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Money Math Games & Apps for Counting Coins and Bills

Updated on August 23, 2015
EdTecher profile image

Heidi Reina, M.S., Ed, is an educational technology integrator and former teacher, reviewing free educational websites and apps.

Counting Money Games and Apps
Counting Money Games and Apps | Source

Counting Coins and Bills with Interactive Money Games

Anytime I can use games for my students to practice math skills, I jump at them. I've used these beginner money games and apps in my math center rotations, and it's often difficult to tear the children away from them at the end of the rotation.

Playing interactive counting money games is a fun way to help elementary school students learn how to count coins and bills, and how make change. These games provide feedback right away, so kids learn faster. And they offer an endless amount of practice.

Money worksheets are a very blahhhhh way to learn about money, according to every child I've ever worked with. So I'm always looking for ways to do away with those curs-ed worksheets. These games definitely fit the bill.

I've also included links to several lessons that use activities with money - useful for homeschooling parents as well as classroom teachers.

Counting Bills and Coins App

Counting Coins and Bills app
Counting Coins and Bills app | Source

from K12

In the app world, K12 offers a free download from iTunes called Counting Bills and Coins. It's a bit of a misnomer, as this app helps kids learn to do a lot more than that. In addition to counting money, kids play the role of cashiers who make change, and they calculate equivalent amounts, using different valued coins. The difficulty level ranges from the most basic counting up to $20 to more complex problems, making change up to $99. Students can see just the front or the fronts and backs of bills and coins.

This app can be run on the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. It require iOS 3.0 or later.

Peter Pig's Money Counter app

Peter Pig's Money Counter app
Peter Pig's Money Counter app | Source

If you have a Kindle and a child age 4-7, check out the Peter Pig's Money Counter app on Amazon. Appealing graphics and sound keep young students entertained as they learn the value of coins, and learn fun facts about money from other students.

Visa, Inc., designed the app with three beginner levels. In the first, kids identify coins and their values. In the second, they calculate the value of a selection of coins. And in the third, they estimate the relative values of two groups of coins.

The Peter Pig app is also available for other Android devices on the Google Play Store. Or play it online at the PrimaryGames website.

Illuminations Coin Box

Coin Box
Coin Box | Source

Illuminations is the premier site for math lessons and interactives. The Coin Box provides kids with several choices. They can use it to count coins on the board, collect coins for the amount shown, exchange coins for equal amounts, calculate change from coins displayed, or calculate coins from values displayed.

When the child checks her answer, it tells her if she's done Great!, or the answer is Too much or Too little. If the answer is not right, she can adjust the amount to correct it.

She can put the coins on the workboard loosely, or switch back and forth to a value grid of the coins. This scaffolding is a visual clue to the value of each coin. (The value grid is also commonly seen on standardized math test problems.)

Counting Money

Counting Money
Counting Money | Source

from Harcourt School Publishers

Harcourt's Counting Money Game takes a simple well-ordered approach to learning money values. A set of coins ordered from greatest to least appears. The child types in the total amount of the coins' value.

If he gets it wrong, the prompt tells him if the amount he picked is too much or too little. If he gets it wrong a second time, he gets more guidance, such as "Count by tens, then fives, then ones." If he gets it wrong a third time, the game counts the coins for him and shows the correct total.

After several problems, he sees a brief money cartoon and has the chance to play again.

Discovering Coin Values

Discovering Coin Values
Discovering Coin Values | Source

from Toon University

Kids will have fun counting coins at Toon University. They pick the coins to equal the amount at the top of the screen. They can drop them in the cup, down the slide, or flick them off the thumb. If the child chooses a coin with too great a value, the narrator tells her to pick one of a lesser amount.

The cup displays the total amount in it as each coin is added. So this is a good game for kids just learning and who need lots of value clues. Please note this is a flash-based game, not compatible with iPads as of this writing.

Play Money Games Old School Style

Learning Resources Money Bags Coin Value Game
Learning Resources Money Bags Coin Value Game

I've used Money Bags in my 1st and 2nd grade classrooms to help kids work on their money sense. Aside from being educational, it's just a fun board game. It provides hands-on practice in counting money, particularly coins. So it's a good choice for tactile, kinesthetic learners. A player may land on a square that says "no nickels" or "no dimes" so kids learn equivalent amounts too. My students never tire of playing it.

It makes a great gift for kids ages 5-8, or as a donation to your child's K-3 classroom (especially for Teacher Appreciation Day).


Learn to Count Money

Learn to Count Money
Learn to Count Money | Source

from ABCya!

In Learn to Count Money, kids earn fish for the bowl when they get correct answers. If the child has a wrong answer, the board is wiped clean and he must try again. There are no prompts to help him count, or to tell him if he has too much or too little.

There are 3 levels. In level 1, kids pick coins to equal the money value for amounts less than a dollar. The money value of each coin is displayed on it. Level 2 uses paper money in denominations up to $100, as well as the coins. Level 3 requires more complex combinations of bills and coins.

Numbernut Money Math

Money Math Activity
Money Math Activity | Source

NumberNut has several activities for kids to practice counting, comparing, adding and subtracting coins and money values. The activities have multiple choice or yes/no answers. Each activity has a set of 10 randomly selected questions, so kids can play it as often as they wish. There are 16 different activities.

Pocket Change

Pocket Change
Pocket Change | Source

from Armor Games

The object of Pocket Change is to pick the exact number of coins to match the number of coins and amount shown on the left. You have to pick your change correctly eight times to get to the next level. You have 50 seconds to answer all eight correctly. If you check the box for Currency Help Mode, the value of each coin along the bottom is displayed.

Each level is progressively harder. But you get more time at each level to select your coins.

Counting Money Lesson Plans

Counting Money Lesson Plans
Counting Money Lesson Plans

Your Experience with Money Games and Apps

Do your students play online games or apps to help them learn to count coins and bills?

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Are these counting money games and apps useful to you?

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    • socialcx1 profile image

      socialcx1 4 years ago

      My daughter with 3 kids thinks this is a great lens. Thanks

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      I always like money games, they are a wonderful for kids to understand the concept of money. When I was a kid we used to play store at school, we had a cardboard store at the back of the classroom. It still make me happy to think about the wonderful times we had at that store.

    • Martha24 profile image

      Martha24 4 years ago

      I am a fan of informative content, especially when it's this good. Thank you for making your article clear and easy to understand and thanks for sharing such a nice Websites and apps.

    • blackbeltreader profile image

      blackbeltreader 5 years ago

      Thanks so much!

    • beaworkathomemom profile image

      beaworkathomemom 5 years ago

      This is very useful. A fun way fo kids to learn.

    • profile image

      UKMarkWilliam 5 years ago

      Good lens

    • profile image

      forextrading2000 5 years ago

      thanks for sharing this lens of yours. it really make sense.

    • profile image

      qualityweb 5 years ago

      Money games is my personal favorite game, great list of apps..

    • profile image

      sadashiva 5 years ago

      good list of apps thanks for the list

    • Gabriel360 profile image

      Gabriel360 5 years ago

      Good lens. Good job on this.


    • profile image

      Pangionedevelopers 6 years ago

      great info source

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 6 years ago from Redcar

      What a great resource. Such and important subject to understand.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 6 years ago

      Wonderful collection. I just got the iPad 2 and I've been looking for kids learning apps.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Flying back here with a blessing on this excellent and fun money counting teaching opportunity, such an important skill!

    • profile image

      Buchamar 6 years ago

      Great ideas for kids

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 6 years ago from US/TN

      These look like great games. Some days, I worry that people rely too much on calculators/cash registers and are losing these basic skills... the games might be a good refresher for some parents too!

    • wolfie10 profile image

      wolfie10 6 years ago

      some of them look fun full stop

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Some of these games look like the would really be fun for the kids, and keep them interested for a while and wanting to "play again." That's good! Repitition. :)

    • bernie74 lm profile image

      bernie74 lm 6 years ago

      There are some great ideas here, thanks for sharing. Ill have to let my son know about these as he loves counting money

    • profile image

      sherel57 6 years ago

      Great lens. I loved it so much that I grabbed the 101 money tips for teens on my Raising Responsible Kids squidoo lens. Thanks so much for such wonderful insight.

    • profile image

      JennySui 6 years ago

      Counting money is certainly an important skill to learn. Great Lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Counting money is such an important skill to learn and doing it in fun makes learning so delightful.

    • profile image

      bobbyjones654321 7 years ago

      Thanks for the information.

      bobby jones

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      How embarrassing. Being an Aussie, I just tried counting money game and had absolutely no idea! This lens has been blessed by the maths angel and added to my best maths resources lens.