Whitefield Academy Blog
10 Summer Jobs for Your Elementary Schooler
Elementary schooler? Jobs? You heard me correctly! Now I’m not advocating for a trip back to the factories of the Industrial Revolution, but summer is an excellent time for kids to learn some new skills and earn a few dollars. These jobs are divided up into two categories: Money-Makers and Skill-Makers. The Money-Makers are jobs that kids can do to actually bring home a few bills to put in the piggy bank. The Skill-Makers are non-paying jobs that can teach your elementary schooler some new skills that will come in handy later in life. (See our post on Teen Jobs for your older students.)
Your elementary schooler might be too young to babysit on her own, but if she likes to play with little kids, being a mother’s helper could be a great option! A mother’s helper entertains younger kids while mom or dad are still in the house. Mom and Dad are able to get work done without distraction, and kids have fun!
The classic summer job that can entertain young entrepreneurs for an entire day. Between crafting the signs, making the lemonade and digging through the pantry for leftover plastic cups, a lemonade stand can be the perfect answer for “What are we going to do today?”
Kansas City summers can be brutal. If you don’t mind a bit of an uptick in your water bill, let your kids cool off while offering a car wash to the neighborhood.
Dog Walking/Pet Sitting
A lot of people go on vacation over the summer so that means a lot of pets need care! Have your student make signs to hang around the neighborhood or write up a post for the neighborhood website. Just make sure you are on board with whatever you kid agrees to or you might end up with two snakes and four guinea pigs in your living room.
This one can be done in conjunction with mom and dad. Plan a garage sale and have your kids contribute from their stash of toys. They can help with pricing, set up and sales! As an extra incentive, you can offer to give them whatever profit their toys bring in.
Growing up, my sister and I often had one night a week where we were in charge of dinner during the summer. I’ve started doing this with my girls, and I’ve been amazed at how well they are able to put a meal together! Usually it’s just sandwiches and frozen corn, but they are always very proud of themselves and eat every last bite. As they get older, I’m hoping they can work together to figure out some more complicated and less corn-y dishes.
Big chores are things that might be different from normal chores around the house, like cleaning out the garage, picking up debris after a storm, or organizing the storage room. Depending on your family’s stance on allowance, these could also be incentivized with a cash payout upon completion.
Summer is an awesome time to teach your kids about giving back to their community. Kids can do something small like picking up trash at the park by your house, or they can do something bigger like playing a few piano pieces at a retirement home. If you have an older elementary schooler, there are a number of opportunities to volunteer through local libraries or even historical sites like the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop!
Do Hard Things
Something that most bosses value over having the perfect skill set for a job is grit, the ability to do hard things without quitting. So why not start encouraging our kids to be “gritty”? Pick a really hard puzzle and work together over the summer to finish it. Grab a project or a box of Legos that is geared toward older kids, and slowly but surely complete the task.
Build Something Big
Knowing how to use tools and how to navigate a hardware store is a crucial skill for living life on your own. Start teaching your kids (or maybe yourself) with a fun, big project. Bike ramp? Love it. Backyard fort? Perfect. Remote control car track? Yes.
Looking out on a long summer full of empty hours can be daunting, but by taking on some of these responsibilities, kids will be able to fill those hours learning new skills and feeling proud of the work they have accomplished!