Get the change jar out – it’s time for some coin sorting!
Yep – loose change can be a legit preschool learning activity and I’m gonna show you why. Coin sorting is an awesome quick activity for kids so go get your change…we’ve got some learning to do!
RELATED: Wondering what I teach my kids? Check out my activities program “Playing Preschool”.
What’s the “point” of coin sorting?
Um, so much learning is happening here for my 4-year-old.
First, she’s building a relationship and familiarity with coins. She’s noticing details and working up close with them. She’s gradually gaining an understanding of coins and how different they are from one another.
And then she’s sorting.
Sorting is one of my favorite skills to teach and grow in kids.
When a child is sorting, they are analyzing data, making observations, classifying attributes and organizing it all.
Yes, sorting seems really easy.
It’s actually anything but.
Sorting is a skill used in multiple subject areas.
As our kids grow in their learning and schooling, sorting quickly becomes a skill they can use in many different areas.
You sort in math, in reading, and in science (think of all the classifying done in a science classroom).
RELATED: Want to see a more Montessori version of this activity? We love this one from Rhythms of Play.
Sorting isn’t some low level, basic skill. Sorting is big, complicated thinking.
Here’s how I set up coin sorting:
I wanted to give my daughter (4) a set space to sort her coins into.
I find giving kids a specific learning area or defined space helps their brains to better see and focus on the tasks at hand.
To do this, I quickly made a grid on our carpet out of painter’s tape – one of my favorite supplies to have on hand.
RELATED: Check out another way to sort coins from Buggy and Buddy using beginning sounds.
How did I explain the activity to my 4-year-old?
“Today we are going to look at MONEY!!! There are FOUR kinds of coins for us to talk about here.”
First, we named each coin then carefully looked them over and noticed differences.
This one has leaves on the back. That one has a smooth edge. This one is bigger than the others. That one is brown.
Noticing the differences is a key part of sorting and classifying objects.
Then I set ONE of each coin inside each of the grid boxes to get her started.
Now it was her turn to take over.
She carefully and meticulously started her sorting.
I watched as she felt for the different edge on the nickel or the size of the dime compared to the others.
This gave her a chance to connect more deeply with money and begin learning about the value and differences of each.
RELATED: Sure you can learn about coins on a worksheet, but hands-on is better. Learn why here.
How did we end the activity?
We ended it by counting up all the money of course.
She’s not ready for counting that high or making groups of $1 so I took back the lead here.
She watched as I made stacks of 4 quarters, then counted by 10s, and 5s, and of course she helped me with the pennies.
In total, it was $8.99.
Coin sorting is such a quick and easy activity
…and it’s one you likely already have every supply for.
Take some time to introduce coins and money to your child. It’s a life skill they need and one they can start learning in preschool.
Have you done coin sorting with your kiddo?