Learning about money often begins with learning coin names and values. Mastering it all takes time and practice, but thankfully, it doesn’t have to be boring. These coin counting puzzles are a great activity for the home or classroom and, my favorite part of all, they make learning about money fun!
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To prepare the puzzles, I printed them out and laminated them so that I could use them several times and not have any ripped pieces.
Then, I cut out the individual pieces. Each puzzle had 3 pieces so they were pretty simple to separate.
While counting mixed coins was my primary focus, I also included coin identification puzzles and coin value puzzles for penny, nickel, dime and quarter so I could easily differentiate for kids who were still learning coin basics.
Most of my kindergarten kids were not quite ready to count mixed coins, and that was ok!
Working with small groups of students at a time, we focused on the individual coins, their names and their values.
First, we completed the name coin puzzles. I read the name and my group searched for both the heads and the tails side of that coin. It was a wonderful way to help them recognize the coin no matter which way they saw it and was helpful for completing the coin counting puzzles later.
Once they had the names down, we searched by value. I read the value and they hunted for the coin that was worth that amount. For example, when I called out “10 cents”, they were quick to bring me both the head and tails side of the dime. “A dime is worth 10 cents!”
Note: If you are playing this version of the activity, be careful to be clear that you aren’t showing two separate coins but, rather two different sides of the same coin.
Coin Counting Puzzles
Since one of my small groups was ready for some extra challenge, I pulled out the mixed coin puzzles so that they could tackle counting up.
I placed the coin pieces of the puzzle in one pile, and we spread out all of the cent amounts in a line so that we could easily read them.
We took turns picking up a coin piece and helping each other count and add up the money shown.
We picked up 2 nickels and 1 penny and, starting with the largest valued coin first, we counted “5, 10, 11.” The kids eagerly looked for both ways 11 cents was shown. It was a great challenge because the puzzles teach both the cents and dollar symbols.
Finally, after a little hunting, we found them! 11¢ and $0.11.
We kept playing until we had counted and completed all of the coin puzzles.
Grab Your Set
Are you ready to have some fun with coins, too?! Click the blue button below to grab your set of the coin counting puzzles and then hop over and check out our 5 day challenge to set up STEM centers your students will love!