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Have you ever traded something with a friend? Maybe you traded Pokemon cards for Skylander cards . Before people had money, they traded for the goods they needed. A farmer might trade vegetables with a weaver for cloth. As time went by, people used objects, such as beads or shells for money. Coins were later made out of metal.

We no longer use beads or shells, but we still use money, including coins, paper money and plastic cards. People still trade goods and services. Almost every country in the world has its own money – or currency. People are paid with money for the work they do and they use money to buy the things they need and want.

Fun Geography for Kids on Money – Image of a Happy Man in Money

Fun Facts

  • The first paper money was made in China 1,200 years ago.
  • When you visit another country, you must use the currency used in that country.
  • Banks keep your money safe when you’re not using it. They also let people borrow – or loan – money. Banks charge customers fees, or interest, for borrowing the money.
  • Money is made in factories called mints.
  • Some countries share a currency. For example, countries in Europe all use the Euro. This makes buying and selling between countries less complicated.
  • The U.S. dollar is the most commonly used currency in the world.


  1. Currency: the type of money a country uses. For example, the U.S. uses the dollar, while Great Britain uses the pound.
  2. Interest: an amount of money charged to customers for borrowing money from the bank; typically a percentage. If you borrowed a dollar and your interest rate was 10 percent, you’d owe 10 cents in interest.
  3. Mint: a factory that makes coin money

Learn More
Visit Scholastic to learn about currencies around the world.

Extra Credit

Question: How do countries make paper money?

Answer: Paper money is designed and printed by the government. It has complicated designs and colors so people can’t copy it. Pictures of former presidents are displayed on American money. George Washington, for example, appears on a $1 bill, while Abraham Lincoln appears on a $5 bill. Benjamin Franklin – a beloved statesman, but never a president – adorns the $100 bill.