Activity 1: A land without money

Before banknotes and coins were created people found ways to pay for things they could not produce themselves.

How could people pay for things without money?

Talk with your classmates about how people could ‘pay’ for things if there was no money.


  • swapping items
  • swapping services
  • writing promise notes or IOUs.

Play a game of Swap it

Imagine that you live in a land that does not have money.

Select an item in the classroom and ask: ‘Who would like to swap?’ Another student offers something from the classroom that they would like to swap. Discuss whether it is a fair swap and why or why not.

What problems would there be if Australia did not have money?