Learning the Value of Money: Lesson Plans and Activities

Children watch adults use money and are eager to learn its value and use. Teaching children about money begins with teaching young children to identify coins and bills. Elementary school students can practice adding and subtracting money and making change. Activities for middle and high school students include lessons on interest, compound interest, economics, and personal finance. The following activities provide online or downloadable activities, games, lesson plans, and resources for parents and teachers about teaching children from kindergarten to high school about money.

Online Games

  • The Value of Money: An online game geared to kindergarteners; combine coins and bills to pay for food items.
  • Spending Spree: Appropriate for elementary school age children. Children choose items they wish to purchase and choose the appropriate coins to pay for them.
  • Coin Sorter: Children sort coins into the appropriate piggy bank before time runs out. Appropriate for kindergarten or early elementary school age children.
  • Coins: Children sort pennies and dimes into the correct piggy bank.
  • Money Games: Games from the U.S. Mint. Most are related to money and coins.
  • Money Tutorial: Practice different coin combinations online. Suitable for early elementary school age students.
  • Counting Coins: An online activity where young children can slide the coins into the cup to equal the dollar amount shown on the screen.
  • Money Flashcards: Shows coins and bills and asks children to add them up. Self-checking and suitable for elementary school age children.
  • Making Change: Game for elementary school age children on making change.
  • Counting Money: Children count the value of the coins shown and enter the total. Self-checking and suitable for elementary school age children.
  • Shopping and Counting: Activities to test children on counting money and making change. Suitable for elementary school age children.

Online Lessons

  • Money Lessons: Lessons for elementary school age children on coins, counting coins, making change, adding and subtracting money. Also includes math lessons on tipping, sales tax, and unit prices.
  • Compound Interest: Teaches children about compound interest. Includes calculators. Suitable for middle school and high school students.
  • Coin Lesson: Teaches young children about different coins and their values. Includes a self-test.
  • Adding Bills: Children make purchases by adding the value of bills. Suitable for elementary school children that can count over 100.
  • Count Coins: For children and parents or teachers to use together. The parent says a price and the child drags the correct coins to create the total. For elementary school age students.
  • Choose the Correct Coin: Children choose the correct coins to create the total shown. Self-checking and suitable for elementary school age students.
  • Money Games: Six money related games for seventh to twelfth grade students.
  • Value of Coins: A short video on identifying coins and their value. Suitable for kindergarten and elementary school age children.
  • Hands on Banking: Videos and activities for kids and teens on personal finance and money topics. Also includes instructional resources.

Printable and Downloadable Resources

  • Money Printables: Printable flash cards, charts, and activities for elementary school aged children.
  • Money Lessons: Printable money lessons for elementary school age students. Also includes lesson plans.
  • Sorting Money Download: Downloadable activity about sorting money. Suitable for elementary school age children.
  • Smartboard Lessons: Downloadable Smartboard lessons for teachers. Includes activities for kindergarten to fourth grade students.
  • Worksheet Generator: Make your own worksheet on money. Suitable for elementary school age children.

Activities

  • Once Upon a Dime: Written as a play, this activity times in to the book of the same name. Parents or teachers can provide the appropriate props—pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, bills—to teach elementary school age children about their value.
  • Songs and Activities: Songs and activity ideas to teach children to recognize different coins and their values. Appropriate for young elementary school age children.
  • Store Activity: Children create their own store, complete with items and price tags. Appropriate for older elementary school age children.
  • Books About Money: This site provides an age-appropriate list of books dealing with money and parent activity guides to accompany them.

Lesson Plans

  • Money Lessons: Lesson plans about money for K-12 students, sorted by grade level and subject.
  • Lesson Plans: Lesson plans for teachers, includes printable worksheets and activities. Primarily for elementary school teachers.
  • Coins and Bills Lesson: Teaches children about coins, bills, and their value. Includes lesson description for teachers. Suitable for first to third grade students.
  • Exponential Growth: A lesson plan on Exponential Growth. Includes teacher’s resources, questions, and explanations. Suitable for middle and high school students.
  • Trouble with Money: Lesson plan to accompany the Berenstain Bears’ book on money. Suitable for elementary school age children.

Personal Finance

  • Money Lessons for Life: The pdf download, “Money Math: Lessons for Life”, provides personal finance activities suitable for middle- and high-school students.
  • Kids Finance: Tips and games for teaching children about money and personal finance. Activities for various age groups.
  • Worksheets: Worksheets to help parents talk to their children about spending, saving, and using credit. Suitable for high school age children.