Viva Kids World When in Rome, pay as the Romans do

When in Rome, pay as the Romans do

Level of knowledge: master

A crown in a bird's nest

A small, cheeky magpie has built its nest above the tree house belonging to the Viva Kids gang. This is where it collects everything that is shiny and sparkles. Inside the nest, the Viva Kids find a strange coin with a hole in the middle. Where in the world do people use money with holes in?

Did you know...

Coins and bills were invented before people were able to travel. Since they didn't have telephones or the internet either, every country made its own money. To this day, most countries have kept their own currencies. There are more than 160 different currencies in the entire world.

Jan from the Viva Kids dressed like an explorer

Which currencies do you know?

Think about it: Where have you already been on vacation, and what kind of money do the people use there? Which currencies can you name?

Globe being circled by an airplane

Level of knowledge: professional

In Switzerland, the Swiss franc is the valid currency, and it has been for over 160 years. The coins still look almost exactly the same as they did back then.

In the United States, they pay with US dollars. The US dollar is one of the most important currencies in the world and is accepted in many countries.


  

The British pound is the currency in the United Kingdom and the oldest currency in the world. Like the US dollar, the pound is one of the world's most important currencies.

People in Japan pay with the yen. One hundred yen are approximately one Swiss franc. The yen is also one of the most important currencies in the world.

The euro is currently valid in 19 European countries and one of the most important currencies in the world. The back of each coin is designed by each country itself.

The currency presently used in Russia is the ruble. "Ruble" comes from the Russian verb for "chop" or "hack" because the coins used to be broken off of large blocks.

The renminbi is the name of the money in China. In English, the name means "people's currency." However, the individual bills and coins are not called renminbi but yuan.

In Sweden, people pay using Swedish krona. The money used in Denmark and the Czech Republic is also called the crown, but they are all different currencies.

Money around the world

Money in Switzerland

What do the security features on the Swiss franc look like? Why have new banknotes been issued, and what's going to happen to the old ones?

The Viva Kids gang with a 5-franc coin in the middle

Level of knowledge: expert

Contest: What does your currency look like?

Take part in our big drawing contest: Invent your own currency, and draw your bills and coins. With a little luck, you could win one of three boxes of colored pencils from Caran-d’Ache and a KILUDO hobby travel set that you can use to make everything in the Viva Kids magazine.

If you need help, just ask your parents. Please also ask them for permission to enter the contest.

Contest: What does your currency look like?

Twenty euros, please!

Have you ever exchanged Swiss francs for euros? At some ATMs, you can choose whether you want euros or Swiss francs. They also tell you how many euros you can get for one franc.

Sophie at an ATM with the Viva Kids Maestro card.

What currency experts know

1. There are many different currencies used around the world. A currency is the money used by people in a particular country.
2. The world's most important currencies are the dollar, the euro, the yen, and the British pound.
3. When you exchange one currency for another, the amount you receive for your money depends on the exchange rate.

Jan from the Viva Kids with a light bulb

Laura's travel diary

Laura loves foreign countries. She could sit in front of her globe looking at the world for hours. Her favorite country is Haiti – it's such a pretty name. Laura has learned that their currency is called the gourde.

Laura has already managed to collect coins from ten different countries. Laura then draws all the coins in her travel diary. Even though she has not yet visited every country, once she does go there, she will know immediately what currency they use. While flipping through her travel diary today, Laura asked herself: "Can people also be happy when they don't have a lot of money?"

Laura traveling around the world collecting coins

Make your own travel diary

Record all your vacation experiences in your very own travel diary: What is their national dish? What money do they use? What language do the people speak? Simply print out this diary template, and your next vacation can begin!

Keep a record of currencies from around the world in your Viva Kids travel diary.

Yes, your own currency!

How about your own currency, one that is valid only between you and your friends or maybe at home for your family? Create your own currency, and use it to buy and sell things amongst your family and friends – your morning snack or help with your chores, for instance. What would you like to call your currency?

Ben with a bag of his own currency