quarters and dimes and dollars

otto's piggy bank savings have been burning a little hole in his pocket lately so this weekend when we went to Target i told him he could take $10 to buy himself a new book or toy. i wanted to share with you guys our little counting money project because it was a really fun and easy way for Ot to participate in counting out his own money and to learn about coins.
this sort of evolved on the fly so you can see my crafty project lacks cuteness. also you get to see the dreaded state of Otto's room most days. i swear we clean before bedtime! anyways... all you need is a bag for the counted money, a plain piece of paper and a marker.

we started with the dollar bills and i explained to Otto that each one is worth one dollar. Otto can count pretty high so he had no problem counting the $6 in greenbacks that we put in the bag.

next we put all the nickels and pennies back into the piggy bank. we focused instead on dimes and quarters. so you can see we made a little puzzle, tracing 4 quarters on one side of the page and 10 dimes on the other. i told Otto that 4 quarters or 10 dimes were equal to 1 dollar and his job was to fill in either the dime or quarter side of the puzzle.
he totally got it right away. and each time he filled up a side we'd go back to the money bag and i'd say, "ok, there were $6 in here and now we're adding $1 so how many do we have now?" Otto counts on his fingers; it kills me. So smart!

so i know i'm not winning any curriculum awards here, but how easy was this? and fun! and it engaged Otto in counting, learning about coins, doing a puzzle, blah blah blah. 

bonus! Otto picked out a bouncy ball and some bubbles. summer toys! outside toys! and all on his own. we went through each aisle of the toy department and he would pick something out but then find something else he wanted more. so his choice evolved from a Cars set to, eventually, the bouncy ball and bubbles. and he was totally stoic about toys that were outside of his price-range which i thought was pretty cool of him. 

just all in all an easy project and cool experience and then the sun actually was shining that afternoon (gasp!) and we got to play with bubbles in the park.  

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