Sticky Coin Sorting

Don’t you miss the days when you would get excited about a penny? My kids get so excited when they find any coin. It’s like they feel they have won the lottery! O to be young again. My younger kids call every coin a penny no matter what it is. 

This activity is a great introduction to coins and differentiating them. By placing all the coins together and allowing the children to sort them on their own, they are able to see how there are actually four different coins. To begin, I told them that there are four different coins and we are going to sort them into different piles. My 3 and 4 year old had so much fun sticking the coins onto the contact paper!

After the kids sorted the coins, we talked about the ways each one was different from the other. The penny is a different color than the others, the quarter is the biggest, the dime is the smallest, and the nickel has a smooth edge. We talked about what was on the front and back of each one. When we were done, the children took the coins off the contact paper and played with them pretending it was their treasure.

This activity takes a little bit of prep work but not anything time consuming.

Here is how to do it:


  • Contact paper
  • Sharpie
  • Masking tape
  • Pennies
  • Quarters
  • Dimes
  • Nickels
  • 4 pieces of paper for labels (I used index cards cut in half)

Step 1: Cut a large piece of contact paper about 1.5 feet long

Step 2: Draw a line down the middle of the contact paper, both vertically and horizontally. There should now be four squares. (I made two, one each for my 3 and 4 year olds.


Step 3: On each piece of paper, write Penny, Nickel, Dime, Quarter


Step 4: Tear off four long pieces of masking tape, one for each side of the contact paper. Then use the masking tape to tape the contact paper to the wall with the sticky side facing out.

Step 5: Place the labels on the contact paper, one in each square. Then place a coin next to each label. (I did two coins, so there was the front and back of each one.)


Step 6: Hand your child the coins in a container and have them sort the coins.

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