Creative Ways Your Kids Can Cash In

This summer, when your kids complain of boredom, why not challenge them to make some money. From the new trends in lemonade stands (they've gotten a facelift!) to starting your own mini-business, read on for creative ways your child can make some cash while school's out.

Whether your child chooses to start a lemonade stand or create his own business to make money this summer, the principles are the same. Not unlike successful businesses in the adult world, a child's lemonade stand, dog walking business or car wash service needs good marketing, publicity and creativity. Oh, and don't forget that work ethic!

If life gives you lemons...

Most will agree that the lemonade stand is one of the most common ways for kids to make money — especially during the summer. (There's nothing like a refreshing glass of iced cold lemonade from a bright-eyed cutie.)

But although the idea may be standard, there's nothing standard about the modern lemonade stand. And if your kids want to choose this popular route to make cash, help them create a stand that will stand out in your neighborhood. New trends include a far more polished presentation than when you were a child. Long gone are the days of card tables and signs made out of posterboard. Now a lemonade stand is like a mini store front on your neighborhood sidewalk. Like this wooden stand from Alex Toys which comes complete with a canvas awning, dry erase countertop and chalkboard front panel for your business-minded tot. With a stand like this one, passersby won't be able to resist buying a cup or two (or more!).

Help your kids start a lemonade stand >>

More than just lemons in lemonade

Beyond the stand itself, there is a new trend in the type of lemonade kids are selling. From blueberry to watermelon, there is a wide range of options. And of course, there's nothing wrong with old-fashioned lemonade — but the powder mix is so, well, 2011. If your child wants to be traditional, help him squeeze lemons for a much fresher and delicious drink. The better the lemonade, the more money to be made!

Impress the neighbors with this lavender lemonade recipe >>

If lemonade isn't your child's thing...

Ideas:

  • Dog walking/dog sitting
  • Car washing/detailing
  • Selling homemade items
  • Babysitting/mother's helper
  • Lawn care (watering, pulling weeds)

Bring out his inner entrepreneur in other ways. Another new trend for children who want a more "regular gig" than selling lemonade on an occasional Saturday is to start a business. But what type of business? Well that all depends on your child's strengths and interests. Brainstorm with him a list of tasks he feels he'd be good at, then you can help him narrow it down. (He can also recruit a friend or a sibling to be part of the company.)

Next, guide him in setting up his business. Come up with a name, then challenge his inner artist to design a logo. Next, he can make business cards (you can even print these out at home), put together a marketing plan (who is he going to target for business?) and brainstorm ideas for publicity (how will he attract his customers?). Now it's time to put that business idea to the test and hit the streets (close to home of course) and make some money! And most importantly, remember to have fun.

For more ideas on businesses your child can start, check out this book (originally published by the author at age 15): Better than a Lemonade Stand: Small Business Ideas for Kids.

8 Entrepreneurs your child should know >>

Read more about kids and money

Top 3 money lessons for kids
How kids can make money
How an allowance teaches kids about money


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