Introduction: Simple Coin Counter for Makey Makey and Scratch

About: Instructional Facilitator - STEM + Computer Science

Help young children make connections from the physical money piece and its value. It is an easily created project from recycled materials, Makey Makey, and a Scrach code (that you can remix!). The Scratch code will add the value of the coins as they are added into the box. This can be created for a center in a classroom after learning how to add coins.


  • 1 box (with a cover preferable so you can close it up when finished; I used an old check box - remember checks?!)
  • cardboard piece
  • 4 small paper clips
  • Makey Makey kit
  • Coins (penny, nickel, dime, quarter)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Hot glue
  • Computer (to run the Scratch game) with a USB socket

Step 1: Cut Cardboard Pieces

Cut 3 cardboard pieces that will fit the width of your box.

Equally space the cardboard pieces into the box and hot glue them in.

Step 2: Bend Paper Clips

Bend each paper clips as shown. Hold the smaller piece from the middle and bend it away from the center. Then bend that piece so it makes a small triangle as shown.

Step 3: Create Coin Labels

Create the label for your coins. A sample is shown (you can make it as simple or as complex depending on the grade level of the students). This box has a cover so the coin label is glued on the inside of the cover. Draw small triangles in different colors above where the coins will be placed (or cut small pieces of paper in different colors and glue them).

Step 4: Insert Paper Clips

Carefully cut through the box right above the triangles (about the width of the paper clip). Insert the bent paper clips (long piece in) into the cut.

Step 5: Glue Paper Clips

The paper clips from the back will look like the picture. They should not lie flat. Hot glue where the paper clips come out so they won't move around.

Step 6: Attach Foil

Attach and glue a small foil to a part of your box (should be on the left side). This box has a flap with the cover, so the foil is attached to the left side (front and back). Label it "Hold the foil with your left fingers." This is where you attach the Earth clip from Makey Makey.

Step 7: Glue the Coins

Glue the coins on the appropriate areas under the triangles.

Step 8: Attach the Makey Makey

Attach the Makey Makey alligator clips to the paper clips at the back.

Penny - Down

Nickel - Up

Dime - Left

Quarter - Right

Earth - foil

Step 9: Scratch

Using Scratch ( code a program to add the coins as each paper clip triangle is touched. Or you can use the one I did at and remix it if you want to save to your own account. Connect the Makey Makey's USB cable to the socket.

Step 10: Play!

With your left fingers holding the foil, add the correct coin into the box slot and press the triangle once above that coin. The Scratch program will add the value of that coin.

Step 11: In Action

Short videos of the project.