Bailouts, recessions, trade deficits, foreclosures — a lot of today's headlines boil down to money. How did money evolve into such a large aspect of human life? Here are a couple of interesting books that delve into this topic.
The Story of Money is a strikingly well illustrated account of the history of moola. It clearly reveals the transition of human activity from hunting and gathering to bartering and trading to using coins, paper money, checks and credit. Children will be fascinated by the variety of interesting coins depicted in the book. Also by what was considered a valuable trade item in years gone by. For instance, some eastern North American natives favored bartering with wampum, which are strung together beads made from welk and clam shells that were then made into belts and jewelry. And in Ethiopia as recently as World War II salt was still used in lieu of cash. It was valuable because people needed it and it was hard to find. All in all this book is a great overview of money. To coin a phrase, “good job, well done.”
I was curious to compare this to another money themed book. Whereas The Story of Money is a chronological history, Money (DK Eyewitness Books) is a browser’s delight. Lots of fabulous photographs with themed spreads ranging from money in times of war to the different ways in which money has been carried, how money is made and money from different countries. This book is loaded with an abundant array of information. I would particularly recommend it to the child interested in coin collecting.
Activity: The United States Mint offers a kids site called H.I.P. Pocket Change with loads of interactive activities. We really enjoyed designing our own coins. Drag the artists tools to the work area and use the arrows to make your design selections.