Here in the United States, children cannot legally take their first official job with an employer before they reach the age of 14. However, that does not mean that your child cannot start making money long before that. When a parent works to find ways for children to earn money, they instill essential values and teach necessary financial skills for the future.
The benefits of having a job are plenty. From earning money to spending and saving money, children will learn fundamental lessons in managing money from having a job. When children start learning the value of earning money early, they will more easily transition into financial independence as they get older. When children make money on their own, they also feel empowered and more independent.
In the old days, the best way for a kid to make cash was to set up a neighborhood lemonade stand. Although that is still an excellent way for kids to make money, the Internet has opened up many new and creative ways for children to earn money.
This article will outline 25 ways for children to earn money, separated by age group, including some of the more traditional ways for young people to bring in cash to ways that they can make money using the Internet.
You can lead by example and start your own side hustle. If interested, check out this video.
Ways for Children to Earn Money: Children Under 13
When it comes to finding ways for children to earn money, their age will play an important role, as will their maturity level. This first section will list suggestions targeted at children under age 13. Hopefully, some of them will be appropriate for your child.
For self-employed parents, hiring your kid to work at the family business for a couple of hours every week will be mutually beneficial to you both. There are countless benefits when hiring your child to work with you.
First of all, your kids will learn business basics, including those specific to the family business. That might be particularly useful if they decide to follow in your footsteps one day. Second, you’ll have some help getting time-consuming tasks done, and you have the opportunity to spend more time with your kid. What could be more awesome than that?
You may even have the ability to write off your kid’s wages as legitimate business expenses, but be sure to talk to your tax professional about that one.
Some examples of age-appropriate work that a child under 13 can do around the office include tasks like sorting mail or packaging items that need to be shipped. If your kids are a bit older and tech-savvy, you can enlist them to manage your business website or social media channels.
Coordinating and holding a garage/yard sale is a wonderful activity that the whole family can be involved with, regardless of age. Having a sale will not only help you to clear your home of unwanted items, but it is also an excellent opportunity for everyone, especially the kids, to get a little extra cash.
Your children can help you sift through clothes, electronics, toys, or whatever else to find things that the family can sell. They will be able to help you with pricing and organizing items. They can even learn valuable skills by interacting with the neighbors and other customers who come and browse your sale.
An excellent way for younger kids to make money can be by watering house plants, not only in their own home for an allowance but for seniors in the neighborhood and folks that leave town on trips. Although they might need some instruction, it is still an easy way for younger kids to earn cash.
Okay, I know that I pigeonholed the classic lemonade stand as a thing of the past at the beginning of this article, but it remains today, as it has always been, one of the best ways for children to earn money. That is especially true for younger children who have limited opportunities to make money.
Any kid living in a good-sized, family-friendly neighborhood can earn a decent amount of money from a lemonade or hot chocolate stand.
Have your child set up the stand and feature a sign briefly explaining why they are trying to earn money. Maybe they are trying to save money for a trip or some special item. People love to help out kids, and they are likely to buy from them if they believe that it will help them reach a particular goal.
Ways for Children to Earn Money: For Children At Least 13 Years Old
There are specific opportunities for kids to make money, particularly those involving online activities, where 13 will likely be the minimum age requirement for them to participate. With that in mind, the following section lists ways for children to earn money when they are at least 13 years old.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a kid that isn’t interested in making money by starting their own YouTube channel.
When it comes to coming up with ideas for what their YouTube channel should be about, they’ll probably have no problem coming up with one, but just in case they need some inspiration, here are a few ideas:
- Toy Unboxing
- Toy Reviews
- Game Reviews
- Cooking Videos
- Art Lessons
- Music Lessons
- Science Videos
- Math Instruction
- Financial Literacy… Well, maybe you shouldn’t suggest that one since Mak & G already have that market cornered. 😉
- Sports Lessons
- Exercise Videos
One of the main benefits of having their own YouTube channel is they have an opportunity to earn money by talking about things that interest them. From crafting and gaming to showcasing talent, like playing an instrument or participating in gymnastics, if your child has something interesting that they can share with other kids their age, chances are there’s a YouTube audience and money to be made.
You don’t have to hold a garage sale or yard sale to sell that unwanted stuff lying around your house. A simple way for children to earn money online is to sell their unwanted items on websites like eBay.
Your child can create listings for any personal items they don’t want anymore and are willing to sell. Be aware that things like video games, trading cards, and vintage or collector’s items can command a lot of money. As your child becomes more skilled at online selling, they might consider branching out and flipping items. There are many opportunities to find valuable merchandise to sell online at garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores.
If your child has a special knack for jewelry design, creates their artwork or some other item or craft, there may be a market for them to sell their creations online via websites like Etsy. Not only will this serve as a fantastic creative outlet for your kid, but it can also provide them with an opportunity to make some money.
Like eBay, Etsy requires that its users be at least 18 years old, so you must create an account on their behalf. Once your child has decided which products they wish to offer, they can create listings with images of their products and set up an Etsy shop in no time. Here’s a list of some items that children can make and sell in their Etsy shop:
- Handmade Artwork
- Homemade Dog Treats
- Homemade Soaps
- Homemade Bath Bombs
- Holiday Decorations
- Elastic Headbands
If you don’t know what Twitch is, you’re probably as old as I am.
Twitch is a live stream gaming platform. Like YouTube, Twitch can also be used as a way to earn money. Now, it certainly won’t happen overnight, but when kids gain a following, they can make money playing their video games and broadcasting their gameplay on Twitch. There are a few ways to earn money with Twitch, including donations or fans by clicking on advertisements or purchasing subscriptions.
The minimum age to create a Twitch account is 13 years old.
If your child is a Roblox fan, they have the potential to earn money creating their own Roblox games.
Creating your own Roblox game requires almost no coding knowledge and is pretty easy, especially for tech-savvy kids. The amount of money that a child can make creating a Roblox game will depend on the game’s overall popularity.
Encourage your child to spend some time identifying the Roblox games that have already gained popularity. It’s an excellent way to develop ideas for their own game. The minimum age to create a Roblox account is 13 years old.
If your child is an animal lover, a great way to earn decent money is to start a dog-walking service. Dog walkers are often in high demand, especially if you live in a neighborhood where dog owners work away from home all day. It won’t be hard to find one or two customers that will appreciate having a responsible kid walk their pet for them when they cannot.
A kid can also branch out into full-service pet sitting so that neighbors won’t have to pay for boarding if they are away from home. Children can be responsible for popping in a few times each day, ensuring that the animals are fed, have water, and are let outside.
At 13, a child can start a Fiverr account to showcase their skills and earn money. Fiverr offers great freelancing opportunities for animators, videographers, writers, musicians, and graphic designers. If your child excels at one or more of these skills, they can get working right away, from the comfort of their own home.
Do you know what goes well with lemonade or hot chocolate?
Whether your kids start a brownie stand, augment their lemonade stand with some cupcakes, or sell their baked goods door-to-door, there are endless possibilities for making money selling baked goods. Best of all, the overhead is usually pretty low.
A boxed brownie mix sells for less than $2 at Walmart and can yield 20 brownies. At $1 per brownie, your child could earn a $16 profit (minus the cost of the oil and eggs) on one batch of brownies.
When a child starts their own garden and then sells the vegetables to earn money, they learn valuable financial lessons and other skills, including practical gardening skills. If the soil in your yard isn’t appropriate for growing vegetables, you and your child can build raised garden beds and add quality soil. Once the veggies have ripened, your child can set up a stand, bring them to the local farmer market, or you can advertise their sale locally.
Although it isn’t going to bring in a lot of money, recycling is an excellent way for children to earn money. If the state where you live pays its residents for recycling aluminum and glass beverage containers, this is a perfect way for them to start a recycling business. They can also make money collecting empty printer cartridges from area businesses, friends, and relatives and using websites like InkRecycling.com and TonerBuyer.com.
There are many platforms online where users can create and sell T-shirts. One example is Printful. That website allows users to sell items on-demand without an upfront cost. Be aware that most of these platforms have minimum age requirements. You will likely have to set up an account for your child. It is, however, a great way to earn some extra cash.
Ways for Children to Earn Money: For Older Teens
The following ways for children to make money will be best suited for teenagers that are older, simply because, to be successful, they will require know-how, confidence, maturity, and good decision-making skills.
From picking up items at stores to mailing packages and picking up or dropping off dry cleaning, there are many errands that people will pay good money to hire someone else to run on their behalf. To have a successful errand business, you’ll probably need a driver’s license, which is why it is a suggested moneymaker for older teens. If, on the other hand, mom or dad are willing to partner up, younger children could also start this business.
Tutoring is a great way for children to earn money. Many tutoring opportunities are available among your child’s peers, for younger students in the neighborhood, and even online. If your teenager excels in a particular subject, like English, math, or financial literacy, they might be able to make money tutoring.
Just like tutoring, if your teenager is particularly talented in playing a musical instrument and has the ability (and the patience) to teach others, starting a music lesson business can be incredibly lucrative.
If your child can come up with lesson plans and instructions and have the ability to follow through as an instructor, they can charge $20 or more per hour for this service.
Like musical instruction and tutoring, a teenager skilled at cheerleading can earn money teaching aspiring young cheerleaders everything that she has learned. Your older teen can offer individual lessons charging an hourly rate, or they can conduct a workshop for a small group that lasts a week and charge a flat fee.
Although it may seem like I am being redundant here, it is essential to recognize that when a teenager has a specific skill that they can teach to other kids, there is always a way to monetize that. Also, when a kid is good at something, chances are it’s something they’re passionate about. Most adults spend their entire lives looking for a career that lets them earn money doing something they love, so why not let your child experience that early in life?
Just like cheerleading (which, to be politically correct, is now considered a sport), your child can offer one-on-one lessons or run a group workshop.
While this is similar to our earlier suggestions about making money by selling items online, it deserves a separate mention because some kids consider themselves fashionistas and often insist on wearing only name-brand items. In these cases, they also insist on wearing “what’s in” and refuse to wear whatever is “out,” which means they can go through their most expensive items pretty quickly, abandoning them while they’re still “good as new.”
Well, it’s pretty easy to turn those expensive used clothing and accessory items into a profit by selling them on social media marketplaces and groups or through online sites like eBay or Poshmark.
You may be tempted to say to your kid, “In my day, we earned money the old-fashioned way – mowing lawns!” Well, there’s nothing wrong with that. Mowing lawns is still one of the preferred ways for children to earn money, especially during summer months.
Let’s face it, we all want a great-looking yard, but most of us don’t have the time, nor do we have any desire to mow the lawn regularly.
A lawn mowing business is an excellent side hustle for a kid, and for those who are particularly entrepreneurial, it can become a pretty lucrative business. When teenagers do a great job at lawn care, they can build a solid customer base through repeat business and word of mouth. They can even advertise their lawn service on social media. In addition, they can branch out into trimming bushes, raking leaves, and other similar yard maintenance services.
Babysitting has been a staple moneymaker for teens for decades. Younger teens can get their start by babysitting for family friends for short periods. When they gain experience, they can turn their babysitting service into a lucrative business. The current average hourly rate, nationally, for a babysitter is $16.50 an hour. However, it is essential to remember that babysitting comes with an incredible amount of responsibility. It won’t be the best job option for every teenager.
Although it may sound too good to be true, there is money to be made by sharing your opinion and providing feedback to help companies improve their products and services. However, age restrictions often apply. Swagbucks, for example, allows teens beginning at age 13 to participate, while Survey Junkie requires that users be at least 16. Both websites, and others like them, allow kids to earn points for taking surveys. Kids can redeem these points for gift cards and cash.
Is your child a natural writer or naturally creative?
If so, blogging could be lucrative, although it may take some time for your child to build a strong following.
There are three ways for children to earn money with blogging:
- Advertising: Using an advertising network like Google AdSense and placing the ads around their website.
- Affiliate Marketing: Your child can earn money promoting a company’s product or service through affiliate marketing.
Sponsored Posts: Some companies pay bloggers to write posts that promote their products or services.
Ways for Children to Earn Money: The Bottom Line
As children grow, it is only natural for them to want to earn money independently. That is a good thing that should be celebrated and supported!
Thankfully, there are many ways for children to earn money, with or without the Internet. All it takes is some creativity and a bit of hard work.