The basic coins used in United States currency are the penny, nickel, dime and quarter. The value of these coins are in units called "cents". A total of 100 cents equals one "dollar". One cent is shown as 1 c or $ .01.

5 pennies = 1 nickel

10 pennies = 1 dime

25 pennies = 1 quarter

2 nickels = 1 dime

5 nickels = 1 quarter

2 dimes and 1 nickel = 1 quarter

Here's a few examples of adding coins:

4 pennies and a 1 n ickel = 1 cent + 1 cent + 1 cent + 1 cent + 5 cents = $.01 + $.01 + $.01 + $.01 + $.05 = $. 09 .5 pennies and 1 nickel = 1 cent + 1 cent + 1 cent + 1 cent + 1 cent + 5 ce nts = $.01 + $.01 + $.01 + $.01 + $.01 + $.05 = $.10. Th is is 10 cents , which is t he same as a dime.2 dimes and 1 nickel = 10 cents + 10 cents + 5 cents = $.10 + $.10 + $.05 = $.25. This is 25 ce nts, which is the same as a quarter.

It's easy to learn how to count money, bu t s ometimes when we purchase items , we don't have the exact money and have to give more than what is needed. For example, suppose a pen and pencil costs $0.76. You look and notice you have 3 quarters and a nickel, which adds to $0.25 + $0.25 + $0.25 + $0.05 = $0.80. Since you gave more than is needed, you get money back. You subtract the cost from what you paid to get the amount of change. So you will get back $0.80 - $0.76 = $0.04.

See another example, this time with buying 3 items. The items are a pencil, pen and small ball. The pencil costs $ 0.24, the pen costs $0.45 and the small ball costs $ 0.23. The total cost of the items is $0.92. You don't have the exact amount of money, so you pay with 3 quarters and 2 dimes for a total of $ 0.75 + $ 0.20 = $ 0.95. The amount of change you get back is $ 0.95 - $ 0.92 = $ 0.03.

When item's add up to more than $1, often they are paid with paper money instead of coins. Paper money comes in $1, $5, $10, $20 and higher bills, which have the numbers showing how much they are worth. If an item is $1, many times it is paid with the $1 bill instead of 4 quarters of 10 dimes, which also equals $1.

Suppose two items cost $1.25 and you pay with a $1 bill and 3 dimes. How much change do you get?

3 dimes = $ 0.30 plus $1 equals $ 1.30. The change is $ 1.30 - $ 1.25 = $ 0.05, which will be either 1 nickel or 5 pennies.

Suppose three items cost $1.56 and you pay with a $1 bill, 1 quarter, 3 dimes and 1 nickel. How much change do you get?

$1 bill = $ 1.00, 1 quarter = $ 0.25, 3 dimes = $ 0.30, 1 nickel = $ 0.05. Add the money to get $1.60. The amount of change you get is $ 1.60 - $ 1.56 = $ 0.04 or 4 pennies.

***Tips for parents****When in the store, ask your child how much a couple items cost and what the change will be if you pay with a certain amount. Play games involving the use of money such as Monopoly and Life and h ave your child be th e banker. This will give him or her pra ctice counting change in more re al life situations. Keep practicing these exercises until your child can complete them correctly on a consistent basis.**

This guide should help any child who has difficulties understanding how to count and add coins.

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