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Money Race

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Mathematical Foundations

Key Skills and Concepts (extension)


Topics Covered:


Problem Solving

Working with Money and coin values


Equipment needed:

As much lose change (all coin denominations) as you can get your hands on, you could use toy money instead but it is always nice for children when they get to work with real coins.

A timer



Understanding the value of money and the coins used in the UK is really important and can be a great way to show the real life uses of adding and subtracting. I felt a lot better once I knew that my son was able to pay for things and work out whether he had enough money and whether he had been given the correct change. This game involves making different totals with a selection of coins and also looking at different combinations of achieving this. It also adds a bit of competition to encourage your child to work as fast as they can.


Put all the coins in the middle so all players have access to it. Announce that the practice round total will be 8 pence and explain that you need to try and make 10 pence in as many ways as possible. Do this together and see how many different ways you can do it.




5p + 2p +1p


Then start a proper round by announcing a new total (maybe 10p) and then starting the timer for 2 minutes and race to see who can make the most sets of 10p. I normally use the rule that every combination needs to be different but this is up to you.


Key Questions/Prompts:

Do you know the value of all the coins we have in our country?

How can you check your totals are correct?

How many pennies are there in £1?

How many different combinations are there for this total?

Can you make this total by just using the same coin without using 1p coins?



You can easily extend the challenge by using higher totals and could even add some notes (£5, £10) in. you could add extra rules to a round such as…

  • You can only use the same coin for each total

  • You get  bonus point if you make a combination using 4 or more different coins




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