Real Jobs For Young Kids
by Barbara Twardowski
From pet sitting
to watering plants and picking up newspapers, kids want to work. They want
real jobs. Parents can encourage young entrepreneurs by helping them match
their interests with their abilities. Once a child has selected a business
to start, the parents' role is ideally to be supportive and offer minimal
guidance. Remember, the child is the boss and will only have ownership of
the business if he is allowed to run it. Parents can help develop a business
plan that details the expenses of the business, fees to be charged, and
marketing strategies. Talk about attracting customers-and being cautious
in dealing with strangers.
For more information on kid entrepreneurs, check out one of the following books: "Better than a Lemonade Stand: Small Business Ideas for Kids" by Daryl Bernstein or "Kid Biz" by Bonnie and Noel Drew.
Look within these general categories to find a job that might suit your child.
Talented kids can turn their creations into a money-making business. They can sell their wares at flea markets, local stores, craft fairs and to other kids. If your child doesn't have an artistic interest, try one of the dozens of kid's craft kits that are on the market. Creativity for Kids sells kits for under $20 that contain everything you need to learn reverse glass painting, quilting, tie dying and more.
• Beaded jewelry is hot. Wear your child's creations and when you receive compliments-hand out your child's business card.
• Mosaic containers can be made with a few simple supplies.
• Build birdhouses and paint them. Home Depot sells a kit and sometimes offers free classes.
All kids need is water, soap and elbow grease to tackle these homeowner chores.
• Wash the neighbor's trash cans and recycle bins.
• Clean windows and screens.
• Wash cars.
Gather the neighborhood kids and put on a show. Kids can sing, dance, act, juggle and display their talents. Puppet shows and plays make great backyard entertainment. Charge a small admission fee. Sell popcorn and home-made cookies. There's no business like show business!
• Aspiring actors can dress in character costumes and entertain smaller children at birthday parties.
• Magicians can also entertain at parties. They can hold a class and teach other children how to perform magic tricks.
Animal lovers will enjoy caring for the neighbor's pets while they are out of town or at work.
• Pet sitting.
• Dog walking.
Kids who are proficient with the computer can give lessons on desktop publishing and word processing. Demonstrate how to use a digital camera and a scanner. These are skills that middle-school children need for school projects. The summer is a great time for kids and their parents to master technology.
• Design invitations, stationery, and "Thank You" cards.
Those kids who are good at a particular card or board game can teach younger children the basics. A great way to spend a rainy afternoon.
Kids twelve and under are too young to officially baby sit, but they aren't too young to play with younger children while mom is tackling household tasks. Take a goodies bag of craft materials, games and books to entertain youngsters.
Read to younger children by offering a story time in your home. Use a booming voice. Try acting the story out using funny accents.
Trimming hedges, planting flowers and weeding are services every homeowner needs.
Academically strong children can tutor younger children. First, second, and third graders look up to middle-school kids. The child who likes teaching can work on basic reading and math skills. Check out books at the local library. Download free worksheets from the Internet.
Copyright 2003, M&L Publishing, all rights reserved.