۱۱ Ways Kids Can Make Money This Summer (Before They're Old Enough for a Real Job)

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Welcome to “Best Summer Ever,” your guide to making the most of the sunny season. Whether your idea of a perfect summer is embarking on epic adventures or blissfully doing as little as possible (preferably somewhere with good air conditioning), we’ve got you covered, because the best summer doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen.

With the price of everything seemingly increasing, budgets are getting tighter, so we might have less for all those toys and games our kids want while they’re home this summer. While children of legal working age can simply get a job, it can be difficult for younger kids to earn money for that new toy or video game, especially now that paper routes are obsolete. There are still some ways for young ones to earn a little scratch this summer, though.

Let them unleash their crafty side

You may have heard friendship bracelets have come back into style thanks to a particular pop star. While “The Eras Tour” has completed its North American run, the bracelets are still popular among preteens eager to display their fandom of all things Swift, so much so that a bead shortage has been reported. 

If your child is hoarding these craft supplies, they can use them to assemble bracelets to sell to their friends. If jewelry isn’t your kid’s thing, they can make buttons, tie-dye some shirts, or even design wall art to make and sell. Children over 13 can even sell their wares on Etsy with a parent’s permission. Encourage your child to consider the cost of materials and the time they spend on each item when setting their prices, helping them understand the value of their work.

Sell their old toys

If you’ve recently purged any toys your child no longer plays with from their room, they don’t necessarily have to go to Goodwill. Plenty of second-hand and vintage playthings, particularly LEGO sets and bicycles, are in demand, and your child can sell them to friends or put them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace (with your help). Putting their toys up for sale can be an excellent opportunity for your kids to learn about the value of money, entrepreneurship, and the potential for profit. 

Tutor their friends (or rivals)

If your kid could teach you about fractions, algebra, or other scholarly subjects, they can help others around your neighborhood or in their class. In-person or remote tutoring will not only help others but also show kids that their time and knowledge are valuable and they should be compensated for their skills.

Dog-walking or pet-sitting

If your son or daughter is a pet lover, they can merge their enthusiasm for all things furry with their budding entrepreneurial skills by starting a dog-walking or pet-sitting business. Let them gain any needed experience by volunteering at a local shelter or helping friends or family with their four-legged friend’s needs. Then, help them make flyers and other materials when they are ready to market their skills to the neighborhood.

Teach their friends how to play Minecraft

My oldest son just got into Minecraft, and he had plenty of questions for me about how to play it. I’ve taught both of my kids to play any game involving Mario, Luigi, or Link, but I don’t even know where to begin with this pixelated sandbox game. However, plenty of experts in his circle of friends can impart their knowledge to him, and I would be more than happy to line their pockets with some dollars to help get him started. If your children are experts in building blocky worlds, they can sell their skills to newcomers in their neighborhood or at school.

Perform basic landscaping services

Caring for lawns and other essential landscaping services are always in demand. If your son or daughter wants to make some easy money this summer, have them go around your neighborhood and offer to mow someone’s grass. If you prefer that they not go door to door, place an ad for them on the Nextdoor app instead.

Babysitting

Speaking of the Nextdoor app, plenty of parents market their children’s caregiving skills to families needing time away from their young ones. Let other families in your area know your son or daughter is ready to lend a hand. Judging by the going rate for babysitters these days, your child will have a robust college fund in no time. 

Start a car-washing service

The conveyor car washes are getting expensive and never seem to clean your automobile just right, but doing it by hand isn’t much fun, either. However, if your kid is willing to make a small investment in supplies, they can take advantage of the warm weather by washing vehicles around the neighborhood.

Show off their video game skills

Before your child buys a video game, chances are they’ve looked at several reviews and walkthroughs on YouTube before laying down their (or your) money. If they are over 13, they can post their reviews and strategy guides on their own YouTube channel. If their content catches on, they can monetize their work through advertising, subscriptions, and viewer donations on websites like Patreon. 

They can also stream their content on Twitch, and while it’s unlikely they’ll earn $350,000 a month like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, they could stumble upon the next Fortnite and start attracting subscribers. 

Take an online survey or two

Websites like MyPoints and Swagbucks will pay a few bucks to those 13 and older to take surveys, with some even offering a signup bonus. Most only provide a couple of bucks for a few minutes of work, but it can add up over the course of a summer. 

Collect recycling

Recycling centers offer cash for collecting cans, bottles, and other recyclables. Not only will your kids make a few bucks by sweeping the neighborhood for soda cans, but it will also make your little corner of the world look a little nicer. 

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