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Money Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

Money is one of the most influential parts of our society. Learn about the history and purpose of money as well as money around the world and how it plays both positive and negative roles in our lives.

Purpose of Money

Imagine that you are in a toy store, and you see a toy that you really want. How can you get it? You will need to pay for it. This requires money. Money can be used to buy things that you want, such as toys, games, and candy. It can also be used to buy the things that you need, like food, clothing, and housing.

Outside of your individual wants and needs, money has a purpose on a global scale. In the United States, money is used by the government to fund many government programs, like public school and military expenses. For centuries, money has been viewed as a means of power. Therefore, the countries with the most money have the most power on a worldwide scale.

History of Money

Jiao Zi was the first paper money in Japan
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Money has been around for thousands of years, but it didn't start out as paper bills. In fact, paper money didn't appear until around the year 800. The first form of money was known as bartering, and it began during prehistoric times. Bartering is a trading system of goods and services. Back then, this might look like two cavemen who traded a stone for some animal meat. Today, this might look like you trading your brother a piece of candy if he will do your chores for you.

The first metal coins were created in China around the year 600 BC. They were made from lumps of silver and had pictures of gods and other spiritual symbols. The introduction of metal coins was more standard than the bartering system, and goods could now have a specific, numerical value.

Society has been using paper and metal money for thousands of years, but the future indicates that this might be a dying trend. With the rise of technology, digital and mobile money has also increased. In October 2014, Apple Pay was created, which allows people to pay for goods and services with a touch of a button on their iPhone.

Money Around the World

How many currencies can you identify?
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