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Today's Family Magazine

Making money fun for kids of all ages

Jul 29, 2016 12:00AM ● By Today's Family
By Laura Lytle

How do you set a budget?  How does saving money make a difference over time?  Why does money look different?

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Learning Center and Money Museum of the Cleveland Federal Reserve answers these questions and more with interactive exhibits to help families start conversations about money.

“We are a museum of ideas, not things,” said Jennifer Ranson, manager of education and museum outreach.  “We have created a place for everyone to feel welcome and learn more about the Federal Reserve.  From the history of money to setting personal financial goals and planning, our hands-on stations teach important life lessons on money decisions.”

Over 30 hands-on stations help teach money lessons from the question of the day that visitors are encouraged to answer, to the savings staircase or the money tree.  Touch screens allow kids to fill a briefcase with a million dollars and encourage money management with games like Escape from the Barter Islands where you must trade your way home.

Others focus on the history of money, like the changing cost of common items over time or the special exhibit on Freedman’s Bank, a failed bank for newly freed African-American Civil War veterans.  While the Freedman’s Bank failed, its records have been digitally saved allowing visitors to look up if their ancestors had an account with the bank.

Free resources also enhance the Money Museum experience.  Great Mind’s Think: A Kids Guide to Money workbook (for students 4th to 8th grade) and the Wizard of Oz booklet can be picked up at the museum or ordered online.  Kids can complete the self-directed Great Mind’s

Think workbook to help them make the best decisions on what to do with money they earn.  Boy and Girl Scout troops that complete this workbook together can also earn a patch from the Federal Reserve.  Young visitors can complete a visual scavenger hunt.

“We encourage people of all ages to think about their money.  Not just about how to save or spend it, but also what it looks like and why.  One of our top attractions is the money impression table where you can make money with your face on it. You can print your funny money at the museum or email it home,” added Ranson.

Close to other great attractions in downtown Cleveland, the Money Museum is located in the lobby of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, next to the public library.  Visitors can tour the museum for free Monday-Thursday, 9:30 am–2:30 pm.

If you cannot make it downtown to the museum, you can request one of the traveling exhibits to visit your school, library or town.  Currently on tour is the Money of the World exhibit, which explains how cultures impact money and how it is represented differently on dollars and coins.
Every visitor also leaves with a bag full of cash… shredded money.

For more information on tours and traveling exhibits, or to schedule a group tour contact the Money Museum at 216-579-3188 or visit