Summer. A roughly three-month span of freedom, adventure and time off school for kids. Often, those first few weeks of summer are filled with playing outside, summer camps, exciting day trips and more.
But then kids might start to voice those two words that can drive parents crazy: “I’m bored.” Stop the eye-rolls and long, deep breaths.
Summer break can be both a delight and an opportunity for growth and patience. For both you and your kids.
But rather than spending the days on the couch watching movies or reading indoors, there are easy ways to keep kids active while also teaching them important skills of earning and managing money. It’s time to provide them opportunities to grow and learn, even when not in school. Whether they’re in elementary or close to graduating high school, kids can have the freedom to explore fun activities while also making a little extra cash they can use to spend how they want.
While high schoolers who meet age requirements can go out and get a job to start building up their savings and spending money, those younger may be still interested in generating some cash.
Aside from keeping kids busy and active during their summer break, providing opportunities to make money themselves can teach them helpful life lessons that can equip them as they grow up. Important habits like having a strong work ethic or saving and spending money wisely can all be learned through making money during the summer.
Ways for Kids to Make Money on Summer Break
From upper elementary to high school, the opportunities for kids to make money are plenty. To spark some inspiration and fun for what your kids love to do, here are 27 ways for kids to make money on summer break.
1. Walk dogs – If your kids love animals, help them explore dog-walking opportunities in the neighborhood. Whether they have a pet themselves or always wished they could have a dog, they can care for animals by walking other people’s dogs.
2. Babysit – With the busy summertime season, the demand for quality babysitters for families is high. Inspire your high school or middle school kid to take care of others by seeking out babysitting opportunities right in your own neighborhood. Whether it’s friends or friends-of-a-friend, young children always need care. Babysitting jobs also pay fairly well and can help your kids develop a consistent and reliable relationship with the family for repeat babysitting offers.
3. Sell baked treats – If your kid loves to be in the kitchen and create delicious treats and snacks, help them find opportunities to sell those baked treats in the community. Whether it’s a “lemonade stand” set-up or door-to-door sales, selling baked treats is a fun adventure for all ages. Just be sure to abide by any relevant food regulation laws if needed.
4. Wash cars – Bring out the water hose, soap and sponges and go around offering to wash people’s cars for a fee. This inexpensive and entertaining “chore” can be a fun way to get outside, cool off, serve someone with a dirty car and make a little extra cash during the summer.
5. Start a YouTube channel – If your kids are particularly tech-savvy and enjoy watching YouTube videos themselves and following top stars, encourage them to start their own. This is a great idea for them to do with a group of friends. Whether it’s a baking show or video game demonstration, spark the idea for them to do what they love. Once they begin gathering followers, help them explore ways to monetize their channel with affiliate products and advertisements. It’ll take time to consider money-making opportunities but can still be a great opportunity.
Be sure they’re the appropriate age and share content that’s relevant. And always be sure to equip and help them with safe online posting practices to ensure their YouTube experience is productive and fun.
6. Mow lawns – Have your kids offer to do a common household outdoor chore for the neighbors. Mowing the neighbor’s lawns can help them earn a little extra cash, keep them active and teach them the value of hard work. Help them set a rate to charge per yard and fuel their entrepreneurial spirit.
7. Cleaning service – If your kid has a knack for cleaning and is good at it, encourage them to make money by cleaning other people’s houses. To be effective and efficient, kids will need to be hard workers and have an eye for detail in cleaning houses well.
8. Data entry jobs – Depending on your kid’s age, they may be eligible for easy, simple tasks like data entry for organizations. While this type of work may require a little bit more time and training, data entry is often simple, straightforward and productive for both the worker and organization.
9. Taking photos – An eye for photography doesn’t always have an age restriction. If your kid enjoys taking photos and has a talent for it, they can sell photos on sharing sites like Shutterstock or iStock for a little bit of cash.
10. Sell old items – If your kid’s games, toys and other activities are overflowing, let them sell what they don’t want any more online. Sell video games back on Amazon or Gamestop locations. You can also sell movies, books, toys and much more on Amazon, eBay and other resell sites.
11. Sell jewelry – Turn the hobby of crafting and jewelry-making into a business. If your kid has a talent for design, fashion and enjoys creating new styles, they can sell their items for a little extra cash during the summer.
12. Have a garage sale – Gather up your family’s unused and unwanted items and let your kid organize a garage sale on their own. Let them take care of promotion, set-up, finding resources and more as they take ownership of event planning.
13. Water plants – Like a lawn mowing gig, watering plants for neighbors is a great way for your kids to get outside, stay active and make a little extra money. Equip them with their own watering can for easier access.
14. Host a bake sale – With a love for baking, kids can host their own bake sale. Gather up the neighbors and friends to join in and take part in selling their own treats as well. Find ways to advertise the event with the community to gain additional interest.
15. Clean the gutters – If your kid likes to do outdoor chores, have them do a task not many others enjoy doing. Just be sure they’re equipped and trained to clean gutters safely.
16. Wash windows – Get them outside and cleaning windows in the neighborhood. Kids will appreciate the extra cash and the parents will enjoy not having to do that chore.
17. Paint rooms – In room remodeling, painting can often be a tough step to accomplish. Have your kids help out a family and earn a little extra spending cash at the same time.
18. Clean out the garage – Whether at a friends’ house or your own, garages can get dirty and messy quickly. Equip your kids to clean them well in their summer free time.
19. Care for pets – If you have friends or neighbors heading out on vacation during the summer, offer to watch their pets while they’re gone.
20. Sell firewood – Families often have campfires during the summer. Have your kids get outside and collect firewood to supply that demand.
21. Give manicures – If your daughter loves painting fingers or toes and has a talent for it, let her share her services with others in providing manicures or even pedicures to others.
22. Sell flowers – Everyone loves flowers. Share your child’s love and skill for floral arrangements by selling them at markets or “lemonade stand” style.
23. Tutoring services – Just because school may not be in session doesn’t mean the learning needs to stop. If your kid is particularly gifted in an area, they can share what they know with younger kids through tutoring.
24. Start a website – With a simple idea, your kid can create and develop an impressive website that can sell, comment and interact with the social online world. Once they choose a platform – like Wix or WordPress – they can have fun designing and creating, as well as learning valuable skills and abilities.
25. House sitting – Summertime is a great time for families to go on vacation. Teens can house sit for friends and neighbors in taking care of their home while the family is away.
26. Book reselling – Flipping books can be a fun adventure in finding and repairing old editions for profit. Online sites like Amazon and eBay can be great resources for this activity.
27. Running errands – Like Shipt or Instacart, on-demand grocery delivery services are popular. Teens with access to transportation can run errands for families for a delivery fee that helps both them and the family.
Stop the Boredom with Entrepreneurship
No matter the age of your kids, they can fuel their inner entrepreneur and make money during their summer break. Whatever their interest and passion, they can find opportunities to get out, learn valuable life skills and abilities and reach their fullest potential during the summer season.