Making a Pretend Checkbook

When they were younger, I used to make pretend checkbooks for my kids. And although children these days may not see us writing checks as much as swiping cards, I believe they still enjoy playing with them. Around 4th grade, most children are taught how to write a check in school. So I thought this would not only make a fun toy for playing “store”, but possibly a great homeschooling tool.

To make a checkbook for your child, click on the image of checks at the bottom of this post for a downloadable PDF file. You can add your kid’s name and customize any part of the art in your own software. Print several sheets of checks onto colored paper or add your own colored background image if you like. (I prefer simply printing black onto colored paper as it saves on ink.)

With a paper cutter, craft knife or scissors, trim out the checks cutting just above the top line of the checks, just below the digital numbers. A paper cutter is great for cutting several at a time. I use this dinosaur of a cutting board that I picked up at the thrift store for a song.

Once all checks are cut, it’s time to perforate. Stacking a few at a time, sew threadless along the dotted line. You may want to keep a needle separate just for sewing paper as it may become too dull for fabric sewing. You can use a marker to add stripes to that needle to remind you which one is for paper only.

Stack together as many perforated checks as you think your stapler can handle. With a piece cut from a manilla folder or cardstock, staple the stack face down to the top edge.Fold the cardstock back over the stack and crease at the perforation line. Then continue to fold the cardstock over to the back of the stack and trim away the excess.Now, let’s go shopping!Yeah, that’s my handwriting using my left hand. Maggie is our black lab : )Click on image above to download the free PDF file.

You can find a slightly different method of sewing the pieces together in a post written HERE.

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53 Responses to Making a Pretend Checkbook

  1. #1 - sjhackney says:

    Hi Cathe, I tried to get the checks but a message came up saying I didn't belong there. Thanks. Sally

  2. #2 - Cathe Holden says:

    Thanks so much for letting me know, sjhackney! Hopefully it's fixed now. If you or anyone else still experiences a problem, please contact me. Thanks!

    • #3 - emily says:

      I work in a nursing home and would like to print off some of your checks for my residents but would like to put their name and address on the checks but I am not able to do this. Would you please help me figure out what I am doing wrong? (I am experiencing the same issues that sjhackney had).

  3. #4 - Lisa says:

    I love your site every-single-day.
    you have the best stuff (and that Ice Cream Cake yumyum)

  4. #5 - KatieBabie says:

    ok ok ok.. THIS is THE cutest thing EVER!!!! What a brilliant idea.. I honesly wish my checks looked this cute with the scripty font and little birdie, oh man!!! ADORABLE! I am going to make these for my cousins! SO CUTE!!!! thanks for being so creative!

  5. #6 - KatieBabie says:

    Also, what FONT is the JSIM PLAY BANK written in? I have been trying to find that font for a while now? thanks! katie

  6. #7 - says:

    That is SO cute! I would have loved this as a kid. How fun! I'll be linking.

  7. #8 - Splendid Little Stars says:

    How clever and cool!

  8. #9 - La Table De Nana says:

    I still write a lot of cheques..


    One day it will stop!
    But I do remember learning how to fill one in.. vaguely..very vaguely..but enough to stir a fond I did save this ..and will teach my grandsons one day~ Thank you!

  9. #10 - Laura says:

    You are the coolest!! I would have loved this as a child.

  10. #11 - Allison says:

    so cute! I always loved playing with the paper ephemera of adulthood when I was growing up!

  11. #12 - Shysue says:

    Thanks so much! These are the cutest!!!

  12. #13 - NicNacManiac says:

    You must make all of the other mom's jealous!!!

  13. #14 - Molly says:

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: I LOVE THIS BLOG!

    Thanks so much for yet another wonderful, clever and doable idea! And your generosity in sharing. LOVE LOVE LOVE!


  14. #15 - Mod Podge Amy says:

    Cathe, you are a genius, as usual. I love this!

  15. #16 - Sara says:

    You always amaze me!

  16. #17 - Cathe Holden says:

    KatieBabie, the font I used for the bank text is called CASH.

  17. #18 - Autumn says:

    SO darling!!! Thanks for sharing!

  18. #19 - The Redhead Riter says:

    I'll be dang! I think I will make some of those and instead of dollars put something like hugs or kisses and put it in everyone's stockings on Christmas! You are just amazing!!!! You know that already…LOL

    Stopping by to share the blog ♥ !

    Have a great Saturday and enjoy the shopping!

  19. #20 - SharDon Exclusives says:

    I got my checks and love the idea. Someday our grandchildren will think we are so antique if we have just written a check! Thanks for the idea….sharon

  20. #21 - Suzanne in TX says:

    This is such a cute and educational idea. I used to teach the basics of writing checks and maintaining a check register to eight graders in my math classes. These would have been fun to have used back then.
    I made some notepads using binding compound which would be another alternative for making pads of the checks. I blogged about the idea here:
    I'm going to follow your blog–you share such wonderful ideas!
    S in TX

  21. #22 - DeeDee says:

    This is just way to cute.. I think my grand-dauhter will love these…thanks for the awesome tut to go with it…

    visit me at:

  22. #23 - chicroses says:

    What a cute idea. I hope I can remember to do this when my granddaughter is older. I am now looking at your blog everday. I can tell you I really enjoy your blog. Sally

  23. #24 - Sharon-NZ says:

    Wow that is so cute, can I ask you how you manged to get the pdf able to be downloaded from your blog – I see its google groups but cant quite work out how you did it….

    Thanks heaps……

  24. #25 - Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing:) My son will be in the fourth grade next year I will have him practice thank you Take care..Kristianne25

  25. #26 - My name is PJ. says:

    OMG! I did this with my kids too, 20 years ago! The first year I made the checks a little bigger so they could fit their handwriting in the spaces. Then they graduated to the real deal. I used to make them count change back to me the right way too. People don't even know how to do that anymore! 🙂

  26. #27 - Sophie A. says:

    I would've loved these when I was little :), anything that allowed me to copy my mom was always entertaining!

  27. #28 - chicroses says:

    Sally here again from chicroses…haha..I told you I would be in your blog everday..just had to comment again..just remembered when I took I think a busines course in High school..we had fake checks. I can remember how fun it was to write a hot check out. Cant wait till Hattie is old enough so I can make her some of these. Sally

  28. #29 - Bowlby says:

    Cathe: I love this idea, and I know my 7-year-old nephew is going to have so much fun with his checks!

    Here's a silly question: How do I make this into a writable file? When I download it, it's a read-only PDF.


  29. #30 - Cathe Holden says:

    Bowlby, That's not a silly question at all! I went back to the file and can't find that there is any security settings made. Are you opening it in editing software? If I open it with only Acrobat, I won't be able to manipulate the art, but if I open it in Illustrator, I am.

    Let me know if that makes a difference.

    Is anyone else having trouble? Please let me know! I'm still figuring this PDF downloadable art thing out!

  30. #31 - Girlfrog says:

    This is genius! I bought a fun checkbook cover at PB Kids when it was on sale but don't have anymore checks for it. Now I will! Thanks

  31. #32 - Bowlby says:

    Thanks, Cathe. I figured it out. I was trying to highlight your type and write over it, and that wasn't working. Instead, I needed to delete your text box (for the address info, for example) and create a new one. Works just fine!

    Thanks for the fun project.

  32. #33 - Cathe Holden says:

    Thanks for letting me know Bowlby! Yes, I had converted all text to outlines, so the text is not editable. What you did was perfect. Delete and add your own.

    Hope they turn out great, let me know!

  33. #34 - Candy Bello says:

    what an awesome idea! how cool!!

  34. #35 - kristina says:

    Hi, Cathe.

    This is a fabulous idea! How can I change the name and address on the checks? The format I downloaded won’t let me make changes.


  35. #36 - Chechi229 says:

    hello Cathe!! I tried to customize it but it said it id just a scanned photo.
    Thank you!

  36. #37 - Michelle Carter says:

    These are sooo cute. I saved the pdf to my computer, but can’t figure out how to edit the pdf with my childs information?
    Michelle Carter

  37. #38 - Anna Wilson says:

    Hey Cathe,
    I am a 2nd grade substitue teacher who is working as a long term sub for the 4th nine weeks of school, and I want to use checks to give to my class for doing work and behavior. I want to teach them responsibility so I am going to design a check list for things done and then assign an amount of money for each task. Instead of givning them money each day, I want to give them a check and at the end of the week, we will cash them to get a reward. I loved your checks. If this works I will write back and let you know. Thanks so much for the template.

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  39. #39 - Vita V. says:

    Nice idea. My wife is always looking for new activities for our 3 years old and I’m sure this one would be fun enough for him. He loves writing, especially on “official” documents 🙂

    Shameless plug – you can follow me on my blog 🙂


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  41. #40 - Lisa says:

    How do I move the PDF file into a document I can type on and change the names etc?

  42. #41 - Regina Noureddin says:

    I would really like to use these for my third grade class, but I don’t know how to customize them. Can anyone tell me how to do this?

  43. #42 - tracie Chapman says:

    I cannot find the pdf file on the site. Please help me I MUST do this for my kids~~~~~

  44. #43 - Tia says:

    This has got to be the CUTEST thing I’ve ever seen! I would’ve killed for something like this when I was little. Honestly, I still love writing checks although I’m lucky if I do one a month these days. But you are pure genius!! 🙂

  45. #44 - Abigail Bragg says:

    for my wallet

  46. #45 - Heather Andrus says:

    Just found this great idea, but I can’t seem to change the text on the PDF?

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  50. #48 - Heidi Mansdoerfer says:

    Thank You for this I am making Checks for my girls in my Girl Scout troop as part of their financial literacy badge and this will be a huge help