To prepare for this money lesson plan, begin by mounting and laminating, both front and back of a real penny, nickel, dime and quarter on cardstock. Pass the display around so the children can examine it up close. Initiate a discussion of the color, characteristics and value of the coins. Talk about how people long ago would trade or barter for supplies and food, instead of using actual money. Open a brainstorming discussion on ways each child could earn money to save for something special.
Share the history of the piggy bank, since the children will be making their own bank. Years ago, when metal was very expensive, people made their dishes and pottery from an inexpensive clay, called pygg. They would save their money in jars made of pygg. This is where the "piggy bank" comes from.
Make learning about money fun by reading the story, The Berenstain Bears' The Trouble With Money, by Stan and Jan Berenstain.
You will need a variety of containers, such as jars, small boxes or water bottles for this money lesson plan. Encourage the children to be creative by decorating their banks with stickers and markers. Each child should write their names on their banks, as they will actually be saving their money.
Give each child a sheet of white paper, a coin, colored chalk or crayons to create a design of rubbings. They may be creative by adding drawings or fill the entire page with the relief rubbings. Always praise and display their artwork.
Working with a number chart 1-100, give each child a "nickel". Place the first nickel on the zero. As each child comes up, he or she will count to 5 and tape the nickel on the number 5. The next child counts five and tapes the nickel on the number 10. As each child places a nickel, ask how much money do we have. Continue until they get to 100. This teaches them that a nickel is worth 5 cents. You may also extend this money lesson plan activity by doing this with a dime or a quarter.
Suggested books to read:
- Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells
- One Cent, Two Cent, Old Cent, New Cent: All About Money by Bonnie Worth and Aristides Ruiz
- The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble With Money by Stan and Jan Berenstain