How to make fake money for kids

Updated February 21, 2017

Fake money is an easy project for adults and children that can be used in imaginary play and for instructional purposes. Although pretend paper money is readily available at discount, toy and grocery stores, making play money is a craft that can facilitate the recycling of paper or create opportunities for children to exercise their imagination in designing the money. Fake money can be made by hand or by printing free templates found online.

Use a ruler and pencil to divide your paper into rectangles. The rectangles don't have to be exactly the same size.

Cut out the rectangles.

Draw a circle in the centre of each rectangle. If you are using double-sided paper, draw a circle in the centre of each side of each rectangle. Draw a face or any other image in the circle. Use stickers as an optional decoration within the circle.

Denote the denomination of each pretend bill by writing the number to the right and left of each central circle. Use traditional values, such as one, five and ten dollars, or allow children to make up their own values. This helps children practice counting and writing numbers.

Colour the pretend money with crayons or markers.

Download a free play money template readily available online. Some websites allow you to simply click and print without having to save the template. Pretend money is available in black ink only or coloured ink versions. (See References)

Print the fake money with your computer printer onto white or coloured paper. There are many available designs for pretend money online from traditional-looking money to dinosaurs and other fun characters.

Cut out the pretend paper bills. Allow children to colour the printed money with crayons or markers.


Activity Village website suggests using pretend money at home or in a school environment for play or teaching number and money skills. Use play money at home or school to reinforce money skills by creating a store of inexpensive or garage sale toys that children can "buy" with their play money. Let them calculate how much change they should receive. Make prices uneven denominations to encourage addition and subtraction. Recycle junk mail with one blank side to make paper play money.


Always supervise children using scissors.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Markers or crayons, optional
  • Scissors
  • Stickers, optional
  • Computer with printer
  • Play money template online
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About the Author

Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.