20¢, 50¢, 85¢, or other amount up to a dollar. Have them write down or draw their collections. Then challenge them with questions such as, “What three coins can you use to make 75¢?” or “What’s the fewest number of coins you can use to make 40¢?” Allow groups to use their coins to come up with their answers. Be sure to go around the room to check their work.

Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Equivalent Coins

Pennies for Your Thoughts

Challenge your child to collect one hundred pennies in one week. Encourage your child to look around for spare change (in your couch cushions, in a junk drawer, etc.) He or she can also earn pennies for good behavior, completing quick tasks, or even giving a compliment. Then at the end of the week, count the pennies with your child. Have him or her trade in pennies for nickels, dimes, or quarters. Then count the coins again. Was it easier to count all the pennies one by one or was it easier to sort and count the coins with higher values? Discuss with your child.

Home Store

Set up a store in your home. You can use sticky notes as price tags. Be sure to price items for $1.00 or less, and to make the game more challenging, use prices that do not end in 5 or 0. Then give your child a collection of coins. Have your child “buy” different items, but challenge him or her to use the fewest number of coins to pay for each item. For example, an eraser that costs 30¢ can be purchased with three dimes, but it can also be purchased by using just two coins—one quarter and one nickel. Then swap roles and you can play the customer. You may want to come up short or overpay for items and have your child correct you.