Adding value

6 - 8 years
Ideas to help your child practise their numeracy skills - with you, and online
Boy inserting coin into machine

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

The Australian Curriculum sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life. Skills in the Year 1-2 curriculum include:

  • understanding that the value of a coin is not related to its size
  • knowing the comparative value of individual coins (for example, a 5-cent coin is worth less than a 10-cent coin)
  • knowing that 100 cents makes 1 dollar
  • combining coins to make a particular amount (for example, 30 cents can be made up of three 10-cent coins or one 10-cent coin and one 20-cent coin).

It’s easy to help your child practise these skills as part of everyday life – just use these simple ideas.

Get out the cash

Despite the convenience of electronic transactions, it's important that your child still gets hands-on experience with money to help them develop their calculation skills, and appreciate the value of money. So make sure you have some cash in your life, and give your child practice with ideas like these:

  • when paying in cash, ask your child to select the coins you need, and count the change
    Could you get out $1.50 for the parking meter? 
  • give your child some loose change and let them organise it in different ways – eg by value, by size, by year
  • offer your child different combinations of coins and notes, and ask which they would prefer to keep (see if you can trick them by offering a big 50-cent coin instead of a tiny $2 coin!)
    Would you like a $2 coin or ten 10-cent pieces? a $5 note or three $2 coins? a $1 coin and a $2 coin or six 50-cent pieces?
  • tell your child how much money you have in your pocket, and challenge them to work out the exact coins and/or notes. Give clues if needed
    I've got 60 cents in my pocket. What coins do you think I have?
    Three 20-cent coins?
    Good answer, that does make 60 cents, but I have four coins
    . (Answer: two 20-cent coins and two 10-cent coins)
  • challenge each other to remember the pictures on all the different coins and notes (your child may be better at this than you!)

Go online

For online reinforcement, Pay the price will give your child practice at:

  • understanding the value of Australian coins
  • comparing prices (Level 3 of the game – an optional challenge, beyond the expectation of this year level).



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Last modified
15 April 2020