During dramatic play, while playing store or restaurant, observe the child paying with real pennies. Have props for the dramatic play and a coin purse full of pennies.
Be the “cashier” and tell the child that what he bought cost 5 pennies. After the child hands you five pennies say, “Oh, I’m sorry. I made a mistake you owe me 10 pennies. You already gave me five.” Lay the five pennies out so the child can see and count them again if needed.
The child stops after counting to 5 and hands you the 5 pennies.
Early childhood educators can help parents understand the importance of “counting on,” or being able to continue counting from the last number without having to start over. The initial step involves recounting, but the child will soon realize that she doesn’t need to recount, but can count on from the last stated number. Letting children pay the final cents in a check is a good way to teach counting and the use of money. Encourage parents to help their child by reminding them that they don’t need to start counting all over again. Cover the coins that they already counted and say, “You already have five, what comes next?”
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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