Money Matters

Money Matters

Grades: Pre-K-2


Available in Discover 4-H Cloverbud: Family and Consumer Sciences by Utah State University


In this activity, kids will practice beginning skills in counting money and how to apply those skills by pretending to buy groceries.


  • Pennies
  • Nickels
  • Dimes
  • Quarters
  • Dollar Bills or play money
  • Play food (op substitute with real food from your pantry)
  • Play cash register – Box, drawer, etc.
  • Grocery bags or toy cart or basket
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Poster board or paper
kid learning about money and finances at virtual 4-H camp

Activity Steps

Counting and Matching

  1. Place pennies on one side of the table in different rows. For example, put a row of five pennies, a row of eight pennies, and a row of ten pennies.
  2. On the other side of the table put the matching amount using different coins. Continuing the example above, place a nickel, a nickel and three pennies, and a dime.
  3. Count the coins and match them to the correct number of pennies.

“Visit” the Grocery Store

  1. Have fun and get creative staging a grocery store using whatever you have on hand! Be sure to include a checkout lane and “cash register“ and put your coins and dollars in the register.
  2. Price the items using some of the same sums you added up in the first counting activity.
  3. Select one child/adult to be the cashier, and the other to be a shopper.
  4. Give the shopper a sum of money – ask them to count how much they have.
  5. Give the shopper time to select their items, keeping in mind their budget.
  6. The cashier will check out the customers, adding up the price of the items, and collect the correct amount of money.


Continue the fun: Teach kids about earning money by “paying” them after their turn being the cashier so they can use that money to take another turn as a shopper.

stacks of coins

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