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Kids and Money: Summer Job Ideas for Kids Under 16

The school year is drawing to a rapid close. For many of us, that means trying to figure out what our kids will do all summer. If you want your kids to learn a life lesson, and make some money in the process, you might encourage them to get a summer job.

A summer job is a great way for kids to learn the value of hard work, as well as get some practical experience with money management. A summer job offers your children a chance to go beyond allowance and earn their own money. You can use this as a chance to teach them valuable financial skills, and help them put into practice such time-honored money moves as saving, wise spending and even investing. Here are some ideas for summer jobs for kids:

Young Children

Even young children like the idea of making money on their own. My son gets an allowance, but it’s not really doing it for him as an 8-year-old. He has suggested that we start paying him for chores, but that’s not something we’re into. (Whether or not to pay children for household chores [3] is a debate for another day.) In order to earn extra money, he is thinking of things he can do. A classic, of course, is the lemonade and cookie stand.

However, even young children can be paid to run errands and do odd jobs. If there are those in the neighborhood looking for help clearing brush, or getting rid of rocks, this can be a worthwhile opportunity for young kids. There are kids in our neighborhood who sell iris bulbs from their flower garden each year.

My son also enjoys doing 4-H projects. He receives ribbon money for his displays. This year, he’s looking forward to sewing and model rocketry. And, as a lifetime 4-Her, I have seen kids as young as six or seven showing lambs and other animals — and getting paid for them at auction. (I actually earned ribbon money all the way until I graduated from high school, although I never raised animals.)

Tweens and Young Teenagers

There is an age, about 10 – 15, that children begin to really wish that they could earn some money. However, until your child is 16, getting a traditional job flipping burgers, acting as a runner at the local law office or doing any number of other jobs just isn’t going to happen. But that doesn’t mean they can’t earn money. Some jobs that are available to children that are a little bit older include:

Siblings in my neighborhood have a flag service: For a yearly subscription, they will put flags out in front of your home on the appropriate holidays. It is also possible to sell your stuff [4], online or offline. Kids can go through their old toys, sporting equipment, video games and other items, and have a yard sale. Try to arrange a neighborhood yard sale, and all the kids in the neighborhood can get in on it. And, of course, you are never too young to be an online entrepreneur [5].

What other summer jobs are available for kids under 16?

(Photo: adwriter [6])