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Child's Play: Enrich Your Preschooler's Math and Money Skills

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Empower your child. Learn math and money skills for preschoolers.

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You may work with your child  a great deal.

Maybe you taught them how to count, but you still want them to excel further.

You don’t want to be too pushy about  it.

Being overly academic and drilling them with flashcards may be working AGAINST you.

There are ways to enrich your child in an enjoyable, age-appropriate way.

If you choose not to do this, your child could lose out on learning vital math skills.

Math Enrichment: Enrich Your Preschooler’s Math and Money Skills

1. Discuss the different bills (ones, fives, tens). Have the child point to the different bills. Example, “Can you find the one dollar bill?” Then have the child point to it. Once you have quickly discussed the different bills (I wouldn’t go past ten for preschoolers), put the money in a pile and have the child sort the different bills.


Put the play money in a pile. Start with 3 or 4 bills for preschoolers. Add more for older children. Also, stick to ones and 5 for the little ones.


2. Purchase a mini cash drawer. Many toy stores carry these. Have them put the bills inside being sure to keep all ones in one section, fives in another, etc. Model one or two examples for them. They can even tell you where to put it.

Once they are able to identify the different bills. Have them sort the bills by putting them in the appropriate section of the cashier drawer.

3. Once they have had a little introduction on how to identify and sort the bills, model a real world experience.

Kids love to pretend they are at the grocery store (boys included). Have them choose a few items and tell them the price. I would use a low dollar amount for preschoolers unless they know how to count and have had a great deal of exposure to money, otherwise they may not be interested if it seems too hard.

Model how to go to the grocery store. Get play food. You can even use cereal boxes from home.


Potential Pretend Scenario:

You: “Hi, that will be 4.00 for your groceries.” (Give them 4 singles prior to asking.) Add up the money with a play cash register or calculator. (If you don’t have that, you can just tell them the price).

Kid: “Here you go.” (Hands over money) They may or may not give the exact amount. You may have to help them count.

You want to reinforce counting with 1-to-1 correspondence (the ability to match numbers to objects). It will also indirectly reinforce identifying numbers and money. Put their money down and have them count out 4 singles one at a time.

Have them touch each dollar as they count it. If they are hesitant, do it with them. Avoid giving change right now. They won’t get that at a young age. Keep everything exact.

Have them put their money down and count it together to make sure there is enough.










Once you model it a few times, they will catch on. An older sibling can help out too. Practicing pretend play scenarios will reinforce important math skills and money smarts.

Just know that preschoolers can be very fickle. If they don’t want to do this, have them try again another time. Also, you may have to break each step into it’s own informal mini-lesson. They can only sit or pay attention so long.

Enrich your child’s money knowledge at an early age.


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