1 dollar bill
paper and pen
Show your child the dollar bill and ask him/her how much it is? If they don't know you can show the number 1 and tell them that it's a one dollar bill.
Next show the nickels. Ask them if they remember what the name of this coin is? And how much it's worth.
On a sheet of paper write down that nickels are 5 cents and that a 100 cents are equal to 1 dollar. Then tell your child 'we are going to make a dollar with nickels! Can you guess how many nickels we need to make a dollar? I don't know.. let's find out together!'
We get to count by 5's because a nickel is 5 cents! Place a nickel on the paper and put the number 5 on top of it. Next place the second nickel and put the number 5 on top of that one. Draw the plus sign in between and ask your child what's 5+5. It's 10 is that a dollar? why or why not? We need a 100 cents to make a dollar and we only have 10. What do we need to do? add another nickel. Now let's count 5, 10, 15 do we have enough? Keep going until you reach a 100.
When you reach a 100 cents go back and count by 5's one more time together to check your work. Then you can ask how many nickels did we use to make one dollar? Let's count and see. 20 nickels make one dollar! If you still have the sheet with the pennies from the other day's exercise you can compare the 3 different ways to make a dollar. (the dollar bill, 100 pennies, and the 20 nickels.) Emphasize that all three ways are equal. You can use our earlier example and say something like, "If you went to the store and wanted to buy a candy bar for 1 dollar, which one can you give the 100 pennies, 20 nickels or the 1 dollar bill? You can give any one of the choices because they are all equal! Which one do you think would be their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. and why? First choice would be the dollar bill, then the nickels and last the pennies!"
Go over this concept a couple of times on different days until your child completely understands that 20 nickels is equal to a one dollar bill.