It’s never too early to nourish the entrepreneurial spirit in your kids. You can easily build excitement and motivation in your child by sharing your own journey as well as stories of successful young entrepreneurs.
What are your children’s passions? Sit down together and make a list of their strengths and interests, then brainstorm some ways they could transform one of those ideas into a viable business. For example, Mikaila Ulmer from Austin, Texas, was afraid of bees, but after being stung twice in a single week, she conquered her fear by learning how honeybees help the planet. Her newfound appreciation for those helpful pollinators inspired her to create Me & the Bees Lemonade—a blend of her great-grandmother’s flaxseed lemonade recipe with a touch of honey.
Here are seven fun ways to introduce your kids to the wonderful world of business.
This idea was inspired by my friend and homeschooler Chloe Suarez a young violin virtuoso, who plays at the local parks and farmers market near her home in Johnson City, Tennessee. Chloe’s bright smile and enchanting melodies transform an ordinary summer day at the park or the market into a lively celebration. Children dance and twirl and market visitors stroll from vendor to vendor with a little spring in their steps.
Friends’ and neighbors’ picnics, birthday parties, and graduations are the perfect stage for your young musician to shine.
Keeping a small flock of three to five laying hens is such a fun and economical way to launch your child into the small-business world.
I had a flock of hens for years and quickly became my neighborhood’s go-to egg lady. And so will your child, because nothing compares to the flavor, color, and richness of fresh eggs. Simply eggs-traordinary!
Now while you can purchase hens that are almost fully mature and that will begin laying eggs soon, it’s best to start with day-old chicks so your child can enjoy raising them and bonding with them. I suggest choosing from chicken breeds that are friendly as well as excellent egg layers, such as the Black Australorp, the Rhode Island Red, the Speckled Sussex, the Delaware, and the Barred Plymouth Rock. These hens will lay about 180 to 300 eggs per year. That’s a lot of egg money!
For help and expert advice, read “The Beginner’s Guide to Raising Backyard Chickens” on the Fresh Eggs Daily blog.
Our daughter fell in love with caring for young children when we began volunteering in our church’s nursery on Sundays. When she was old enough, she became one of the most sought-after mother’s helpers in our area.
A typical day in the life of a mother’s helper begins early in the morning. Having an extra pair of helping hands to get kids up, washed, and dressed and/or prepare, serve, and clean up after breakfast takes a big burden off Mom’s shoulders and helps her to greet the new day with a refreshing shower and a positive attitude. Depending upon each individual mother’s needs, a helper might supervise and join in playtime, ready kids for naps, help with lunch, or accompany Mom on errands and a jaunt to the local park until it’s time to go home around dinnertime.
Being a mother’s helper is a wonderful teaching experience for tweens and young teens and can help prepare them for solo babysitting jobs in a few years.
Summer is a busy time for most families so dog walkers can be in high demand. Dog walkers should be dog-savvy kids who are comfortable around dogs, capable of handling unforeseen circumstances, such as a rabbit darting across the path, as well as know basic pet first aid and who to call in an emergency. A great resource is “Pet First Aid for Kids” written by Denise Fleck and Sandrina Lee.
Mostly though, it’s just a simple matter of walking a dog once or twice a day, replenishing food and water, and some playtime. However, if your child is old enough, he or she could be a house/dog/pet sitter for nearby friends and neighbors who are away for the weekend or on vacation.
I loved playing teacher with my friends when I was young. Many kids do because teachers are such a big part of their lives.
Do you have a child who is a natural teacher? Perhaps your son is an accomplished pianist or your daughter is an impressive artist. Your son could offer piano lessons, and your daughter could either create a beginner art class for neighborhood kids or work one-on-one.
Farmers Market Vendor
Since many towns regularly host a farmers market on weekends, this is a great opportunity for the young gardening guru or talented craftsman in your family.
Your child will not only have the chance to sell products but also have the opportunity to learn about the importance of networking and make connections with other farmers and craftsmen who just might share some of their tricks of the trade.
Lemonade Stand Owner
And last but certainly not least, how about the classic lemonade stand? Maybe you have a special lemonade recipe that’s been passed down from generation to generation like Mikaila or maybe your kids’ signature lemonade is made with fresh lemons from your backyard trees.
For that special touch, kids might want to serve lemonade in bright yellow plastic cups with a hand-drawn smiley face to add a bit of cheer to their customers’ day.