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How Many Pennies?

Source Institutions

    Children's Museum Of Houston

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How Many Pennies?

In this math activity, learners pretend there is a special store that lets you pay for toys by their weight in pennies. Learners estimate how much toys would weigh in pennies and then use a scale to calculate the prices. This activity guide contains a material list, sample questions to ask, literary connections, extensions, and alignment to local and national standards.

Note: If you don't have a balance scale, you can build your own by taping a paper cup to each end of a clothes hanger.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 8

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • Small toys and objects to weigh
  • 100 pennies
  • Balance scale


  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
    • Number and Operations
    • Problem Solving
  • Physical Sciences
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight

Informal Categories

  • Financial Literacy
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Children's Museum of Houston,

Funding Source:

  • ExxonMobil