The American Numismatic Association will open its “Kids Zone,” with a free opening reception from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., Oct. 6, at the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The ANA’s Kids Zone is an interactive exhibit designed to teach children about money. It was funded by an allocation of $6,500 from the Young Numismatists fund by the ANA Board of Governors in May.
According to the ANA, the Kids Zone teaches kids about money in the ways they learn best: by doing and playing. Through fun activities, children can pick up basic and advanced concepts — from how to make change to understanding monetary systems. The exhibits teach children about history, geography, trade, art, world cultures and more.
Children can see items, such as tools and beads, that have been used as money around the world; see and touch real examples of coins from six continents, then find the issuing country for a particular coin on the giant map; design their own coins; learn about coin and paper money collecting; and more.
“Even as an adult, I think children’s museums are the most fun museum experiences. For kids, I think they are the best way to experience a museum,” said Amanda Harvey, ANA library manager and Kids Zone coordinator. “The Kids Zone takes all the great information in the Money Museum and turns it into a hands-on learning opportunity for young kids.”
During the opening reception, children will be able to play in the new exhibit, and also try to catch a prize ticket inside of the cash cube machine on display. At 3:30 p.m. a live coin-making demonstration will be conducted in the museum’s Mini-Mint, where staffers will show visitors how coins were made from the 1500s to 1800s.
At the opening, children interested in learning more about money and collecting can sign up for free monthly Kids Zone classes. Classes for children ages 4 to 7 will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and courses for ages 8 to 12 are from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Upcoming Kids Zone classes include these:
• Oct. 27: Parts of a Coin.
• Nov. 17: How Coins are Made.
• Dec. 15: United States Coins.
• Jan. 26: Coins from Around the World.
• Feb. 23: Designing Paper Money.
• March 23: United States Paper Money.
• April 27: The Federal Reserve.
• May 25: World Paper Money.
• June 22: Economics.
• July 27: Electronic Money.
Children who participate in classes will be eligible to enter upcoming contests. If children take three classes, they will earn a free six-month ANA young collector membership, which will allow them more educational opportunities and ways to earn cool coins.
ANA library and communications director RyAnne Scott said: “Eventually, we plan to take classes and activities developed for the Kids Zone and make them available for clubs to recreate with their YN programs. This will likely entail making lesson plans available for download on the ANA’s website along with having activity boxes with all the supplies needed to do an activity available for checkout from the ANA library. The target date for this is sometime in 2013.”
The ANA Money Museum is located at 818 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Admission costs $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, students or military personnel and is free for children 12 and under. For more information or to schedule a tour, telephone the ANA at 719-632-2646. ■