Coin Sorting


Welcome to Montessori Mondays!

Are you looking for some cheap, fun, and easy activities that support learning for your child?

You’ve come to the right place.  Every week I’m sharing  Montessori based activities that you can create and share with your children.

Check out my first post here for an explanation of why Montessori works.

I think it goes without saying that this activity is best suited for children who no longer put stuff in their mouth and they should also be under supervision.


So the Dollar store will sometimes carry plastic coins that are twice the size of the real ones, and I found something fun to do with them!  Shiny objects that makes sounds when you drop them are always a hit with the youngsters.  Coin sorting teaches your child how to recognize the differences between each coin based on color, size and design.  Having the bigger versions of the coins on display makes it easier for them to notice the designs on the coins.


The first step will be teaching your child the differences between the coins.  The penny is the most obvious one because of the color.  After showing them the difference between the colors, show them the sizes of the coins.


What helped my daughter understand was taking a big ball, medium-sized ball, and small ball.  I showed her the order of biggest to smallest and vice versa.  Then I explained that it was the same way with coins.  The quarter was the biggest, next was the nickel, and the smallest coin was the dime.


As you can see, I used a veggie tray for this sorting activity.  It was another dollar store purchase making this a whopping $2 purchase (Not counting the amount in coins that I’m positive most people have lying around).


The coins will start in the middle.  Next, you’ll want to tape the big plastic coins onto the tray like the picture below:


I put two of the same coin in each slot to show the front and back of the coins.


The order in which they are displayed is also important.  As you can see the pennies are on the left, then comes the Quarters, nickels, and dimes.  It’s not in order of value because toddlers and young preschoolers don’t understand value, but they do understand color and size.


Once you explain the activity to your child, watch them sort.  Typically they will start with the pennies first, and then sort the other coins.  My daughter had some trouble with nickels and dimes, but she will eventually get it after doing this activity a few times.  If it gets too easy for your child you could always mix them up from highest value to lowest value.


I also showed my daughter that five pennies are the same as one nickel by putting a nickel and five pennies in front of her.  And I continued to show her with each coin.  It was a bit over her head, but exposure to these types of concepts will not hurt her.


Another way to extend this activity is to add flash cards with the value number on them (1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢) ask your child to place the value card on top of the matching coin.


Below are links to the rest of my activities:

Monsters and Pumpkins

Spelling CVC Words

Sorting Soft/Hard and Counting with Pom Poms/Bowls

Color Wheel and Threading with Pipe Cleaners/Colander

Easter Eggs and Beach Play-dough

Alphabet Sensory Bin and Clothesline

Shape Sorting and Open/Close Tray

Frog/Turtle Sensory Bin and Play-dough/Noddle Threading

Flower Sensory Bin and Buttons with Pipe Cleaners

Valentine’s Sensory Bin and Discovering Smells

Underwater Sensory Bin and Learning to Buckle

Button Snake and Bugs/Grass Sensory Bin

Go check them out and tell me what you think!


I would love to hear from you!

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