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!
If you don’t know it yet, I LOVE to celebrate holidays including the weird and mostly unknown ones! And if I can tie in some teaching for my little Boo, all the better! 🙂 May 23 is National Penny Day. Here are some ideas that you can use to celebrate this “cent”sational day! (SO cheezy I just had to throw it in!)
- make golden penny pancakes for breakfast (yummy!)
- visit a candy store and indulge in your favorite penny candy
- for your scientific child try some penny science experiments: how many drops of water fit on a penny, will it float or sink?, and magnetic pennies.
- toss a penny in a wishing well or fountain while making a wish
- count them
- read books such as Henny Penny, Angelina’s Lucky Penny, or my favorite- Penny: the Forgotten Coin.
- see how many you can stack in a penny tower
- learn some penny verses such as :
and worth one cent
- give someone a penny for their thoughts
- take the pennies from your change jar, count them, roll them, and go do something fun with the money.
- practice fine motor skills by putting pennies in various slots/ containers such as piggie banks, shoe boxes with cut out slits, and toilet paper rolls.
- purposely place “heads up” pennies in various locations for strangers to find so that others can have good luck!
- make a penny necklace
- do crayon rubbings of both sides of the penny
- talk about the importance and the historical significance of the penny
- penny worksheets from homeschooling.about.com
- put pennies in empty plastic easter eggs and shake ’em while you dance!
- visit the HIP Pocket Change Website (History In your Pocket) Its a great resource from the US mint- with the history of the penny, to how coins are made, a scout corner with ideas to earn merit badges with coins, as well as some cartoons and games… A few of my favorite are the Coin Memory Game, an online wishing well, and a lot of different downloads of coins to print and color!
Another reason you should celebrate this holiday that I just learned while typing this post- This year is not only the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, but the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln cent that first appeared in 1909!!! So celebrate Penny Day and part of US history!
Happy Teaching and may the learning and FUN never end!!!
Many thanks to eHOW, Saving Advice.com, PBS Kids, LessonPlansPage.com, All Recipes.com, HIP Pocket Change and Science Museum.org for their great ideas.