Hands-On Fun with Coin Caterpillars

Hey everyone!  My students recently made these really cute coin caterpillar books to practice their coin counting skills.  They loved this project.  A lot.  Hopefully, it's something you can use in your own classrooms, too!

As I mentioned, the kids loved this project, but so did I!  I loved that the students were able to direct their own learning by determining how many coins they wanted to include in each of their caterpillars.  Before we started, we spent some time talking about making sure they selected/counted coins they were comfortable with at this point.  

To make these cute, little books, all you need is some regular white paper, a paper cutter, and some staples.  I stacked seven pieces of white copy paper and then cut them into three sections (each booklet was approximately 3 2/3" x 8 1/2") .  I stapled each mini booklet along the side (of course, I now realize that the sample above does not show the staples because this student's book is backwards..oops).

On the day of the project, I shared a sample book with the kids so they understood the project and my expectations.  My expectations were simple:
  1. Create a cover.
  2. Grab some coins from the bowl and draw one caterpillar on each page (for a total of 6 caterpillars).
  3. Label each coin.
  4. Count up the value of the caterpillar and record the total amount in the form of a complete sentence.
  5. Color your caterpillars-the coins must be colored to match their real life counterpart, but the caterpillar head could be any color (I always save coloring tasks for the end).
Then, I placed a  bowl of plastic coins at each desk and let them have at it!

TIP: If you're students aren't ready for half dollars or dollar coins, then leave them out of the mix so that they don't become overwhelmed.

During our unit on money, I showed the students two ways to draw coins: with letter abbreviations for each coin and with the value of each coin written inside a circle.  Looks like this student combined the two ways. Hehe-no matter, she counted it up beautifully!

I hope you can use this easy, peasy idea in your own classroom.  It's sure to be a hit with your students.

You can find more fun, hands-on coin counting activities in this post!



Share It:


  1. Wow! This is so cute and yet so educationally appropriate. Def not "fluff!" I can't wait to try this with my firsties; we're working on money now. Thanks for the excellent, easy to make idea! (And free--I already have everything I need.)

  2. So fun! What a great way to practice a tricky skill! Thanks for sharing this idea Aimee!

    Creative Lesson Cafe

  3. Just sent this to my school email so I can do it next week. My 2nd graders, some of them, act like they've never even seen money. Gulp! Thanks for the fun and easy idea. Sara

  4. I just cut out and stapled 19 little booklets- one for me of course! "We" have a money problem- most kids don't use change- no counting out of what is left in an adult's pocket at the end of the day or week because most people use debit cards now. This is a great activity and I am ready to go for a center for tomorrow :) Thanks!

    1. You make such a good point, Sheri! So many of us use our cards on a daily basis. It's no wonder this skill gets tougher and tougher to teach each year. I'm so glad you like the activity and can use it. Have fun!



I'd love to hear what you have to say!