Heidi Reina, M.S., Ed, is an educational technology integrator and teacher, reviewing free educational websites and apps.
Counting Coins and Bills with Interactive Money Games
Anytime I can use games for my students to practice math skills, I jump at them. I've used these beginner money games and apps in my math center rotations, and it's often difficult to tear the children away from them at the end of the rotation.
Playing interactive counting money games is a fun way to help elementary school students learn how to count coins and bills, and how make change. These games provide feedback right away, so kids learn faster. And they offer an endless amount of practice.
Money worksheets are a very blahhhhh way to learn about money, according to every child I've ever worked with. So I'm always looking for ways to do away with those curs-ed worksheets. These games definitely fit the bill.
I've also included links to several lessons that use activities with money - useful for homeschooling parents as well as classroom teachers.
Counting Bills and Coins App
In the app world, K12 offers a free download from iTunes called Counting Bills and Coins. It's a bit of a misnomer, as this app helps kids learn to do a lot more than that. In addition to counting money, kids play the role of cashiers who make change, and they calculate equivalent amounts, using different valued coins. The difficulty level ranges from the most basic counting up to $20 to more complex problems, making change up to $99. Students can see just the front or the fronts and backs of bills and coins.
This app can be run on the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. It require iOS 3.0 or later.
Peter Pig's Money Counter app
Kids can also play Peter Pig's Money Counter online at the PrimaryGames website.
Illuminations Coin Box
Illuminations is the premier site for math lessons and interactives. The Coin Box provides kids with several choices. They can use it to count coins on the board, collect coins for the amount shown, exchange coins for equal amounts, calculate change from coins displayed, or calculate coins from values displayed.
When the child checks her answer, it tells her if she's done Great!, or the answer is Too much or Too little. If the answer is not right, she can adjust the amount to correct it.
She can put the coins on the workboard loosely, or switch back and forth to a value grid of the coins. This scaffolding is a visual clue to the value of each coin. (The value grid is also commonly seen on standardized math test problems.)
from Harcourt School Publishers
Harcourt's Counting Money Game takes a simple well-ordered approach to learning money values. A set of coins ordered from greatest to least appears. The child types in the total amount of the coins' value.
If he gets it wrong, the prompt tells him if the amount he picked is too much or too little. If he gets it wrong a second time, he gets more guidance, such as "Count by tens, then fives, then ones." If he gets it wrong a third time, the game counts the coins for him and shows the correct total.
After several problems, he sees a brief money cartoon and has the chance to play again.
Practice with Money Games
from Math Games
This site offers more than 40 money games for students in grades 2 to 7 with a progressive degree of difficulty. Children start with identifying money values and counting coin values. They compare money amounts, make change, and calculate price lists.
Older students focus on consumer math and unit prices. Games such as "Which is the better coupon?" apply math skills in percentages. Kids calculate tips and determine unit costs.
The most complex money skills for grade 7 include compound and simple interest. Students calculate unit costs with metric conversions. And they calculate the original price based on a sales price.
Students can save their progress in the games with free registration. And teachers and parents can monitor the progress of students they register.
Play Money Games Old School Style
Learn to Count Money
In Learn to Count Money, kids earn fish for the bowl when they get correct answers. If the child has a wrong answer, the board is wiped clean and he must try again. There are no prompts to help him count, or to tell him if he has too much or too little.
There are 3 levels. In level 1, kids pick coins to equal the money value for amounts less than a dollar. The money value of each coin is displayed on it. Level 2 uses paper money in denominations up to $100, as well as the coins. Level 3 requires more complex combinations of bills and coins.
Numbernut Money Math
NumberNut has several activities for kids to practice counting, comparing, adding and subtracting coins and money values. The activities have multiple choice or yes/no answers. Each activity has a set of 10 randomly selected questions, so kids can play it as often as they wish. There are 16 different activities.
from Armor Games
The object of Pocket Change is to pick the exact number of coins to match the number of coins and amount shown on the left. You have to pick your change correctly eight times to get to the next level. You have 50 seconds to answer all eight correctly. If you check the box for Currency Help Mode, the value of each coin along the bottom is displayed.
Each level is progressively harder. But you get more time at each level to select your coins.
Counting Money Lesson Plans
All of these coin counting lesson plans are free
- Number Cents (K-2)
Six lessons for learning the value of coins, how to count them, and how to make change. Illuminations is the premiere website for K-12 math lessons and activities. Their interactive, Coin Box, is described above.
- Primary Economics (K-2)
Lesson of a game to teach kids the different combinations of coins to make money amounts up to 25 cents. This is another Illuminations lesson.
- Changes in Change (3-5)
This lesson incorporates interactives and teaches kids a bit about the history of US currency. EconEdLink is an outstanding websites with lessons and activities to teach economics, finance, and money skills to students of all grade levels.
- To Market to Market (K-5)
Kids learn consumer and producer skills by buying and selling things in a classroom market. A connected interactive prepares students for the game. This is another EconEdLink lesson.
- Every Penny Counts (K-2)
Kids learn about consumer budgets, choices and comparison shopping (comparing amounts of money). This is another EconEdLink lesson that includes an interactive.
- Money Smart Children (grade 2)
In this unit of 5 lessons, kids learn the concepts of spend, save, invest, and donate. Younger students practice identifying and counting coins, while older students practice data and chart skills. Learning to Give is a website with educational resou
Your Experience with Money Games and Apps
Are these counting money games and apps useful to you?
socialcx1 on August 10, 2013:
My daughter with 3 kids thinks this is a great lens. Thanks
Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on April 09, 2013:
I always like money games, they are a wonderful for kids to understand the concept of money. When I was a kid we used to play store at school, we had a cardboard store at the back of the classroom. It still make me happy to think about the wonderful times we had at that store.
Martha24 on April 08, 2013:
I am a fan of informative content, especially when it's this good. Thank you for making your article clear and easy to understand and thanks for sharing such a nice Websites and apps.
blackbeltreader on February 16, 2013:
Thanks so much!
beaworkathomemom on January 13, 2013:
This is very useful. A fun way fo kids to learn.
UKMarkWilliam on December 19, 2012:
forextrading2000 on December 15, 2012:
thanks for sharing this lens of yours. it really make sense.
qualityweb on November 11, 2012:
Money games is my personal favorite game, great list of apps..
sadashiva on May 18, 2012:
good list of apps thanks for the list
Gabriel360 on March 07, 2012:
Good lens. Good job on this.
Pangionedevelopers on February 18, 2012:
great info source
Ben Reed from Redcar on February 11, 2012:
What a great resource. Such and important subject to understand.
Blackspaniel1 on February 02, 2012:
hsschulte on January 25, 2012:
Wonderful collection. I just got the iPad 2 and I've been looking for kids learning apps.
anonymous on January 10, 2012:
Flying back here with a blessing on this excellent and fun money counting teaching opportunity, such an important skill!
Buchamar on December 14, 2011:
Great ideas for kids
C A Chancellor from US/TN on December 10, 2011:
These look like great games. Some days, I worry that people rely too much on calculators/cash registers and are losing these basic skills... the games might be a good refresher for some parents too!
wolfie10 on October 14, 2011:
some of them look fun full stop
CruiseReady from East Central Florida on September 11, 2011:
Some of these games look like the would really be fun for the kids, and keep them interested for a while and wanting to "play again." That's good! Repitition. :)
bernie74 lm on August 11, 2011:
There are some great ideas here, thanks for sharing. Ill have to let my son know about these as he loves counting money
sherel57 on August 10, 2011:
Great lens. I loved it so much that I grabbed the 101 money tips for teens on my Raising Responsible Kids squidoo lens. Thanks so much for such wonderful insight.
JennySui on August 10, 2011:
Counting money is certainly an important skill to learn. Great Lens!
anonymous on July 31, 2011:
Counting money is such an important skill to learn and doing it in fun makes learning so delightful.
bobbyjones654321 on February 07, 2011:
Thanks for the information.
Jeanette from Australia on February 06, 2011:
How embarrassing. Being an Aussie, I just tried counting money game and had absolutely no idea! This lens has been blessed by the maths angel and added to my best maths resources lens.