Teaching kids the value and rewards of hard work and earning their own money is an integral part of helping them develop into responsible adults. Through this, they gain self-esteem, learn the real value of a dollar, and develop better saving and spending habits. So, share the list of jobs below with your young entrepreneurs for a variety of ways they can cash in this summer.
1) The grass is always greener – What better way to get fit and make spare cash than mowing lawns? Create some fliers, and be sure to mention you live in the neighborhood. Include your fees based on yard size, but keep the rates below the cost of professional services. Also, don’t forget to include your phone number. Then deliver the fliers to homes in your neighborhood. You can lodge the fliers between doorknobs or tuck them under doormats. Just don’t place anything in mailboxes because it’s illegal.
2) Young entrepreneur – Make the most of the summertime weather by setting up a refreshment stand in your front yard. You might even team up with a neighbor to make it more fun. You’ll need a small table and a handmade sign: “Cookies and Lemonade – 50 cents each.” Set out a pitcher of lemonade, disposable or compostable cups and wrapped cookies. At the end of the sale, add up your profits and divide them with your partners.
3) Too old for toys and games? – If so, clean out those you’ve outgrown, and hold a sale. Make a sign to attract neighborhood kids and passersby. Lay out blankets in your front yard to spread out your goods. Keep your prices reasonable – and don’t forget a 25-cent box filled with odds and ends.
4) Kiddie care – Are you old enough to stay home alone? If so, you may be ready to babysit for other children. Spread the word through family, friends and neighbors. When babysitting, play games and do activities with the kids. Avoid talking on the phone or watching TV. Parents love sitters that keep their children busy. Also, don’t forget to clean up and wash dirty dishes.
5) Window washing – Offering your services for this dreaded task is sure to be a success. First, make sure your parents know the homeowner and approve of you going inside. Clean the interior of all windows, including doors. Also, don’t forget to open the windows and clean the ledges and tracks. Offer to do exterior windows if you’re tall enough to reach them without a ladder. Ask permission to hose them down to remove loose dirt. Then wash and dry them by hand.
6) Weeds away – Are weeds taking over your neighbors’ flowerbeds? If so, offer to get them back into shape. Before you get started, find out which plants are weeds versus flowers they want to keep that haven’t yet bloomed. When in doubt, ask before you pull them. Wear gloves to protect your hands and hose the ground lightly to loosen roots. Dispose of weeds properly, whether in lawn bags or a city compost bin.
7) Dollars for duds – Have you hit another growth spurt? Ask your parents if you can consign your clothing. Search online for local consignment shops by using “resale,” “used clothing,” or “consignment” as search terms. Find out the shops’ policies. Then get your clothes ready. Wash and de-wrinkle, then hang or fold them neatly. Don’t forget shoes, jackets and pajamas, too.
8) Errands for the elderly – Are there handicapped, disabled or elderly persons in your neighborhood? If so, they’re apt to need some help. Offer to run errands within walking or biking distance. If you have your driver’s license, offer to do more distant runs.
9) Who’s walking who? – If you’re looking for a new summer pal, why not make it man’s best friend? Pass out fliers to offer your pet walking services. Never run a dog unless the owner agrees. If the dog starts panting or doesn’t want to run, never push it. Dogs can quickly overheat.
10) Make it shine – Round up your friends to hold a car wash. Make a large colorful “Car Wash” sign. Include your cost (hint: set it no more than your local car wash charges). Have your supplies handy: a bucket of soapy water, rags or sponge, a hose and plenty of dry towels.
11) At your service – Offer home cleaning services to your neighbors. Find out which cleaning products (supplied by the homeowner) to use on fixtures, appliances and furniture. Offer to do the following tasks, unless other arrangements are made: dust furniture and window ledges; vacuum carpet, rugs and stairs; sweep and mop floors; scour sinks, bathtubs, and toilets; and make beds.
12) Pool patrol – If the sun and outdoors are your thing, then lifeguarding may be the job for you! Find out the age and certification requirements for lifeguard duty. Then apply at your community pool, YMCA or city pool.
13) Daycare duty – Do you love little kids? I mean lots of little kids? Contact daycare centers and home daycare providers to find out if they need a young assistant. Tasks may include assisting with crafts and activities, reading stories, helping with lunch and snacks and cleaning up.
Kimberly Blaker is a freelance writer. She also owns an online bookshop, Sage Rare & Collectible Books, specializing in out-of-print, scarce, signed and first editions, and more at sagerarebooks.com.