Money that won’t break the bank!
While fostering play, you can help your kids learn to recognize the bank notes and coins of Canada. You can practice making change or running an imaginary business, and you don’t need real cash. Download our printable play money. It resembles the current series of Canadian bank notes and coins—just don’t try using it in a real store!
The young and the young at heart
- learn to recognize Canadian currency and the different monetary values of bank notes and coins
- develop counting, addition and subtraction skills to give and receive change
- practise running an imaginary business
- printable play money
- white paper (or card stock)
- glue or tape
- Optional: coloured pencils or crayons
2. Set up the activity
Cut out the bank notes and coins.
For a single-sided printout, fold along the edge of each bank note and coin. Glue or tape the front and back sides together.
3. Role play!
Choose a role play scenario to use your play money in, such as running a market or business. Or use the money to practise counting or giving change.
4. Start the discussion
Here are some discussions you may want to have while using the money:
- Look at the imagery on the bills. What do you think the different images and symbols represent?
- Our new bank notes have a vertical design. How do you think this orientation affects the design?
- What security and accessibility features do real bank notes have that this play money lacks?
If you’re feeling creative, print the money single-sided and come up with your own designs for the blank side. You may want to decide on a theme or subject together. For example, most of these bank notes are from the Frontiers Series that explores the theme of innovation and achievement.
See our Money FAQ if you are curious about how money is made, who can appear on a coin or bank note, and the history of currency in Canada.
If you’d like some ideas of things to buy and sell, check out the Museum’s Avatar Market activity. This activity helps kids understand spending and saving by giving them an allowance to buy clothing and accessories for their paper avatar puppet.