Roman Numerals and Roman Coins

Last week a book I bought my daughter on Pompeii arrived and she immediately divided into it reading, asking questions and digging out other Roman themed books and suddenly we are all about Romans in our house.  The kids have even invented a new game called – Roman village.

My kids were naturally interested in how a Roman town was set up and run, how did the market place work ?  How did they get from point x to y ?  My youngest was a bit unsure about the Roman Gods so for now we are not focusing on that.  As they are very interested in how the markets worked we had a look at the Roman Numerals.  I suggested we could make a version of Roman coins so they could use them in their Roman village game and both kids loved the idea.

We used some air drying clay that we had (I bought ours from Amazon here – Das Terracotta modelling Material air drying clay 485g Net 500g).  It turned out to be a great sensory activity.  At the beginning my son was very reluctant to work with the wet clay but once we had made 1 coin he really wanted to make more and he got right in and loved it.

making Roman coins using air drying clay

My daughter always presses very lightly when using her hands with any activity (just part of her SPD  – a light touch feels like a hard touch for her).  But with this, when she was forming the coins she had to press hard onto the clay to mould it into shape and when she was writing her numerals on the coins she also had to press harder than normal so that she could clearly see the numerals on the coins.  But as she loved the idea of having her own Roman coins she happily sat and worked very hard on her coins, in fact she lasted a lot longer than I expected and made a LOT of coins (another great example of how the kids will challenge themselves when they really want to do an activity).

Making clay Roman coins. Using air drying clay and a Roman Numeral poster

Once the kids had finished making their coins we left them out on some trays to dry overnight.

Roman Clay Coins made at home by young children. Fun Roman activity

To help the kids with the numbers on their coins we did Print out a Roman Numerals Poster (Twinkl part of their paid for Platinum pages) and slotted it into a write and wipe pocket (the clay got quite messy so it really is a good idea to keep any paper aids the kids might use inside a protective sleeve).

Roman Numerals Poster from Twinkl

I think having the Roman numerals on a poster gave them extra confidence and they were soon asking questions like – what would 14 look like or how would you write 1,400? My daughter had an attempt at forming some of the “harder” numbers by using the logic that if 1,000=M and 400=CD (100 before 500) then 1,400 would probably=MCD.  She actually ended up doing a number of these and seemed to enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out the number patterns.

Roman Numerals trying to figure out some number patterns

I loved that she tried to figure out some of these number combinations herself.

The kids had so much fun making the Roman coins to use in their new game so I also suggested we make a clock with Roman Numerals on its face and then we could hang it on the wall in their room when they play their new game.  No big surprise they both thought this was great.  I downloaded the Blank Roman Numeral Clock  from Twinkl (also Platinum page) and then my daughter stuck the Roman Numerals in the correct place on the clock face and I attached the clock arms using some split pins (and after my son saw the finished clock he also wanted his own so we now have two Roman Numeral clocks).

Roman Numerals. A Roman numeral poster and clock and clay Roman coins.

As I am often asked about the resources included in the posts – The Write and Wipe pockets that we use are these – Learning Resources Wipe Clean Pockets.  And the Pompeii book that my kids are enjoying is Pompeii (Young Reading (Series 3)) (Young Reading Series Three).  The yellow plastic sticks that the kids used to write the numbers on their coins was actually from a scratch art pack that we bought.

Ancient Roman History Activity - make some clay coins and write the Roman Numerals on them

For the US based readers – this is the clay that we used – Fila Das Air Drying Clay Craft Modelling Clay , Terracotta 500G

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About ofamily

Home educating family based in the UK. We try to make learning fun
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