Giving kids a little bit of freedom at Walt Disney World can seem scary. Most kids are independent at home and want to continue that while on vacation. This can cause a good deal of meltdowns – not something you want while on vacation. Having something they can be in charge of could help to alleviate a bit of that stress for both parents and kiddos. Making pressed pennies is one small way to give them some freedom without giving up too much control.
What you’ll need
Each pressed penny is going to cost you fifty one cents (specifically two quarters and a penny). That’s the only thing required to make your flat shiny penny. This is why it’s one of my favorite things for the kids to do while on vacation.
With this experience you’re not going to break the bank. A good way for kids to get the money for their pressed pennies before vacation is by doing chores. Simple daily tasks (brushing teeth for example) could be the penny while “harder” chores (maybe walking the dog or taking the trash out) could be the quarter chores.
Before you hit the parks, make sure your penny pressers know the rules. Similar to looking for Hidden Mickeys, it can be tricky to spot the pressed penny machines. Come up with a plan for once they’re spotted to keep kiddos from running off to a machine and you not knowing which direction they headed. When will you be pressing pennys – the whole trips, just certain days or times? Get everyone on the same page from the start to help avoid meltdowns.
Now that you’ve made your pressed penny, you’ve got to have somewhere to store it. Bring along a zip top bag to keep your finished products in or designate a pocket inside your park bag to keep them safe.
Lugging around a bunch of change can get heavy. If you’re only going to do this activity a certain day or time, only bring the change those days or times. Another option is to have the kids carry the change around themselves. You can also bring a preset amount to limit the number of pennies you press each day and how much change you’re carrying around. Storing your change in a small plastic tube container (like a mini M&M tube) is a handy way to carry your change. By staking your change two quarters and a penny (and repeating until the tube is full) you can quickly shake out the change needed for each new pressed penny.
What to do at home
Pressing the pennies on vacation is great but what do you do with them once you’re home? Pinterest never fails and has some ideas on how to show off your creations back at home. Make a picture from out of the pressed pennies or even use them to make a bracelet. If you’re not creative, you can buy a book before you head back home to slide the pressed pennies in to be able to look at them whenever you’d like.
Do you press pennies during your vacation? Where’s your favorite machine located?