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Money in Hand: Coins and Bills

Cashing In

We pluck dimes and quarters from our couch cushions, we collect and leave tips in dollar bills, and we wage political battles over who is memorialized on our currency. Coins and bills are quietly everywhere, buying our daily bread and displaying our national cultures. 

This month, the One Thing we'll focus on is giving our kids a chance to learn about currency—the physical cash that's still widely used in an age of debit cards, bitcoins, and digital wallets. 

How is physical currency made? How many times does it change hands? What is the significance of the symbols and words on money? How does money stand in for the value of goods and services? Why do some coins or bills become collector's items? What does money from other countries look like? How much is this cash worth? How much does cash cost to make? 

We have easy peasy, moderate, and advanced challenges for you, with suggestions for hands-on learning, videos, field trips, and resources for learning about coins and paper money.