We have all heard and read stories about the child genius, who came up with a computer algorithm, or business idea, or cool skateboarding accessory, and became a child millionaire as a result.
These stories circulate around classrooms and schoolyards faster than the latest baseball results, and fill kids’ heads with inspiration, ambition and … false expectations.
The truth is, it is incredibly rare for anyone (let alone a kid) to strike lucky and become a millionaire, but that is not to say that we shouldn’t still encourage our children to think about and engage with capitalist concepts.
In fact, making your own money is a vitally important part of growing up, which is why we have put together a list of over 70 money making ideas that your child could try.
Why Kids Should Learn The Value Of Money From A Young Age
Like it or loathe it, money makes the world go round. It is how we put food on our tables, afford health care and medicines, pay for heating and housing, and how we treat ourselves to what we enjoy.
And, although it may seem distasteful to some, talking to our kids about money is vitally important. This is because, the earlier children are aware of the value of money, the sooner they develop an awareness of how much things cost and develop an appreciation for those things.
Demanding an ice cream AND a balloon in the park is all well and good when you are 3 years old, but by the time you are 6, you will hopefully have an understanding of why you can only have either / or.
Ideas about moderation, saving, economizing and investing, all become clear once a child understands the value of money, and put them on the path to becoming well-rounded and responsible members of society.
This doesn’t mean that kids have to become hard-nosed misers by the time they start prep school, only that they shouldn’t be so sheltered from the realities of capitalist society as to be unprepared and unable to cope as they get older.
How Young Kids can Earn Pocket Money at Home
We will talk about how teenagers can use their business brains to make money in a moment, but first, let’s think about how little kids and pre-teens can make money at home. Because, introducing the idea of money through giving your child ‘pocket money’ is a great first step.
‘Pocket money’ can be given to kids from any age, although many parents tend to begin giving it when their child is around the age of 8 or 9. At 8 or 9 years old, kids are aware of the toys they like, the computer game and TV characters they like, and, of course, the sweeties they like!
So, giving them a limited amount of money that they can use to purchase these treats, introduces them to the idea of saving up in order to afford something they want.
Asking them to perform simple chores at home in order to increase their pocket money is even more effective, because it demonstrates the role that work plays in relation to earnings. If you work hard – you will be able to save up for that pokemon toy sooner. Some simple chores that they could complete include:
- Washing the car
- Raking leaves in the garden
- Pulling weeds up from the flower beds
- Shovelling snow from the path
- Cleaning the windows around the house
- Watering the garden and indoor plants
- Sorting and clearing out old toys
These tasks are good choices because they are not performed too often and are therefore ‘additional tasks’, however, it is not helpful to pay your child for all the chores and tasks they complete.
Some more regular, everyday activities, like keeping their room tidy, or feeding their pet hamster, should be kept as unpaid chores to demonstrate the importance of duty and responsibility beyond that of monetary gain.
Why Older Kids Should Earn Money Aside From Their Allowance
As kids get older, many parents increase their weekly ‘pocket money’ to a monthly ‘allowance’. This step up can feel pretty momentous in a kid’s life, because it signifies a greater level of independence and responsibility.
Receiving an increased amount, in less regular installments, means that teens have to exercise restraint in order to make their allowance last the full month. If they spend it all on computer games in the first week, then they will have to wait a whole month until they can spend again – such is life!
However, encouraging your pre-teens and teens to try to make some additional money outside of their allowance is really important. Not only does it encourage them to use their creativity and imagination to come up with business ideas, but it also introduces them to lots of key business concepts such as:
- Pricing strategies (what is a reasonable price for the product or service?)
- Supply and demand (is this service / product necessary and desirable?)
- Balancing expenses and outgoings (paying for supplies now, to reap return later)
- The power of advertising (using word of mouth and social media to drum up interest)
- Customer service (understanding how to engage with and sell to other people)
- Profit and loss (not all business ventures are successful)
Learning about these concepts at a young age will allow your child to develop an awareness of them. Not only will it make them more likely to be financially successful and responsible as they grow up, but it will also make them better able to judge what is being sold to them by others.
Being savvy about advertising, pricing and customer service comes in very handy as you enter the world of commerce.
All this having been said, let’s think about some business ideas to inspire your child’s own entrepreneurial creativity. The most important thing for any child starting a business, is that they consider what they enjoy and what they are good at.
This is because creating a business around your passions is far easier than attempting to start a business in an area that you know very little about. For this reason, we have categorized the following ideas according to interests and skills.
Business Ideas For Arty Kids
Painters – If you are great with a paint brush you could…
- Sell your artwork to friends and neighbors – people are always willing to pay for artwork that has been made by someone they know and love.
- Paint portraits of friends and neighbors to sell – if you paint specific portraits then you are guaranteed a sale before you begin.
- Offer painting lessons to younger children – make sure you have a space that is big enough for you to get messy and creative without causing damage.
- Do face painting at kids parties and fetes – if you come up with your designs before you start you will be much faster and more efficient on the day – so make more money.
- Paint neighbor’s garden fence / garage door or shed – you can drop business cards through letterboxes to let people know that you are available to hire.
- Paint murals on local kids bedroom walls – this is a really creative and exciting job, but you have to be confident in your ability and always clear your design with the parents before you begin.
Illustrators – if you prefer a pen or pencil in hand, you could…
- Draw cartoons for friends and neighbors – these always sell well if they are framed, so try buying some second hand frames from a thrift store first.
- Draw cartoons of famous people or cartoon characters – fan art always sells because you are guaranteed that there will be people who love those characters.
- Draw simple greeting card designs to sell – these are great around holidays, especially Valentine’s day, Halloween, ThanksGiving and Christmas, but you could also do birthday cards and thank you cards to sell all year round.
- Design bookmarks with popular fictional characters on them – bookmarks are quick to make, easy to transport and package, and are very popular gifts.
- Design T-shirts and get them printed – quirky quotes and cultural references always sell well on t-shirts.
Actors/Performers – if you love to stand up and perform, you could…
- Teach acting lessons to younger kids – you can teach one-on-one in your student’s living room and concentrate on monologues and public speaking.
- Run a fun group acting class for younger kids – if you get more students you could find a hall or classroom to hold bigger group sessions.
- Recite poetry at a local community center – reading your own poetry works well for younger crowds, whereas choosing a famous classical poet will be popular with an older audience.
- Read chapters of books to old people and children – old people’s homes often have a budget for recitals of this kind.
- Sing/ busk in the town center – if you get a 30 minute set that you can perform by memory – then you can repeat it twice to fill an hour slot.
- Do kids’ party entertainment (as a clown, games coordinator or magician) – advertising in local newspapers and online forums is a great way to get this kind of work. And if you do one successfully – many more mum’s will contact you!
- Create a puppet show and perform at kids clubs – in the same way, if you put lots of effort into creating a great show then you will reap the reward in repeat bookings.
- Host a quiz night for friends and family – hosting a monthly quiz online or in a venue, is a brilliant way to bring people together and earn some money.
Musicians – if you are skilled at playing an instrument you could…
- Teach grades to those less advanced than yourself – or simply give them extra guidance alongside their official lessons.
- Mentor a younger student by giving advice and inspiration to them – parents are often willing to pay for an older kid to guide their child’s practice schedule and work ethic.
- Play/ busk in the town center – if you can get an amp and a backing track you will draw in a larger crowd and therefore make more money.
- Play or sing in a local restaurant – if you are underage you will not be able to play in bars and clubs, but eateries will often have space for singers and musicians to play as their diners enjoy their food.
- Create a rockband and perform some gigs – teaming up with your mates and performing together is great fun, but remember you have to split the profits
- Record some music and upload it to youtube – writing your own music or covering famous songs can get you lots of followers and interest online and is how many popstars begin their careers.
Writers and poets – if you absolutely love to read and write you could…
- Enter your poems into poetry competitions – if you are writing poetry in your spare time, you might as well enter local competitions because many have cash prizes.
- Enter short stories into short story competitions – the same applies for short stories, and even if you don’t win, you don’t lose anything by trying.
- Write and make birthday / christmas / valentines / thank you cards – having designed your greetings cards, you could also write sweet sentimental poems and messages inside.
- Write lyrics for a singer or band – if you don’t play an instrument but your mates do, they could always employ you as their lyrics writer.
- Start a mini magazine and circulate it amongst friends and family – reporting on issues that are important to you and your readers, and conducting interviews are great ways to make a popular magazine that you can sell for a few dollars per copy.
- Mentor younger kids in their poetry writing – helping other kids to hone their own creative writing will earn you an impressive hourly rate if you do it well.
- Make mini gratitude journals and sell them – filling cheap, blank journals with cool writing prompts like ‘name three things that made you laugh today’, or ‘name one new thing you learnt today’ can really improve the resale value of that item.
Business Ideas For Crafty Kids
Sewing – If you are a whizz on the sewing machine, then you could…
- Design and make dolls clothing to sell to friends and family – small, fashionable or cute dresses and hats are quick to make and sell like hotcakes.
- Make hair scrunchies and accessories to sell – these take no time to make and sell really well if they are colorful and quirky.
- Make simple square cushions and cushion covers to sell – you can use the material from old clothes and soft furnishings to increase your sustainability and your profit margin.
- Upcycle old clothes and turn them into cool new designs – if you don’t have your own clothes, try asking friends for theirs or going around local thrift stores on a bargain hunt.
- Make cool badges for your friends to put on their bags – simple logos and patterns work really well in miniature.
- Make simple tote bags in funky colors – if they are made from recycled materials, all the better!
Making – If you are pretty crafty and love hand crafts, you could…
- Make beaded jewelry and create a jewelry stand – you could use beads or use other materials like corks, used bottle tops, old coins and old plastic toys.
- Make personalised badges on request – if you have a badge making machine you could create badges on the spot for your customers.
- Make decorative coasters for coffee cups and mugs – these sell really well because they are a great size for stocking fillers.
- Knit scarves and hats for the winter season (great for holiday gifts!) – you can start knitting in summer so that you have enough stock for the winter season!
- Tie-dye plain clothing and sell funky colorful clothing – this is a fantastic way to turn what was plain and boring, into a quirky and eye-catching product.
- Paint plant pots and sell them (with or without plants) – these are popular at farmers markets and summer fairs.
- Make scented candles (in teacups works really well!) – the wax and wick are very cheap ingredients, so your profit margin will be pretty big!
- Make moisturizing lip balms in different flavors – always be sure to advertise what ingredients you used in case any of your customers has allergies.
- Paint and decorate people’s fingernails in awesome designs – nail art is increasingly popular and it is hard to paint your own nails, so if you are good at it then you could do a roaring trade.
- Make novelty keychains – whether you use pompoms, ribbons, photos or old toys, the possibilities are endless when it comes to designing keychains.
- Make and decorate bird feeders and birdhouses – these can be really magical, just make sure to finish them with a layer of weather resistant varnish.
- Make decorative ornaments for the various holidays – making Christmas tree decorations, Halloween props or Valentines hearts will always guarantee you some good sales figures.
- Design and make colorful bunting to sell – bunting is simple and methodical and people absolutely love to buy it for parties and holidays.
Business Ideas For Kids Who Like Animals
Caring for Animals – if you love being hands on with animals, you could…
- Cat or Dog sit for friends and neighbors – making a booklet for the different requirements of each pet will ensure you do a great job and gain their owners trust for repeat employment.
- Dog walk local pooches – always be aware of how many dogs you can take out at one time, and of the different temperaments and requirements for each pet.
- Pet sit other people’s hamsters, rabbits, birds or guinea pigs – you can make quite a bit of money if you agree to look after these little furry friends whilst their owners are away on holidays and business trips.
- Provide a dog grooming service for local dogs – washing, combing and trimming local dogs can be a wonderful way to make money whilst getting to spend time with lovely doggies.
- Groom horses – if you are familiar with horses then helping with their grooming regime can be a great regular income.
- Help to muck out local stables – it might be smelly and messy, but mucking out stables is a top earner because people are willing to pay others to do it.
- Train dogs in behavior or agility training – if you have experience in their area, then practicing agility training and the basic sit, stay, down commands with local dogs can earn you a pretty penny from those who don’t have the time to do it themselves.
- Pooper scoop the local park and walk ways – local councils and committees will often pay for young people to pooper scoop the local green spaces and walkways.
Creating for Animals – if you want to combine your love of animals with your skills in arts and crafts, you could…
- Make and decorate dog and cat bowls – colorful bowls with eye-catching patterns often sell really well at farmers markets and fairs.
- Make novelty ornaments for fish bowls and tanks – treasure chests, scuba divers and shipwrecks are all popular ornaments that you could make out of clay or putty and then finish with waterproof paint.
- Design and make dog and cat toys – chewy toys and chasing toys are favorites among cat and dog owners – just make sure they are strong enough to withstand some serious chewing!
- Design and make pet collars – these can be really colorful and creative and you can add bells and tags for an extra price.
- Design and make cute puppy clothing and accessories – doggie dungarees, hats, scarfs, bowties and booties are all great novelty items that you can charge premium prices for.
- Make extra comfy dog and cat cushions – sleeping cushions for small dogs and cats are as easy as normal cushions to make but sell really well because they have a USP.
- Bake doggie treats and sell them in tubs or jars – you can use up old produce in the fridge to make delicious doggie treats and if you put them in dinky jars you can charge more!
Breeding Animals – If you get your parents permission and do the necessary research, you could…
- Keep chickens and sell their eggs – it can be really satisfying to collect eggs from your own coop and sell them fresh.
- Breed worms in a worm farm – you will need a cooperative parent for this one, but worms are actually really popular among gardeners and fishermen.
- Breed snails in a snail farm – similarly, snails are easy to keep and maintain and sell well among enthusiasts.
- Become a beekeeper and sell the honey – of course, beekeeping is dangerous and specialized, but if you have the knowledge and experience then you will not only make money from their honey but will also be helping the environment by breeding these wonderful pollinators.
- Breed rabbits, hamsters or guinea pigs – definitely get your parents permission for this one!
Business Ideas For Sporty Kids
If you always like to be active and love sports and physical exercise, you could…
- Get a paper round – you will get to whizz about on your bike every morning and you will get paid for it!
- Deliver packages and parcels – local post offices and depots are always looking for delivery workers, and if you love to cycle then you might as well sign up.
- Coach younger kids in your favorite sport – it is a big commitment but you can make some good money
- Wash cars in the local area – it might not sound sporty but washing cars is actually pretty physical and will keep you fit as well as flush!
Business Ideas For Kids Who Like Cooking
Drink stands – if you get your hands on a great recipe and set up a stand, you could…
- Make and sell lemonade – especially profitable in summer!
- Make and sell milkshakes – coming up with quirky flavor combinations helps you to stand out from competition.
- Make and sell hot chocolates at a winter fair – you can have marshmallows and biscuit crumbs as added extras.
Baking – if you are brilliant at baking sweet delicious treats, you could
- Start a cake stall and sell cupcakes and muffins – it’s all in the decoration with these.
- Make unique, personalized birthday cakes to order – if you have a steady hand you can write amazing personalized messages with the piping
- Make novelty biscuits in themed designs – gingerbread is a great biscuit for creating 3D showpieces to attract attention to your stall.
- Make batches of cookies to sell in cute tins – the tins will elevate your product and allow you to charge more.
- Give baking lessons to younger kids – this could be a one off tutorial or a regular weekly arrangement.
- Share your baking insights on a baking blog – if you get enough followers you can make money through advertising.
Fresh Produce – if you are all about growing it at home, you could…
- Help friends and neighbors maintain and harvest their vegetable patches – often older neighbors will appreciate the help.
- Sell fresh fruit and veg from your own garden – you can market your produce as being sustainably sourced and therefore environmentally friendly.
- Teach young kids about planting and growing – if there is a local forest school, all the better!
- Pick strawberries, apples or other produce at the local farm – this can be great fun if you do it with friends, and you can often get quite a few weeks of work over the summer vacation period.
Business Ideas For Kids Who Like Computing
And finally, if you are confident on the computer keyboard, you could…
- Create a fun social media account and become an influencer – you just need to create a niche and foster a loyal fanbase.
- Start a podcast with a friend where you discuss a certain topic – releasing regular episodes helps to build momentum.
- Write a blog about something you are passionate about – short, regular blog posts often gain more views than long posts.
- Write online quizzes for people to enjoy – you could charge per round or per whole quiz.
- Design and create an app – be it a game or a tool, if you have the technical knowhow to create an app then you are onto a winner already!
- Tutor a subject you enjoy online – you can teach students anywhere in the world and even teach conversation lessons to foreign students.
- Fill in online surveys and questionnaires for money – there are loads about.
- Make funny content for tiktok – if you get a lot of followers you can start to make money from advertisers.
- Sell your homemade crafts on etsy – simply set up a page and take really good quality photos of your wares.
- Sell your old clothes on ebay – again, it is all about the quality of the photos that you post.
- Buy items on ebay and sell them on for a profit – if you have a nose for a bargain then you can make a lot of money from selling things on for a profit.
- Fix computer viruses and other problems – you can help out the older generations in your area and those who are less tech savvy than yourself.
- Teach other kids how to code – parents will pay good money for this as it is such a specialist area.
- Design websites for friends and family – if you have the skills in this area then you stand to make a good deal of cash from designing websites for self employed people and new businesses.
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