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Nov 15, 2012

10 Penny Activites to Liven Up Learning!

10. How Many Pennies Did I Grab.
Use a 100 number chart (you can make the chart with construction paper, pen, and straight edge) and basket full of pennies. Have your student grab a handful of pennies and guess how many they grabbed. Then have them spread out the pennies, starting at #1, on the number chart. What number did they end on?

9. Flip Flop Which One is on Top? 
Make a simple grid graph on a sheet of paper with two columns. Label each column heads/tails. Give each student one penny. Have them flip the penny 25 times and check the column it lands on. Then asks questions about your graph results.

8. A Balancing Act

Take two bowls and a handful of pennies. Have student drop half their handful into one bowl and the rest into the other bowl. Then have them count the number in each bowl. Ask which bowl has greater/lesser number. Then ask them to even out the number by adding or subtracting pennies to make the bowls even. If you end up with an uneven number ask them to leave one penny out so the bowls are even.

7. Guess the Hidden Number

Take out a 100 number chart and cover some numbers with pennies. Then have your student count until they hit a covered number and guess what number they think is covered up based on the last and next number they see. Have older students count backward from 100.   

6. Which Stack is Higher, Lower, First, Second, Third, Last?

Take an egg carton and put different amounts of pennies in 5 different cups. Have them guess how many they think are in each "cup." Ask students to take pennies out one at a time and make  stacks out of pennies.(Make sure you have 5 different amounts. Then ask your student to identify the stack with the most/least/equal. Then have them put the stacks in order from most to least. 

5. Double Down

Take 24 pennies and put on a pile on the ground and have student count them. Then have them divide the pile into 2 piles of 12 removing one penny at a time to the new pile. Then count and divide the 12 pennies in the two new piles and so on until you cannot divide anymore. For older kids do the activity with a larger number to begin such as 64.

4. Many Years of Pennies

Take 15 pennies and have student put them in order from oldest to newest in the years they were made. Again to make more complicated have student put them in decades first then by the year using more pennies.

3. How Many Penny-Pennies Does it Take?

Draw a line on a clear cup or mason jar (ie a kids throw-away dixie cup or a mason jar). Have your student guess and write down how many pennies it will take to fill up the jar/cup. Add pennies while counting how many it takes. See how close their guess was. Then give the pennies to your kiddos to save.

2. Pennies Per Pages!

Take out your child's favorite book (the bigger the book the more pennies you'll need:) As you read the book put a penny in each page then when done add the number of pennies you needed for each page of the book.

1. My Lunch Costs How Much?

Pre-make a lunch ie. sandwich, fruit, veggie, chip, drink with multiple options. Put each item in a lunch baggie and a price on each bag (all 5cents or less). Take a brown paper bag and have student write their name on it. (you can use anything to put their "purchase" in) Give your student 25cents and tell them they are going to buy their lunch today. Have them pick out which items they'd like to buy and talk about the importance of a balanced diet. Have them pay for each item.  If they have any money left teach them about the value of saving for tomorrow or the future. While going through the process ask questions about adding and budgeting so they can afford all the things they wish to eat. For older kids explain how adults need to budget and plan for their cost of food whether at home or for the working parents who go out lunch during the work week. 

Playing with pennies can help teach kids the value of math, and how math and money relate to the outside world. It also widens their perspective on how to use pennies to learn in many ways. Have fun and remember kids learn in stages so once they master a simpler penny game move on to a more difficult one.

Happy Homeschooling,


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