I’m sure you’ve seen memes on social media commiserating over the fact we didn’t learn money sense or business skills in school. In fact, I think we probably did learn more business skills than we remember, but they might not have happened at school. These entrepreneurial activities for kids will help you kick boredom to the curb this summer.
Homeschool is the perfect environment to get your kids thinking and experimenting in order to fully develop their entrepreneurial skills. Homeschoolers generally have more flexibility in their days. As a result, we can cater these entrepreneurship activities to also include all the subjects, including math, science, and communication. But, even if you’re not a homeschooler, these business ideas for tweens will help your kids have a fun (and profitable) summer!
How to Brainstorm Entrepreneurial Activities for Kids
When you and your kids start thinking about entrepreneurship, be sure to take some time and really brainstorm your ideas. It might help to separate their ideas into three main categories: Services, Sales, and Education. You can also take a few field trips to local businesses to get some ideas and see other entrepreneurs in action.
Try to think of 10 ideas in each category. Highlight your kids’ interests and strengths. You want their first business to be something they are excited about and will want to work on. If they are having a hard time coming up with business ideas, have them write down their strengths and then build from there.
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Come Up with an Entrepreneurial Plan
Once your kids have decided what business to pursue, have them write a plan. Make sure they account for any startup costs. If you are going to be financing their venture, put it in writing how you will be paid back. It’s tempting to just give them the money, but if they know they have to pay it back, they will be very conscientious about their profit margins.
In the business plan have your kids identify the startup costs, other expenses and how they will share the profit or loss. It can also be motivating for your kidpreneurs to make a plan for spending and sharing their profit.
For example, when my kids did a lemonade stand they had decided they would give any profit to the homeless shelter. Regardless of what they want to do with it, it is important to affirm their choices. Entrepreneurship gives you time and money freedom. Half the fun will be seeing what your kids do with it! (For the record, some of my kids’ profit went to the homeless shelter and the rest went to giant gumballs.)
How to Set Up A Business for Kids
Once your kids have their plan, help them research other logistics. Do they need a permit from the city or liability insurance? Regulations vary dramatically from city to city, so make sure your child understands why these regulations are important.
Try to let your kids be as independent as possible with their entrepreneurial activities. Trial and error is a great teacher. Let them learn (even though it’s hard sometimes).
Entrepreneurial Activities for Kids This Summer
Are your kids stuck thinking about what they could do to keep from being bored this summer? These business ideas for tweens are great starting points. If your kids are older, they will be able to do many of these business activities more independently. Younger children might need a little more supervision and assistance.
In the summer everyone has landscaping projects to do, and most of us can’t keep up with them. Your kids can offer landscaping services to neighbors for a set fee. Younger kids can learn to pull weeds or harvest vegetables. Older kids might use a weed whacker, plant vegetables, or mow.
If you have multiple kids of a variety of ages, they can offer a bundled landscaping service. If they will be using any type of mowers or weed whackers, be sure they can safely use them independently. If not, delete that service, or go along with your kids to supervise.
This is another one that could be done close to home and can work for a wide variety of ages. If your kids are older, let them practice detailing your own cars. Once they have the knowledge, they can offer this service to others.
Other ideas to bump up the car wash is to offer headlight washing, vacuuming the interior, or washing windows.
Moms of little babies or toddlers would appreciate a good car seat wash, too! There are many ways to increase the value for customers. Help your kids to see where they can go the extra step. This generally pays better, but it is also just the right thing to do.
Do you have a kid in your house dying to have a dog? If so, a dog walking service might be just the thing. Many of your neighbors probably work and leave their dogs alone during the day. Would they pay your kids to come in at lunchtime and take the dog for a walk?
Before you start this service, have your child do a trial walk with the dog. Make sure your child can control the dog on a leash and knows what to do in case they meet an aggressive dog along the way.
As an alternative to dog walking, offer a poop scooping service. No one wants to do this chore, but many people would pay kids to do it for them. Have your child research how to scoop the poop in a sanitary way and how to properly dispose of it.
Tutor Other Kids
Tutoring other kids is a great business idea for tweens or teens. They could work with other, younger neighborhood kids on reading, writing, or math. Many parents worry their kids will lose learning over the summer so this can be a really valuable service.
If your older teen is experienced with a musical instrument, foreign language, or sports skill, they could give lessons to other neighborhood kids.
If you live in a neighborhood full of older people, like we do, then offering general help can go over really well. Not everyone will need dog walking or landscaping, but they might need help cleaning out their refrigerator or washing their outside windows.
Make a flyer advertising their services. These can be a random assortment because you never know what someone might need.
One service to offer, especially elderly neighbors, is reading. Neighbors with poor eyesight might need assistance to read their mail or to write a letter. This helps your neighbor, but it also keeps your own kid reading this summer. Win-win!
Creativity sells! Entrepreneurial activities for kids might include selling their artwork. This can be drawings, pottery, baskets, or even painted rocks (my kids love these paint markers for rocks).
If your older children are talented artists, they could even offer customized portraits or digital prints of families and their pets.
Do you know any plant crazy neighbors? If they are going on vacation or out of town for a few days, they might need someone to water their indoor plants. If your child understands a little about plant care, or can learn, they can make good money just taking care of people’s plants.
When it comes to business ideas for kids, the lemonade stand is tried and true. Keep in mind, you don’t have to sell lemonade. You could make other drinks or snacks. Be sure you check the regulations in your city to see if you need a street seller’s permit.
Kids can make a marketing plan, invite their neighbors and friends, and have a great time on a summer afternoon. You can teach them all about running a business as well as sanitation requirements and how to upsell other items.
Safety Issues with Entrepreneurial Ideas for Kids
Whatever your kids decide to do to learn about business, make sure they will be safe in that activity. My personal rule is they never go alone to a neighbor’s house. You might even go further and say they are not allowed INSIDE a neighbor’s house. Work out these safety parameters in advance with your child so everyone knows the expectations.
If your children are going to be using tools, ensure they can do so safely before they accept a job or start marketing their business. They can practice first at home where they can ask you if they need help while they are learning these new skills.
Insist on Excellence in Your Kids’ Entrepreneurial Activities
Kids learn real quick that adults will think they are cute and will love that they are learning this summer rather than watching TV all day. Depending on your kid’s personality, they might use this as an excuse to slide by.
When you are going over the business plan and expectations for each activity, demand excellence. Reiterate to your kids that any job worth doing should be done well. Encourage them to clarify expectations from customers if they aren’t clear. Teach your kids to do the job with integrity and to do it right the first time. There is no shame in asking for help if they need it. They are young and learning these business skills.
Reflect On the Business Experience
Once your kids have experienced a business idea or two, encourage them to reflect on what they learned. What could they do differently next time? Did they make a profit or have a loss? Why? Were they able to cover their expenses? How did it feel to provide a service to others? What was the most fun for them?
Keep this reflection judgment free. This is their experience and as the parents, we can learn a lot from what they choose to talk about.
Entrepreneurial Activities for Kids Make the Summer Fun
There is no reason for kids to be bored this summer. Have them brainstorm business ideas and let them give it a try. You never know what passion they might discover! If your kid loves the business, they might even want to continue it into the fall. What entrepreneurial activities has your family tried? Share your experience in the comments.