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Babies love to put coins in a piggy bank.  This is an advanced skill that falls into the motor skill of grasping and reaching.  It actually grasping, reaching, and letting go.  Baby learns to pick up a coin, reach it into the bank or coin slot, and then opens her fingers to let it go.  Sometimes babies learn to put the coin into the slot but do not know yet how to let it go.  When a baby reaches out to get a toy she must both reach with her arm and grasp with her hand.  To place an object into a box or a coin into a slot she must take the object she is grasping (i.e., coin) and reach it into the slot and then let go of the grasp (open her fingers).  The 13 month old baby in the above video from Jerry You’s youtube channel has learned this skill quite well.  The baby tires at one point and asks the mother to do it for her.  The mother gently tells the baby to go ahead and do it herself.  The piggy bank provides babies such as the one in the video much time for baby play.


Simple piggy banks can be made at home with everyday objects.  An empty water bottle is often used in large mommy and me classes.  The opening fits a penny easily.  Just place the coin in the narrow opening at the top and watch it fall down to the bottom.  Another option is to use an empty carton from something such as milk.  A lid can be made from a paper plate which is cut to size and has a large slot cut out of it. Tape this to the top of the carton and sit it on the ground while baby puts coins into the opening.  When traveling, on vacation, at the museum, etc., show baby how to drop coins into a fountain or the donation box near the exit.  Pay close attention so the coins do not go into her mouth!

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