During the summer, keeping your kids busy is important. The older they get, the more important and difficult it is. Kids have always loved creating their own lemonaid stand. I have even seen the children on my street selling Oreo cookies at $.25 a piece. Last summer, my girls (7 and 12) put up a shaved ice stand made with real organic juice concentrate instead of the artificial snow cone flavorings. The sales rolled in..even had neighbors drive by every weekend asking for more. We had even gone further and baked home made, from scratch, white chocolate huge cookies and they sold out too. My youngest sold pixie stix. The kids thought it was a blast and loved earning their own money. I had a small lock box and we used that as a “pretend” cash register.
As an artist and actress, I know, that you have to be unique to make a small business work and be successful. So we offered a unique product. This year, we plan to step up the business. My 15 year old is not old enough to get a job in Colorado. Last year, we found a small cart missing one wheel abandoned on the sidewalk of our street. So we decided to clean it up, replace the wheels and paint it for our cart this year. We have an old, beat up large beach umbrella we can use to zip-tie to the cart for shade. We will go get some pre-cut pieces of wafer board from the Hardware store and hinge them for signs. My 13 year old daughter loves to draw, so this fits her talents. We will put the signs out at either end of our street, Rushford Place, at the corner of our main Sundown community entrance at Templeton Gap and Corinth, and then at the corner of the main street leading to our street at Austin Bluffs and Templeton Gap.
Pssst! Vote on your favorite flavor of Ice cream (Don’t see it? click here!)
We just picked up an old fashioned Ice cream maker and a Snow cone maker. We will still offer the organic juices snow cone toppings and make organic and natural ice cream. The Dollar store will provide for most of our cups, napkins and spoons. It won’t be fancy, but it will be fun and the kids are in control of their own earnings. All I ask for is replacing what was spent for supplies. They have to learn, too, to hold back enough to buy more supplies for the next weekend. Their time at the cart is logged and each one gets a dividend out of what was earned based upon how much they help out manning the cart.
This fun summer activity, teaches kids responsibility, how to use resources you already have, how to up-cycle. It also teaches patience, perseverance, prudence, basic finance and how to create your own start up company. It helps prepare them for the future, helps keep them out of trouble and creates a belief system that making money can be fun. What kids have you ever seen make their own organic frozen treats and sell them?
Make the new toys your kids get for themselves mean so much more, help them learn to earn the money to buy it themselves. It’s a win, win; short term gain, long term gain.