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How Can Your Kids Make Money? 90+ ideas

Shelly Skandrani Updated: March 21, 2024 • 14 min read
boy delivering newspaper

Key Points:

  • Kids can start earning money at a young age through many safe and suitable activities, teaching them the value of money and work ethic early in life.

  • Money-making activities teach kids valuable lessons in financial management, budgeting, and saving, setting a solid foundation for their future.

  • Earning money fosters growth, entrepreneurship, and essential life skills, boosting your kids' confidence and ability to achieve goals.

While child labor laws generally don’t permit kids under 14 to work, teaching your children about money management early on is crucial for their future financial success.

Some exceptions for younger kids include jobs such as delivering newspapers, acting, and working in family businesses. There are also entrepreneurial opportunities for kids with a little imagination and ambition, which we will dig into.

Working early on is about more than just saving pennies. A job can teach your children about the value of money, making smart spending decisions, and the basics of budgeting. 

Children will learn to set their minds on a target and create a plan towards their goals. The whole process can be an empowering and mind-opening experience. So read on to discover over 90 money-making ideas for kids.

Money Management for Kids

Once your children start to earn money, it’s important to guide them regarding what to do with their newfound bounty. Teaching kids about money management is a vital life skill that can set the foundation for financial responsibility and success in adulthood. 

Here are some fundamental concepts to help introduce your children to the principles of managing money effectively:

Understanding the Value of Money

  • Earn, save, spend: Start with the basics by encouraging them to save their allowances, money received as gifts, or earnings from small jobs.
  • Needs vs. wants: Help children differentiate. Needs can be essentials like food and clothing, while wants include toys and treats that are nice but not necessary.

Saving and Banking

  • Open a savings account: Introduce children to the concept of banking. Many banks offer accounts specifically designed for young savers, which can be an exciting way for them to watch their money grow.
  • Set savings goals: Encourage setting specific, achievable savings goals. Whether it's a toy, a book, or a video game, having a goal can motivate kids to save.

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  • Create a simple budget: Teach kids to create a basic budget that allocates their money into categories — saving, spending, and sharing. Use jars, envelopes, or an online banking app to track these categories.
  • Track spending: Show them how to keep track of their spending, which can be an eye-opening experience and help them make more mindful decisions.

Investing and Donating

  • Introduction to investing: Introduce the concept of investing. Explain how money can grow over time through investments in stocks, bonds, or savings accounts with interest.
  • The Importance of giving: Teach children about the importance of donating to causes they care about. This fosters empathy and a sense of responsibility towards others.

Using Tools and Resources

  • Financial education games and apps: Utilize games and apps designed to teach financial literacy in a fun and engaging way. Many of these tools are tailored to different age groups.
  • Books and stories: There are numerous books to teach kids about money. Stories that incorporate financial lessons can be effective for younger children.

Coming Up with a Business Idea for Kids

This can be an entertaining activity to do with your kids on the weekend, tapping into their creativity and interests. Have fun with it. Take out colorful pens and papers to draw, plan, and problem-solve together. Creating a positive environment around the idea of work can instill good habits into your kids.

brainstorming with family

Encourage them to think about activities they enjoy or tasks they're good at, as these can be great starting points for a business. For instance, a child who loves drawing could consider selling their artwork, while one who enjoys spending time with animals might start a pet-sitting service. 

Brainstorming sessions can be fun and should focus on realistic, achievable ideas that interest them and meet a need or want in their community. Teaching kids to observe the world around them for opportunities can spark that entrepreneurial spirit. 

This process helps kids come up with a viable business idea and develops the confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills that are invaluable in any future career.

Understanding their Clients and Setting Expectations

Get to know your kid’s “clients” and align on needs and expectations so that you can relay the instructions in a way your child can understand. This process is crucial to the learning process and can infuse your kids with confidence and clarity. 

Here's how you can approach this:

  • Identify the client base: First, help your child understand who their clients are. Are they neighbors, family friends, or classmates' parents? Knowing who they're serving will tailor their approach to meet these clients' needs.
  • Understand client needs: Talk with potential clients to understand their needs. If your child offers lawn services, find out what specific tasks the client expects, such as mowing, weeding, or watering plants.
  • Set clear expectations: After identifying client needs, clarify what your child can deliver, setting clear expectations on service frequency, quality, and price to prevent misunderstandings.
  • Communicate effectively: Teach your child how to communicate effectively with their clients. This includes showing them how to listen carefully, ask questions to clarify what's expected, and provide updates or feedback on their service.
  • Translate instructions: Break down the client's needs and expectations into simple, actionable steps your child can understand and follow. Use age-appropriate language and examples to ensure they grasp what's expected of them.
  • Monitor and adjust: Initially, you might need to monitor your child's interaction with their clients and the quality of work they're providing. Offer guidance or help them adjust their approach if things aren't going as planned.
  • Feedback loop: Encourage a feedback loop where your child can ask the client how they felt about the service and what could be improved. This teaches them the importance of feedback and continuous improvement.
  • Celebrate successes and learn from failures: This will boost their confidence and resilience, which are critical qualities for any entrepreneur.

By guiding your child through the process of getting to know their clients and aligning on needs and expectations, you're not just helping them succeed in their current venture. You're also imparting valuable life skills such as communication, negotiation, and problem-solving, which will serve them well into adulthood.

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Ways to make money as a younger kid

Young kids under 14 can engage in various simple and safe activities to earn money. These exercises can help them understand responsibility, work ethic, and entrepreneurship from an early age. 

Here's a list of things young kids can do to earn money:

  • Lemonade stand: A classic and fun way for kids to learn about sales, marketing, and customer service.
  • Yard sale helper: Assisting parents or neighbors with setting up and managing a yard sale.
  • Pet sitting: Looking after pets for neighbors or family friends while they are away, provided they're comfortable with animals.
  • Dog walking: Offering to walk dogs in the neighborhood is a great way to earn money and exercise.
  • Seasonal yard work: Beyond lawn mowing, kids can offer to rake leaves in the fall, shovel snow in the winter, or water plants in the summer for neighbors.
  • Plant sale: Kids can grow flowers, herbs, or vegetables from seeds and sell the plants or produce to neighbors and family.
  • Car washing: Setting up a car wash service for family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Helping with chores: Doing extra chores around the house or for neighbors, such as raking leaves, shoveling snow, or cleaning.
  • Recycling: Collecting and recycling items from home and neighbors for money. This also teaches them about environmental responsibility along the way.
  • Teaching a skill: Teaching other kids something they excel in, like a musical instrument or a sport.
  • Tutoring younger students: Kids who excel in subjects like math, reading, or a second language can offer tutoring services to younger students.
  • Entertainment: Putting on a show, such as a magic show, a puppet show, or a musical performance for family and friends, with a small admission fee.
  • Tech support: Assisting older relatives or neighbors with basic tech setup or troubleshooting, given many kids are tech-savvy from a young age.
  • Errand runner: Running small errands for neighbors or family members who might need help shopping or picking up mail.

It's important for parents or guardians to supervise and approve these activities, ensuring they're safe and appropriate for the child's age. 

We have special sections below for children with unique skill sets, such as cooking and creative hobbies. Take a look, as they can be a lot of fun.

Ways to make money as a teenager

Starting at age 14, teenagers in the USA can enter the workforce with part-time jobs, opening up more than just an opportunity to earn money. These early work experiences give young adults increased financial independence, improved life skills, and broadened world perspectives. 

College admissions officers often favor applicants with job experience over those with more glamorous summer activities. Jobs teach teens about responsibility, time management, and the realities of different social classes, offering a practical education that can't be found elsewhere.

Here are some examples of work that teenagers can do:

  • Part-time job: Retail, fast food, and local businesses often hire teenagers for part-time positions.
  • Seasonal jobs: Working at summer camps, pools, or during holiday seasons at retail stores.
  • Delivery services: Working for food delivery or courier services if they have access to a vehicle or bike.
  • Paper Round: Delivering newspapers or flyers in the neighborhood remains a classic way for teens to earn money while getting some exercise.
  • Babysitting: A classic way to earn money, ideal for responsible teens who enjoy caring for children.
  • Tutoring: This is something they can start young and continue into adulthood. Sharing knowledge in subjects they excel in with younger students.
  • Catering work: Working as a waiter or busboy at events and weddings.
  • Event photography: For teens with a knack for photography, offering services for events or family portraits.
  • Event assistant: Assisting in planning and execution, such as weddings, birthday parties, or community events.
  • Tech support: Assisting those who are not tech-savvy with setting up devices or troubleshooting issues.
  • Test preparation: Assisting peers or younger students with schoolwork or preparing for exams.
  • House cleaning: Offering cleaning services to neighbors, family, and friends.
  • House sitting: Looking after homes while neighbors or family friends are on vacation, including mail collection, watering plants, and other light duties.
  • Pet care services: Beyond walking dogs, teens can offer pet sitting, grooming, or training services.
  • Voice-over work: Teens with a good voice and proper equipment can offer voice-over services for videos, podcasts, and online courses.
  • Upcycling: Collecting recyclables and upcycling items such as clothing, furniture, or technology to sell.

How Teenagers Can Make Money Online

In the digital age, the internet offers teenagers many opportunities to earn money online, from freelance writing to creating digital content. It’s a landscape they know well and are comfortable in, and they can often leverage it much more easily than older generations.

teen on computer

However, navigating the online world safely and effectively requires careful consideration, especially for young individuals. Help your teenage kids explore these opportunities within a secure and supportive environment. Your guidance can protect them from potential online risks such as scams or inappropriate interactions and guide them in making wise decisions regarding privacy, time management, and financial transactions. 

Establishing clear guidelines, monitoring online activities, and encouraging open communication help foster a safe and productive online working experience for teenagers. 

This approach ensures that while teens gain independence and learn valuable skills through online work, they do so with the necessary oversight and wisdom to navigate the digital landscape safely.

Here are some exciting opportunities they can find online:

  • Online surveys and reviews: Participating in legitimate surveys and product reviews such as Swagbucks and YouGov, for cash or gift cards.
  • Online tutoring: Sharing knowledge and skills through online tutoring platforms. Or in the form of webinars.
  • Stream video games: Gamers monetize their passion by building an audience on platforms like Twitch and YouTube. Can earn through ads, and sponsorships.
  • Review songs on Slice the Pie: Music enthusiasts earn money by providing valuable feedback on new tracks, helping artists and record labels make informed decisions.
  • Virtual assistant: Performing administrative tasks such as email management, scheduling, and data entry for businesses or entrepreneurs.
  • Transcription services: Transcribing audio files into text for clients in various legal, medical, or general transcription fields.
  • Online customer service: Working as a customer service representative for companies offering online chat or email support.
  • E-commerce store assistant: Helping manage online stores, including tasks like product listing, order processing, and customer inquiries.
  • Data entry: Entering data for companies or organizations that require assistance in updating their records or databases.
  • Online course assistant: Assisting in the creation or management of online courses, including content organization, quiz preparation, and student communications.
  • Technical support: Providing tech support for software, apps, or hardware if they have specific technical skills or knowledge.
  • Online research assistant: Conducting research for writers, academics, or businesses that need in-depth information on various topics.

If Your Teens Are Media-Centric

  • Social media management and consulting: Helping small businesses or local professionals manage their social media profiles.
  • Social media influencer: Teens with a knack for social media can leverage their skills to become influencers, partnering with brands to promote products.
  • Film YouTube video: Creating content about their hobbies or interests and monetizing through ads, sponsorships, or merchandise. Building a following will take time and effort, but a YouTube channel can be lucrative once you do.
  • Freelance writing: Writing articles, blogs, or content for websites can be a great way for teens to earn money and improve their writing skills.
  • Become a blogger: Make money on traditional advertising and affiliate marketing. This will also require much up-front effort to build a following but can eventually turn into passive income.
  • Graphic design services: Offering graphic design services for businesses or individuals needing logos, flyers, or social media content.
  • Video editing services: With video content's popularity, skilled video editing is in demand for YouTubers, small businesses, and personal projects.
  • Produce and sell music: Record and sell original music or soundtracks. They can upload the music to stock music sites, which will pay royalties.

If Your Teens Know Advanced Code

  • Design websites: while it may take some work to find clients, demand for website creation continues to be strong.
  • Create apps: This, too, could take up-front work to locate clients, but many companies and individuals are interested in creating apps.
  • Fixing computer viruses and other problems: Clients for this service can be found both locally and online.
  • Teach other kids how to code: many parents want their kids to learn how to code.

How Creative Kids Can Make Money

Creative kids have many opportunities to channel their talents and hobbies into profitable ventures. From music and fashion to arts and crafts, the possibilities are endless for young entrepreneurs to make money while doing what they love. 

Some of these activities are suitable for younger kids, while others might need adult supervision, especially if using messy materials.

They can sell most of these products at fairs, garage sales, and local markets, but with a parent's help, your kids can also open an online account on marketplaces like Etsy.

Whether singing at birthdays or running errands, there's a market for young talents ready to explore and capitalize on their abilities.

For Kids Who Like Crafts

girl doing crafts

  • Custom illustration services: Offer services for family portraits, pet portraits, or character designs, which they can sell online.
  • Handmade soap making: Craft and sell handmade soaps with unique scents and designs. This can be a hit at local markets or online.
  • Bath bomb crafting: Experiment with colors, scents, and shapes to create personalized bath bombs.
  • Personalized storybooks: Write and illustrate customized storybooks for children. Parents love giving these as gifts to their kids.
  • Make bird feeders: Construct bird feeders and houses from wood or recycled materials, catering to nature enthusiasts and garden decorators.
  • Make party decorations kits: Assemble kits containing all the necessary decorations for various party themes, simplifying event planning.
  • DIY craft kits: Assemble and sell DIY craft kits that include all the materials and instructions needed for a particular project, perfect for other kids who love crafting.
  • Pet toy making: Kids can make simple pet toys, like braided rope toys for dogs or catnip-filled toys for cats, and sell them to pet owners.
  • Face painting: For those who are artistic, offering face painting services at community events or children’s parties can be a great way to earn money.
  • Hand-painted phone cases: Design and sell custom, hand-painted phone cases. Unique designs can cater to a broad audience.
  • Custom pet bowls: If your child has a knack for art and some experience with clay and ceramics, crafting customized bowls for cats and dogs can be an enjoyable project.
  • Unique pet collars: Designing distinctive collars for dogs and cats might necessitate sewing skills, offering a creative outlet for those interested in fashion and crafts.
  • Create friendship bracelets: Utilize various techniques and colorful threads to design unique friendship bracelets that appeal to all ages.
  • Homemade jewelry: Craft personalized and unique jewelry from materials like beads, wire, and semi-precious stones.
  • Custom greeting cards: Design and sell handmade greeting cards for various occasions. Personalized options can be particularly popular.
  • Make holiday ornaments: Craft unique holiday ornaments using materials like clay, wood, or recycled items, adding a personal touch to holiday decor.
  • Design homemade wrapping paper: Create your own designs using stamps, paint, or digital methods, offering a unique packaging option.
  • Themed candle making: Create and sell candles with unique themes, scents, and shapes. This could range from holiday themes to popular movie or book series themes.
  • Eco-Friendly Reusable Bags: Design and sell eco-friendly, reusable shopping bags with unique, hand-painted, or sewn designs.
  • Personalized journals and planners: Create and sell customized journals and planners. Customization can include names, preferred layouts, and unique cover designs.
  • Make printed T-shirts: Leverage dropshipping services to offer custom-designed t-shirts without needing inventory storage.
  • Knit scarves, hats, and gloves: Use your knitting skills to create cozy, handmade winter accessories in various styles and colors.
  • Tie-dye clothes: Apply vibrant tie-dye patterns to clothing items, offering customers a range of unique and colorful options.
  • Make American Girl doll clothes: American Girl doll owners constantly search for fresh and unique outfits.
  • Make Lip Balm: Experiment with natural ingredients and scents to create and sell moisturizing homemade lip balms.
  • Decorate jars for storage: Transform plain tins into beautifully decorated containers, perfect for gifting during the holiday season.

For Kids Who Like Cooking

boy baking

  • Bake sales: Bake cookies, cakes, and other treats to sell at school events, local fairs, or to neighbors.
  • Homemade candy: Create and sell homemade candies, such as chocolates, fudge, or lollipops, especially during holidays.
  • Cooking classes: Teach cooking classes to kids who want to learn basic cooking or baking skills.
  • Personal chef for small events: Offer services as a personal chef for small family gatherings or birthday parties.
  • Recipe blogger: Start a blog or YouTube channel sharing unique recipes and cooking tips for kids.
  • Catering service for kids' parties: Cater small-scale, kid-friendly menus for children's parties or events.
  • Healthy snacks: Make and sell healthy snacks, like granola bars, fruit rolls, or veggie chips, to local stores or directly to customers online.
  • Custom cake decorating: Decorate cakes or cupcakes for special occasions, offering personalized designs.
  • Lunchbox preparation: Prepare and sell pre-made, healthy lunchboxes for kids at school.
  • Farmer's market goods: Sell homemade jams, bread, or other culinary creations at local markets.
  • Cookbook author for Kids: Write and publish a cookbook with simple, kid-friendly recipes.
  • Herb and vegetable garden: Grow and sell herbs and vegetables, perfect for young chefs who want fresh ingredients.
  • Mobile food stand: Run a small food stand or booth at local events, selling homemade dishes or snacks.
  • Subscription box service: Create a subscription box with cooking tools, ingredients, and recipes for kids interested in cooking.
  • Kitchen gadget reviews: Review and recommend kitchen gadgets and tools for kids on a blog or social media channel.

The Bottom Line

From the creative realms of crafting and cooking to the digital spaces of blogging and online tutoring, the opportunities for your kids to work are vast and varied. With some careful planning and fun brainstorming, there's a path for them to explore their interests and make money in the process. 

All they need is your guidance and support in learning the responsibilities involved and setting the right expectations. 

Remember, the journey is as important as the destination. Encouraging your kids to manage their earnings wisely, understand the value of hard work, and pursue their passions can set the foundation for a successful and fulfilling life. 

So, dive in, support their endeavors, and watch as they grow, not just their savings but also their skills and confidence.



Can kids really make money at a young age?

Yes, kids can start earning money through various age-appropriate activities, teaching them valuable lessons in financial responsibility and work ethic.

What are some safe ways for kids to earn money?

Safe options include pet sitting, crafting and selling homemade items, tutoring, and digital ventures like blogging under adult supervision.

How does earning money benefit kids beyond just the financial aspect?

Beyond financial gains, earning money helps kids develop entrepreneurship, creativity, problem-solving skills, and confidence in their abilities.

Can making money help kids with their future careers?

Early money-making experiences can instill a strong work ethic, financial literacy, and real-world skills that benefit any future career path.