It is a lot of work for families to keep children busy during the coronavirus crisis. Yes, there is distance learning and and online education but that ends in the early afternoon during weekdays.
What can the kids do during the rest of the day? That is a very big question because you want them learning something and being productive, instead of just playing games or watching online videos all day.
It would be great if they could learn small business skills and how to be an entrepreneur. This may require some supervision and guidance, but I think it is possible in some circumstances. They will just need some help throughout the process.
Here are my ideas on how kids can make money during their abundant free time until regular school starts again:
- Bake cookies at home and sell them. If you have the ingredients, it is fairly easy to bake cookies, sell them, and make a profit. Yes, there is a lot of work involved, but the processing of understanding costs and profits is crucial information for small business owners of the future. First, bake the cookies. Then find customers. You might be able to start on people in the household and then expand to others that you can ship to. There may be restrictions still in effect in regards to interacting with others in person.
- Use computer skills and charge money. Are your kids really good at building or designing great websites? If so, there would be relatives or friends in need of such a service. Others might be interested in their ability at making splashy, creative videos that can be used to sell products.
- Twitter mastery. A micro-blog can be very useful for almost any small or big business, especially a Twitter profile that is both fun and useful. Someone in your family probably has a Twitter account that you don’t know about, and they might have hundreds or thousands of followers. That family member can teach others how they do it and charge a fee.
- Homemade jewelry. Lots of people love to browse and purchase affordable jewelry, and even more so if they know a family member is putting a lot of effort into it. You can often find instructions on the internet on do-it-yourself jewelry making, or you can apply creativity to make your own with old unused jewelry pieces at home.
- Selling stuff that can be shipped. Children often have an innate sense of what is cool and can be sold, so have them go through your junk or excess goods to pick ten things that they think can be sold for money. They will enjoy the process of taking photos and posting them on sites like Craigslist, but make sure you monitor this process so they don’t give out too much personal information and that the prices are reasonable. You may also need to list them in such a way that the items will need to be shipped instead of people meeting in person, and you may need to find a safe way to transfer payment.
- Create a blockbuster app. Some kids are already doing coding, and if they are not, maybe you can have them dream up a cool app that is fun and can be worth a billion dollars. No, seriously, you might as well try this. They could write out a list of ideas every once in a while. There will always be new awesome apps in the future so you might as well have it come from your garage.
- Re-purpose old clothing. I am sure that there is a whole bunch of retro clothes you will never wear again. If your children have a sense of style, bring out all the stuff and have them make patterns and create new clothes out of the old. There are plenty of how-to videos all over the internet with wonderful suggestions about this.
Just a reminder that you might need to check out local or state rules regarding whether you need to have a business license if your or your child’s side hustle starts to bring in significant money. Make sure you seek legal advice if you need to, especially in regards to copyright, trademark, or other issues that come up if success finds you or your child.
From a positive perspective, now is one of the best times ever for children to learn how to make money by themselves. Hopefully they can keep up any success they achieve and use their revenue and profits to hire family members. Make sure to encourage them no matter which type of results occur. The efforts and learning that happen are what really matters.