I bought a pair of money banks that keep a running total as coins are inserted, as a Christmas present for the boys. I found them at a local discount store in the men’s gift idea rack. They weren’t a big hit with my little men at Christmas time. When I tried to put in a few coins to demo it was quite tough to push through so thought to myself, “Oh well, this wasn’t made for kids anyway”. Months later I found a jar of coins in the garage, pulled out the money banks and noticed the boys were thrilled with the pile of coins and the challenge to push them in the jar to see the running total increase. “Eleventeen four eight dollars!” Okay, an opportunity to work on our numbers and how money works. Today I found another jar of miscellaneous coins, and the boys clamored to add to their banks. Both looked for the most difficult, largest coins first and often had to use two hands to push through. I accidentally stumbled upon the simplest and most motivating fine motor activity for the boys, all I needed was a large pile of coins! They could have kept going and going, except eventually the money runs out of course. Although some foreign coins and a few sticks inflated the actual total, we still banked over $30 ($15 each) with a combined total of 524 coins. Coinstar doesn’t charge a processing fee if a gift card is selected, so the boys got to keep the full fruit of their labor to spend at Toys R Us. After careful review of the inventory and a lot of discussions among themselves on how to spend the money, they decided to combine their earnings to buy a rescue station to share, with $5 to spare. Beyond excited to show Dad what they picked out when they got home, they had a hard time getting to bed as Dad (thank you, Marc!) settled in for the long haul to assemble the toy.