Summer jobs for kids are valuable because they teach responsibility and money management, but they can also be a lot of fun. After all, what kids don't want to earn some extra money to buy their favorite toy or video game?
Finding a Job
Children are never too young to learn the value of money and the responsibility that comes along with it. Usually around the age of five, kids start understanding what money is and how it is used. There are several summer jobs for kids that can teach these lessons as well, helping them earn a few extra bucks along the way.
Most kids under 10 are too young to spend a lot of time babysitting alone, but they can always learn the tricks of trade by becoming a mother's helper. This job requires some babysitting or other household duties, but it is done while parents are still at home. Mother's helpers usually do the following:
- Play with the children for a few hours so Mom can clean or get other work done
- Help with light household chores including laundry, dishes or vacuuming
- Prepare easy meals
- Help sort through or rotate toys and books
Being a mother's helper is good training to becoming a full-fledged babysitter. Check with your local Red Cross to find out the availability of a babysitter's training course.
Caring for Pets
Many family vacations happen over the summer, so caring for pets left at home could be a prime job for kids. Feeding and walking a dog or caring for other pets can help your children learn some responsibility. Make sure your child is not afraid of the pets and that the animals are trained to be around children. Other services for pets can include the following:
- Grooming -- washing and brushing
- Treat Recipes Baking dog treats and selling them in the neighborhood
- Making simple doggie bandanas out of fabric remnants
One of the coolest summer jobs for kids, especially on a really hot day, is washing cars. Bring along a few friends, and together they can hold a car wash on the weekend. This is a really great job that has the potential to bring in a little more income. Tools for this trade include the following:
- Car soap
- Window cleaner
- Old towels
- Cardboard and markers to make signs for a car wash
Gardening or yard work is another good idea for a summer job. School-age children can perform many of these services alone or with the help of a friend:
- Cleaning old leaves from plants
- Raking, sweeping or bagging up the trimmings for trash collection
- Sweeping down outside porches or patios
One of the best summer jobs for kids is tutoring younger students in core subjects. For starters, it allows the tutor to be the "teacher" and have one or two pupils. As for the child being tutored, it will help keep his or her skills fresh for the next school year. Tutors may be needed in the following:
Other Summer Jobs for Kids
Other summer jobs for kids that can help one earn a few dollars are:
- Bringing neighbors' trash and recycle cans to and from the curb
- Having a lemonade stand
- Watering neighbors' lawns and gardens
- Making and selling homemade cookies, cupcakes, greeting cards, etc.
- Organizing a garage sale
- Collecting and returning recyclable materials
- Watering a friend or neighbor's indoor plants while they are out of town
- Being a clown for a small child's birthday party
- Helping an elderly neighbor clean his or her house
- Bringing in the mail and newspaper for a vacationing neighbor
Word of mouth is the best way to let everyone know your child is available to work during the summer. Keeping your child safe should be key. It is important that parents know who their children are working for and how to get in contact with them if necessary. Other ways of advertising are:
- Homeowner's association newsletter or Web site
- Local newspaper
- Fliers in libraries
There is no set rate a child should be paid to do some work. Compensation should always be discussed with the parents and should reflect the type of job that was performed. This would also be a good time to teach your child about the value of money and starting a savings account. Money Instructor.com has information available on this topic.