Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pennies, Nickels, Dimes, Quarters . . . and Dance!

Hello Autumn, and Hello EC Community!

We all know that children learn in different ways.  Movement can help to teach and reinforce numbers, counting, and early math skills. Try this quick and easy movement activity about coins and their values.  The activity, presented in two parts, can help young children to learn to identify pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, and then to recognize that each coin has a different value and what those values are.

Coin Dance

Time:  Approximately 20 minutes
Materials:  Separate representations of each of the four coins, on paper or cardboard, large enough for all of the children to see and identify 

Part 1:  Identifying the Coins
    Place the children in home spots evenly spaced throughout the room, or standing in a circle with plenty of room between each child, or standing by tables or desks.

    Show the coin pictures one by one.  Identify them for the children.   Repeat as needed. 

    Now tell the children:  I will hold one of the coins up, and instead of telling me what it is, I would like for you to show me in movement:

If I hold up a penny, I would like you to sit down and stand back up.  

If I hold up the nickel, I would like you to go up on your tiptoes and then come back down.  

If I hold up the dime, I would like you to bounce (bending your knees) or jump.  

If I hold up the quarter, I would like you to march in place.
    Repeat the game as long as the children are engaged and until they can identify the coins.

Part 2:  Identifying the Value of the Coins

    Expand the game by having the children identify the value of the coin (again when you hold up the pictures one by one) by doing the following number of movements assigned to each coin (the same number of movements as the value of each coin).  This is a surprisingly lively activity, even though they will be staying in one spot throughout.

    Penny: The children will go down to the floor and back up once.  

    Nickel:  The children will balance on their tiptoes for five counts.  

    Dime:  The children will do ten small bounces or jumps in place

    Quarter:  The children will march in place for twenty-five counts 

    Encourage the children to count along with you as they are doing the movements.  Repeat the activity another day, and have the children make up their own movements!

Do 10 small jumps when I hold up the dime!

Keep on dancin',





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