- Family and Parenting
20 Ways Young Kids Can Earn Money While Learning New Skills
Motivation = Money
When I was ten I was already scheming on how I could increase my income. I was getting an allowance for chores, but it was a measly amount and took forever to save for something I wanted to buy. Back in the sixties it usually meant a 45-that was the ‘i-tune’ version of music in those days.
I remember my girlfriend and me taking a huge refrigerator box, cutting a slot for money, putting musical selections on the front like a homemade jukebox, and plugging it into her garage electrical socket with an extension cord. We sat in the box ‘manning’ the portable record player, charging five cents a hit to the neighborhood kids. Of course, they would have to say their selection out loud in order for the ‘magic’ jukebox to play their selections.
We were really raking in the change until her mom discovered our money making machine and chastised us for taking advantage of the younger kids. Me…well, I thought it was pretty ingenious.
Two years later I had a pretty large babysitting business, but at less than $1.00 / hour it was still a slow go and I had to put up with a large number of unruly brats to make any real money. I was envious of my two older brothers who had a lawn cutting business.
It's no longer as easy to find work...
Coming from a large, middle class family there was always someone working around the neighborhood. Back then things were different and kids could do things like have a paper route without worry of being accosted or kidnapped. Now, with the state of our economy, those jobs that were once considered ‘kid only’, such as sitting, lawn care, and doing odd chores for elderly people, have been taken over by adults looking to support their families.
I remember when the neighborhood paper boy was replaced by an adult with a car who delivered the newspaper in a mailbox set up by the company paper. Next, I recalled the babysitting jobs that had always been a part of a typical teen’s life being handled by college students or stay at home moms. The job market for kids was quickly dwindling and they had the disadvantage of having no transportation to widen their circle of possibilities.
What your child will acquire besides money:
- Self esteem
- Social skills
- Financial skills
- Communication skills
20 Potentially Lucrative Ideas Worth Investigating
Here are a few ideas of how to help a child earn some money.
1. Beverage stand near a neighborhood function, such as a concert and fireworks.
2. Growing and selling flowers, or vegetables, in a ‘farmer’s stand’ at the side of the road.
3. Offer to walk dogs
4. Pet grooming
5. Jewelry, i.e. bracelet or earrings, crafting and selling. Two markets that come to my mind are craft fairs and online markets such as ‘Etsy’.
6. Offer to teach a younger child a skill-like ballet or baseball.
8. Offer to be a ‘mother’s helper’ doing childcare, housekeeping and errands.
9. Create cards to sell to family or relatives.
10. Wash cars
11. Wash windows
12. Run errands to stores
13. Handyman Assistant-such as house painting
14. Clean your room and have a yard sale to get rid of your outgrown clothes and toys
15. Newspaper routes
16. Lawn cutting service
17. Raking or other yard work
18. Planting flowers or weeding
19. Tutoring younger children
20. Assisting the elderly with grocery shopping or other physical work.
What is the best way for young kids to earn money?
Tips to Keep in Mind:
As with any child centered activity, caution has to be taken that your child is not putting himself in an unsafe situation when offering services.
Check the child labor regulations, as well as city codes for information about produce stands. Some places require a business ID registration, no matter how young the vendor is.
Monitor that your child is getting paid accurately. One summer, my oldest brother worked for a man scraping paint off gutters and repainting them in the hot sun. In the end, the man welched on his agreed payment and my father brought him into small claims court successfully winning his case.
Do not exaggerate your child’s training or skills in areas such as ‘tutoring younger children’.
Be sure to have your child acquire any certifications available in order to authenticate her services. Many local hospitals offer babysitter training and include community CPR classes.
Set rules for sitting, such as no friends accompanying her or no socializing with friends via texting while the kids are awake.