Here are two activities that we used to help teach about money. Our money stamps are kept on a tray that shows their matching coins, their values and names. I make up little books with an amount written on each page. The children love stamping the appropriate coins on the page.
The next picture shows the money game. From midyear until the last day of school, it proved to be fun and challenging. Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters are separated into compartments in a tray. In the center is one dollar coin with a small booklet showing various coin equivalents. To make the booklet, I used the money stamps to show that two nickels equal one dime, two dimes and one nickel equal one quarter, etc. A child throws one dice then takes that number of cents. For example, if the dice shows a five, the child may take one nickel or five pennies. As coins are accumulated they should be exchanged for coins of higher value. The goal is to have four quarters, which are then exchanged for the dollar coin. The first to get the dollar coin is the winner. Since this is mostly a game of luck, all of the players have a fair chance of winning. In our classroom, children of all levels enjoyed this game. They get great practice with counting, addition, counting by fives and tens and recognizing the coins and their values.
And probably the most important lesson learned in this type of game is sportsmanship. Initially, a few children would get distressed upon losing the game. A teacher or a sympathetic classmate would sit with the players to help them keep track of their turns, use the little book of coin equivalences and remind them to exchange smaller coins toward the goal of quarters. Because of the luck factor with the dice, cooperation between players and peers is fair. In our class, the children seemed to realize this themselves, as there were many happy games with helpers nearby.