Jelly Beans for Sale by Bruce McMillan is an excellent companion for introducing counting money to children. In the book jelly beans are sold for 1 cent each. More and more jelly beans are sold together until 25 are sold. Then several different combinations of money are given to pay for the 25 jelly beans being purchased.
Counting money is a fun skill for young children to work on. It's always a shock when they learn dimes are worth more than nickels, and they can trade 1 quarter and receive 25 pennies. This book is a great way to learn different ways to count to 25 with coins, and if you buy a bag a jelly beans to go with it, the activity would be hard to beat.
My daughter and I recently got this book and the change container out. We separated the coins into four piles, pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, then counted the money in each pile. Next we made piles of equivalent amounts, and followed up the activity with the story.
There are lots more hands-on math activities on my Math Page, so be sure to visit.
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