We parents usually want our children to learn different skills that will help them succeed in life, like reading, writing, math, and what we call social skills.
Often, we trust that our children can learn all these things in school, and do our best to partner with our kids’ teachers to make sure that they get the best education.
Many times, though, schools may lack giving our kids an education in something that is often overlooked but a crucial life skill nonetheless, i.e. how to earn one’s own income and how to manage it.
The truth is, it’s never too early to teach our kids “money smarts.” Starting a business is one way by which we can do this, as children can learn about how money works, plus the value of hard work.
If you’re raring to teach your child this, summer vacation is the perfect time for you to do so. Help your child set up his or her own business. Here are five “business” ideas to get you started:
1. Sell some s'mores. S’more are relatively easy to make, and even kids as young as 3 or 4 years old can make them under adult supervision. All you will need are graham crackers, marshmallows, small pieces of baking chocolate (my kids use the Goya brand, which are conveniently packed in easy-to-divide pieces), and a toaster oven. Here are step-by-step instructions:
- Break up the graham crackers into squares. - Place a chocolate piece on top of each graham square. - Place a marshmallow on top of the chocolate piece. The whole thing – graham cracker square with a chocolate piece and a marshmallow – forms part of your s’more. - Repeat steps 1 to 3 until you have several s’mores-in-process. The number depends on your ingredients and how many s’mores you wish to sell. - Put the s’mores-in-process in your toaster oven (on a tray) and set the timer for around 4 minutes.* Your cue to remove them is when the marshmallows look melted. - Remove from the toaster oven and then place one graham cracker square on each piece. Voila! Your s’mores are ready!
*Make sure that this is done under adult supervision. You can also opt to do this step for your child.
2. Clean cars. A car wash “business” is something that even small kids can start, and they’ll probably have a blast” working,” too!
Use buckets, sponges, soap and a hose from around the house, and involve your kids in getting the word out about their cleaning services by letting them help you make and distribute flyers around the neighbourhood. You can also consider pooling resources with your kids’ cousins or friends, and make it a group effort.
3. Deliver delicious drinks. Summertime often finds us thirsting for cool, delicious drinks. In your garage, set up your kids’ version of a “lemonade stand,” which is more common in countries like the U.S., and serve up homemade sago’t gulaman, or other popular Filipino coolers. You can even have the much-loved summer dessert halo-halo in your “menu”!
4. Hawk homemade sandwiches. Sandwiches are relatively easy to make, and young kids should have no trouble helping you put them together. You can help your kids sell their homemade version of favorite sandwich “variants” like cheese pimiento, tuna, or peanut butter and jam, or come up with your own recipes and combinations.
5. Peddle pre-loved items. The summer vacation offers you and your kids some time to go through your belongings and determine what you won’t be using anymore.
Put all your pre-loved items that are still in good condition in boxes and have a garage sale, with your kids playing the role of “sales attendants” (or cashiers, if they’re already good at addition and subtraction!).
This business idea helps kill two birds with one stone – you get to declutter your home and earn money at the same time!
These are just some business ideas for kids that you can consider. Of course, if your kids are still very young, they will need a lot of help from you or other trustworthy adults to get started.
No matter what your children’s age is, though, make sure that they are involved somehow in the “transaction” part of their business, so that they can see the importance of money in daily life (i.e. you need to earn money to pay for items and services that you need or want). This is one important “money lesson” for them – one that is best learned in a hands-on manner.
Last, but not the least, let’s do our best to teach our children that money can be used for good, like when we use it to buy the things our family needs, or when we share it with those in need. Let us teach them that, in the words of lay preacher and businessman Bo Sanchez, “the ultimate purpose of wealth is to love others.”