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Penny, Nickel, Dime

Level: K - 1


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Activities that involve money are a good way to develop mathematical reasoning and to reinforce what children are learning about numbers and arithmetic operations, such as addition and subtraction.

What You Need

  • Die
  • Pennies, nickels, dimes

What to Do

This is a good game to play with the family.

  • Have each player roll the die and say the number. Then give the player that number of pennies. Explain that each penny is worth one cent.

  • When a player gets five pennies, replace the pennies with a nickel. Explain that five pennies have the same value as one nickel—that is, five cents. When she gets five more pennies, replace the pennies and the nickel with a dime. Help her to see that the value of five pennies plus the value of a nickel (five cents) equals 10 cents, which is the value of a dime.

  • The first player to reach a set amount—25 or 50 cents, for example—wins.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Communications and Outreach, "Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics," Washington, D.C., 2005

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