Advent Calendar Idea: Coin Recognition

The time for advent calendars is here! Can you believe it? Where does the time go! I was getting our advent calendar ready with treats and had an idea to easily incorporate coin recognition over the 25 day advent calendar time period. The total cost for this activity? A mere 25 cents. Objective? To learn the coins: penny, nickel, dime, quarter.
Inside each little cubby in our advent calendar (and next to our little treat of course!) I will place a penny. If you don’t have an advent with cubbies, you can just give your child one penny every day in December until Christmas. The penny will be placed in a little canvas wallet that I will have my daughter decorate with fabric markers, but any wallet/purse/baggie will work to hold the coins. Every morning we will open the advent cubby, take out the penny, add it with any previous coins, and stamp how much money we have so far in the “My Christmas Money” book. (This book is just a stack of index cards connected with a book ring! Simple but efficient!!)

After we have counted and stamped our daily total, I will have my daughter write the number. This might take a bit since we have NEVER written numbers (and she can write just a handful of letters) but I know she will be OK. On day #5 we will introduce a nickel and she will be able to trade in her pennies for one nickel; Day #10 She will trade in five pennies for a nickel, and then the two nickels for a dime; etc. We will finish the activity by eating the advent treat. 🙂 I am hoping the treat will act as a little motivation for her money work!
Happy Teaching and COUNTING down to Christmas!

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