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Knowing about money and coins is a useful lesson for children; there are lots of ways you can introduce money and coins to them. Just make sure they are definitely past the 'putting everything in their mouth' stage as coins fit just snugly into a pre-schooler's mouth!
Gather a pile of different coins and show them to your child.
Coin Colours: Look at the colours: dull brown and bright bronze coins, silver and even gold ones! Sort them into colour groups. You could even try and clean them up. If you leave some copper coins in vinegar overnight, when you arrive the next morning you will see they have returned to a glorious shiny copper colour!
How many? Count the different types of coins then add them all up to see how many you have. Introduce the idea that coins are worth different values. This may be too complicated for little ones to understand, but the ideas will one day be clearer.
Coin shapes: Look at the coin shapes. Sort them into different shapes and pile them up in their sorted group.
Coin sizes: Look at the different sizes of the coins from tiny 5p to large £2. Make a tower with the largest on the bottom and smallest on the top... see how high you build it. They try the other way round and put the tiny ones at the bottom first.
Compare: Now do some comparison activities. Which is biggest? Which is darkest? Which is shiniest?
Shove Penny: Go to a shiny floor like a kitchen and try to roll the different coins on their sides. Which go further? Then try to shove them forward when they are face down. Which go fastest?
Always remember to wash hands after touching coins...