Grade Levels: K-3

These classroom activities are designed to complement the Dollars and Cents topic on BrainPOP Jr.

Classroom Activities for Teaching Dollars and Cents

For Sale
Set up a sale in your classroom. Students can bring in items from home or they can make art projects to sell. Students may also want to bring in baked goods. Together as a class, discuss how much each item should be priced. Encourage your students to think about what would happen if a cupcake was priced at $1 and another cupcake was priced less. This provides an opportunity to teach economics and business. Use fake bills and coins and give each student the same amount. You can print out fake bills and coins from different websites or buy them from a toy store. Students can then “buy” the items and see what they can and cannot afford. This is a good opportunity for students to understand the value of money.

Penny Harvest

Start a Penny Harvest with your class. Have students collect as many pennies as they can for a month or for the whole year. Then at the end of the harvest, count the pennies together and come to a grand total. Students can discuss what to do with the money and take a vote. Students may want to use the money to buy something for the classroom, go on a trip, or donate to an organization of their choice.

Coin Rubbing

To help students identify different coins, have them make rubbings of each kind of coin. Give coins to groups of students and have them place a piece of paper on top of the coin. They can use the side of a crayon to rub over the coin. Have students rub the head and the tail of each coin. Remind them to label their coins and write the value. Point students’ attention and discuss the different elements on a coin, such as the date, the picture, and the rim.

History of Coins

Discuss where to find the date on each coin and then have your students bring in the oldest coin that they can find. Discuss important events that happened during the time the coin was released.

As an extension, encourage your children to bring in coins from different countries. Compare and contrast the coins and discuss how they would count the coins. For example, you would count by twos to count two-pence coins. This provides an opportunity for students to learn about other cultures and how their money works.


Filed as:  Dollars and Cents, K-3, Math, Money