Your Thoughts Will Soon Be Worth A Nickel: No More Pennies

Are you living in Canada and have you heard the news? The Canadian government has announced its intention to withdraw the Canadian penny from circulation.  Effective this fall, the Royal Canadian Mint will cease distribution of pennies to financial institutions.

I heard about this because our school is having a penny drive fundraiser, in hopes of collecting enough coins to buy a barbecue for future fundraising events.  And I thought I would pass this on to you, moms, most of you, in case you’d like an easy fundraising idea that might be fun to do with your kids.

(Before I go on, I’d like to note that to write this post and to collect pennies with my children, which I absolutely am going to do, I am suspending that part of me that is driven near crazy that children and parents and schools have to nickel and dime (and now penny) their way to supplementing the costs of a good school experience.  Just so you know.)

It strikes me as being painless and geared for success – for who would say no to emptying the pennies in his or her wallet, pocket, or drawer, especially now that they’ll soon hold no value?  (And maybe some other coins might be dropped in the bucket too.)  But it seems like fun, real life, hands-on opportunity to introduce a range of ideas to our kids, including the concept of money itself, counting, collecting, giving, and even historical change (remember when a penny could actually buy something?  I don’t, but it could once). Older children and no doubt their parents could enhance their penny knowledge by reading up on articles like this one, for who amongst us knows what an 1870 penny is worth now (31 cents) or why the initials KG appear on the penny below the maple leaf (initials of the artist who created the penny’s maple leaf twig design in 1937). 

And if a collective penny drive isn’t something you feel like spearheading at the moment, you could always just gather up those cents lying around with your kids and give them away. 

But remember to save a few.  So one day your kids can tell their kids about how they remember when the penny used to exist, and can present samples of the relic to your grandchildren who may themselves be gearing up for a nickel drive when the nickel goes the way of the highway too.

4 thoughts on “Your Thoughts Will Soon Be Worth A Nickel: No More Pennies

  1. Interesting post, Carol. I feel like I have learned something (about the penny) today. One thing that I do with the boys is dump change all month long into a “piggy bank”. At the end of the month, we sort the coins and count them and if we have enough we even roll them. It’s an easy “math” activity: sorting, counting by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, 25’s.
    Thanks for the idea of googling the history of the coins.

  2. You know, BA, on a ledge on the basement stairs are a few rolls that I rolled when I was a young girl! I’ve just kept them and kept them. I’m going to show them to the kids, and tell them about it, and I do think they’ll be interested in the math possibilities. And I think they’re all headed for the “penny” drive at school, as apparently I have never needed the money.

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