Eventually one of those questions that every mom hears from her child is, "How can I make some money?" As our kids grow up, we want to provide them with every opportunity to learn the responsibility and life skills that come from earning their own income. Working odd jobs for neighbors is still an option, but there are some ways to make money now that simply didn't exist when you were a kid. If you have a budding entrepreneur on your hands but don't think a traditional lemonade stand is the way to go, here are some ideas that may help.
A Kid's Blog
There are a number of children that have taken an idea and turned it into a successful blog. Examples include review sites where children write reviews of games, toys, or books from a child's perspective. These blogs can generate a lot of site traffic, to the point where the kids can actually sell advertising banners. A lot of kids and parents enjoy hearing the perspectives of children on children's books and other products. One children's book review site has become so profitable that the owner, a 10-year-old girl, is able to pay other children to write book reviews for her.
A number of sites pay people to fill out online surveys, and often there are no age restrictions. CashCrate.com is one example of a site that pays people to rate and try new products, preview movie trailers, and do other tasks for companies. The purpose of the surveys is often to let companies try things out on a "test audience" before a major launch. Depending on how fast a child is able to work and the availability of paid surveys, they can make well over minimum wage for filling out surveys.
Yard Work for Neighbors
This has been a standby for teens and children for decades. A lot of people are unable or are simply too busy to maintain their own yard, and they'll pay to have a neighborhood kid do it. This can be anything from simply mowing the lawn to minor landscaping. Kids can easily charge $10 or more per lawn, and during the summer they’ll certainly have no shortage of work.
This idea works the same as yard work, but instead kids can contract with their neighbors to wash and wax their cars. The fact is, most people are encouraged when they see a young person take the initiative like this to try to earn some money. They'll actually pay more than they would spend at a professional car wash just to give a child the opportunity.
Flipping Items Online
Reselling items on Craigslist and EBay isn't limited to just adults. Kids can just as well shop thrift stores and pawn shops for items and then turn around and sell them online. Children are often more up to speed than their parents are on what's popular with other kids, so they know when they spot a good deal on a video game or toy. You can find lots of examples online of kids who purchase things at thrift stores and then double their investment on Craigslist.
Selling Wildflowers and Plants
If wildflowers grow in your area, it can be turned into a nice seasonal opportunity for kids. Help your children put on their thinking caps and figure out ways to turn these natural resources into a product to sell. For example, fireweed grows in Alaska, and the flowers can be made into a tasty and unique jelly that your children could sell. Mistletoe grows in many states and can be a hot seller during the holiday season. Or maybe your teen could simply arrange wildflower bouquets and sell them door-to-door.
More and more kids are learning texting, but fewer are learning how to type. If your child is a fair typist, they can offer to type up papers for classmates and charge a couple of dollars per page.
Golf Course Caddy
A lot of country clubs will still hire teens to work as a caddy once they're old enough to legally work in their state. Sometimes there's no actual hiring that takes place, depending on the course: kids can show up and offer to caddy, and many golfers are more than happy to pay them to carry their clubs. This is a physically demanding job, but if your child can tell a nine-iron from a driver and doesn't mind working out in the hot sun, it's a way to make some good money (and golfers tend to leave kids good tips.)