Viva Kids World About Coins and Notes

About Coins and Notes

Level of knowledge: master

The Story of Money

Laura is almost finished. She only needs five more stickers to complete her collector's album. But no one needs the stickers Laura has anymore. So nobody wants to swap with her. What was it like back when people only used bartering? Is that why we invented money?

Did you know...

Today, our money is not just banknotes and coins. It can also be digital. This happens when we have money in an account and we pay using a card or a smartphone. Find out exactly how this works in the next adventure of the Viva Kids gang.

Ben holding a Viva Kids Maestro card

Level of knowledge: professional

Tip: Become a Banknote Detective

Grab a magnifying glass and take a careful look at Swiss banknotes. Can you find all the security features?

With the Swiss National Bank's new app, you can even bring banknotes to life. Ask your parents if you can try out the app.

Laura holding a magnifying glass.

Level of knowledge: expert

Banknotes are redesigned regularly to make sure they remain secure. Switzerland is doing this for the ninth time right now.

We assume it is more difficult to make counterfeit coins than bills.

There are even coins that are over 130 years old. We still pay using them today.

In Switzerland, banknotes are printed by the Swiss National Bank. The method for this is top secret.

Whenever there are new banknotes, the Swiss National Bank sends them out to the other banks.

These bills then end up in our wallets through ATMs.

What Happens to the Old Notes?

The Swiss National Bank wants to have printed all of the new bills by 2019. The old bills will only be valid until the recall date set by the Swiss National Bank. After this date, the bills can no longer be used for payment in stores. The old bills will be collected by the Swiss National Bank, cut up into tiny pieces, and then burned.

Illustrated bank with megaphone.

The Uses of Money

We can use money to pay, that much is clear. But our money can do even more! Find out what this means here...

What Money Experts Know

1. People used to barter goods for other goods. Today, we pay using money. Our money is a means of exchange that we can redeem for anything.
2. Banknotes are protected by different security features. Banknotes are also swapped out regularly to make sure they actually remain secure.
3. In Switzerland, the Swiss National Bank is responsible for this: It prints banknotes and distributes them.
4. We can do more with our money than paying, though. It is also a counting unit and a means of storing value, so it also allows us to save.

Jan with a light bulb.


Jan is the oldest of the Viva Kids, and is a quiet mastermind. He is smart, knows how to put things together, and can quickly find out anything he doesn't know. It's no wonder that he's also at the top of his class. And with his skateboard, he's also pretty cool.

Aside from his skateboard, Jan is obsessed with stars. He knows almost every constellation and loves nighttime.

When he sits at the window by himself and looks up at the stars, Jan often thinks about really crazy things. Recently, for instance, he wondered: "What if money really only lasted for a single day and vanished into thin air every morning?"

Jan on his skateboard holding a telescope.

Construct Your Own Constellations

All you need are toilet paper rolls, dark paper, rubber bands, and a needle, and you can cast your own constellations onto the ceiling with a flashlight or the Digipigi night light.

Preview image with constellation rolls

Imagine If Money Did Not Exist...

If money didn't exist, not only would we have to barter goods – we would also have to exchange tasks, like shining shoes and mowing the lawn. Think about it: What can you do really well? What service would you offer and what would you exchange it for?

Sophie mowing a lawn.

The Magic Coin Disk

If you use a string to spin the disk really fast, the pictures on the front and back will combine to make one image.
Simply print out the template and try it yourself!

Preview image with thaumatrope

Make Your Own Play Money

Place a coin under a sheet of paper and use your thumb and index finger to hold the paper tight. Rub a regular pencil or colored pencil over it until you have copied the design from the top of the coin. Hold your pencil as flat as possible. Cut out the coins and your money is ready!

Preview image with play money