You see them featured on television. Wonderkids who’ve made their first million. But those kids didn’t emerge from the womb knowing how to make money. They started young.
One of our favorite billionaires, Warren Buffet, ran a newspaper delivery business at the age of 13. And this fifteen-year-old launched a started up with money he got from Bitcoin. Both are prime examples of why it’s never too early to start developing your child’s work ethic. So where do you start?
We’ve compiled a list of top tips and jobs for tots, teens and older children alike. They might not be flashy, but they’re great starting points!
Projects for Tiny-tots (under 10)
You don’t want to be a slave driver, but there’s nothing wrong with encouraging a child to earn their allowance the old-fashioned way – with work. Of course there’s the usual jobs – raking leaves, feeding dogs, doing dishes – but experts recommend jobs should be interesting to children. In “New Directions for Youth Development,” a paper published by Kathryn Hynes and Barton J. Hirsch, the point is made that a dull and uninteresting job fosters a negative attitude toward work.
For that reason we suggest keeping it simple, yet fun.
1. Helping Relatives Around the House
Does an elderly aunt need help vacuuming and sweeping her floors? Does grandpa need help cleaning out the garage? Most kids love helping the grown ups, especially if they get a treat afterward.
2. Fruit and Vegetable Picking
Do you have an excess of vegetables in the garden that need picking (and maybe eating)? Or bushes full of berries that you can use to make jam? Offer to pay them for their harvest.
3. Dog Walking
Does your neighbor need their canines walked? Most kids love animals. This is a simple and fun way for children to get some exercise and make a little cash at the same time.
4. Selling Toys at a Garage Sale
Let them help you set up a garage sale, complete with signs and fliers. During the sale, encourage them to sell their old and unwanted toys for cash to go in their piggy bank. You might be surprised at how motivated kids become when they realize their “junk” can make them money.
Try to keep your kids away from tedious, monotonous jobs. Make sure whatever they do is interesting and that they’re rewarded for their efforts.
Jobs for Tweens (11 – 13)
At this age your tween would probably love to earn some extra cash on top of their allowance. These are the days of video games and music downloads–-all of which cost money. Motivate your teen to pay for those “extras” themselves. Once again, try and keep it interesting. You don’t want to burn them out on the concept of working for a living before they really have to.
5. Craft Selling on Etsy
With the advent of eBay and Etsy it’s easier than ever for your kids to sell their crafts and art. Help them set up their own store to sell something they already enjoy making, like scarves or dream-catchers.
6. Face Painting at Events
If your child is artistic, encourage them to set up a booth at a local fair or market to paint faces. If there’s a holiday coming up like Halloween or St. Patrick’s Day, there are tons of events they could make money at with a bit of face paint.
7. Neighborhood Pet Care
Does your child love animals? You’d be surprised how many large animal owners need help during the summer. Heck. Even the small animal owners need help. If they’re okay with walking, playing, and grooming pets of all sizes, have them hang up a flyer at the local veterinarian’s office.
Employment Opportunities for Teens (14 and up)
The good news is the older your child is, the easier it will be to land a job. The bad news is the Department of Labor limits the hours (and at what age) they can work. So check with your state’s labor board before sending them for a job interview. There’s a whole host of fun jobs for teens, though. Here’s our favorites:
8. After-school Tutoring
If your kid is really good at a specific subject, have them offer tutoring services to other students after school. They can motivate the younger generation to do better in school and build their own self-esteem at the same time.
9. Day Care Helper
Who doesn’t like clowning around with other children? Working for a day care means there’s never a dull moment. Well, except for nap time. Zzzzzz.
10. Usher at a Movie Theater
Working for a movie theater is a great way to see friends and make money. Free movies and popcorn, too. What more can we say?
11. Lifeguard at a Local Pool or Gym
If your teen wants to get their tan going, becoming a lifeguard is one way to do it and earn money at the same time.
12. Pizza Deliveryman
If your teen has a license, pizza delivery is both lucrative and fun. No boring desk job.
13. Car Washer
This is a job anyone can do, and make great tips doing it.
14. Amusement Park Worker
Amusement parks are a blast to work for, and a great way to meet new people. Discounted passes and unlimited access to rides is one of the many perks of this job..
Don’t see anything your teen might like? Never fear. Here’s an A-Z listing of jobs guaranteed to stir your child’s creative juices. If you click on this site’s homepage you’ll find plenty of other links geared toward educating them about interesting and unique jobs.
Whatever vocation your child selects, insist they stay safe. Never send your child to work for someone you don’t know or trust. Make sure you accompany them to unknown neighborhoods, and have them work somewhere else if the location is too shady.
Make sure their job doesn’t interfere with their schoolwork either, and don’t let them get ripped off by less than honest neighbors. Most importantly of all, teach them the importance of not just earning that money, but saving that money.