Here’s an easy to do activity that combines two important lessons. The first is to show how graphing and charts works. The second is a bit more open ended; teach your child about money. You could use it to talk about an allowance or birthday gifts and how savings adds up.  All you need to do is empty out your pockets of spare change and get graphing!

Materials Needed for the Project:

  • Coins
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Crayons

Coin graph (courtesy Education.com)

Instructions:

  1. Start off with a brief scavenger hunt. You and your child need to find as many coins as possible. Search your wallet, your pocket and even beneath couch cushions for at least a handful of change.
  2. Help your child draw the two axes for a graph. Explain that he is going to make a graph that will show him how many of each type of coin is in the pile.
  3. For the first graph, have him sort the coins by value. Help him label the axes. The bottom should be labeled by coin type: penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. The side axis should be numbered high enough to include the totals on each type of coin.
  4. Help your son graph each of these totals. For example, if he has two dimes, then the dime bar needs to go all the way up to twenty. Coloring each bar can make it easier to read.
  5. What else can he show in a graph? Help him draw a graph by coin color – copper vs silver. Brainstorm with your child and create a third graph that shows the differences of the coins in a new way.
  6. Now have your son compare and contrast the graphs he has made. What do the graphs tell him? Which is the most useful?
  7. Have him share the information with someone else in the family so that he can practice discussing what he has learned.

Contributed by Gregory Heilers at Education.com For More useful activities like these, visit the Education.com math page.

Teach Your Kids How to Graph Money