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 pre-teens or teens for a variety of ways they can cash-in this summer. [or school-year.
The grass is always greener– What better way to soak up the sun, 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 try to keep the rates below the cost of professional services. Also, don’t forget to include your phone number. Then deliver the fliers to the homes in your neighborhood. You can lodge them between doorknobs or tuck them under doormats. Just don’t place anything in mailboxes because it’s illegal.
Young entrepreneur– Make the most of your neighbors’ garage sales by setting up a refreshment stand in your own front yard. You’ll need a small table and a handmade sign: “Cookies and Lemonade – 50 cents each.” Set out a pitcher of lemonade or Kool-aid, disposable cups, and wrapped cookies. At the end of the sale, add up your profits, and divide them with your partners.
Too old for toys and games? – If so, clean out those you’ve outgrown, and hold a sale. Make a cardboard or wooden sign to attract neighborhood kids and passersby. Then lay out blankets in your front yard, and spread out your goods. Keep your prices reasonable. And don’t forget a 25-cent box filled with odds and ends.
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. Once you’ve gained experience, post fliers on the library, grocery, or laundromat bulletin boards. 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.
A little dirt never hurt– Garage cleaning is a big chore, especially for the elderly, or anyone who just doesn’t have the time. So offer your services to relatives and neighbors. When you get a job, be thorough. Move everything into the driveway or yard before you begin. Remove cobwebs with a broom. Sweep ledges and the garage floor. Then hose the garage concrete (with permission) to loosen ground-in dirt. When it’s dry, neatly arrange everything back into the garage.
Fence finishing– Wood fencing requires ongoing maintenance. So offer to assist your neighbors in sprucing up their yard by painting or staining their fences. The homeowner should supply the paint or stain and the necessary tools. Be sure to follow directions. Also, take your time and do a careful job.
Window washing– Offering your services for this dreaded task is sure to be a success. If you get the job, 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.
Life’s a zoo– Pet owners who don’t like to kennel their pets are often in a dilemma at vacation time. Pass out flyers in your neighborhood offering to pet sit. Do the sitting in your home, if your parents agree. Otherwise, make regular visits to the pet’s home. Be responsible, and do precisely as the pet owner instructs, for the safety of both you and the pet.
Weeds away– Are weeds taking over your neighbors’ flowerbeds? Then offer to get them back into shape. Before you get started, find out which ones are plants versus flowers 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. Pull weeds from rock beds, shrubbery, and cement cracks. Then dispose of them properly.
Dollars for duds– Have you hit another growth spurt? Ask your parents if you can consign your clothing and split the profits. Search online for local consignment shops by using “resale,” “used clothing,” or “consignment” in your search terms. Find out the shops’ policies. Then get your clothing ready. Wash and de-wrinkle, then hang or fold them neatly. Don’t forget shoes, jackets, and pajamas, too.
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. Attach a basket to your bike, or carry a backpack for easy transporting. If you have your driver’s license, offer to do more distant-runs.
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. AOP And if the dog starts panting or doesn’t want to run, never push it. Dogs can quickly overheat, which can kill them.
Make it shine– Round up your friends, and get ready for some cold, wet fun! Hold a car wash in your driveway or a parking lot with permission from the property owner. 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.
Old McDonald had a farm– You don’t have to be raised on a farm to make a good farmhand. Although it’s certainly a bonus. Visit area farms, and offer your help. Work may include laboring in fields to feeding and caring for livestock.
At your service– Offer home cleaning services to your neighbors. Plan to do the following tasks, unless other arrangements are made: dust furniture and window ledges; vacuum carpet and stairs; sweep and mop tile, linoleum, and wooden floors; scour sinks, bathtubs, and toilets; shake out rugs; vacuum upholstered furniture; and make beds. Ask if straightening up is expected.
Pool patrol– If sunbathing is your thing, then this is the job for you! Find out the age and certification requirements for lifeguard duty. Then apply at your community pool, YMCA, or nearby beach. While keeping an eye on swimmers and soaking up the sun, keep your skin safe by using a good sunscreen.
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; fine bindings; ephemera and more at sagerarebooks.com.