Top 5 Summer Jobs for Elementary School Kids
Walk into any public pool, park or sports field across the country and you are sure to find grade school children doing the “floss” in anticipation of the summer. If you look past those dancing children you may also find a parent or two with a dazed, slightly overwhelmed expression, as if to say, “how the heck am I going to keep these kids entertained all summer?” Summer can be a special time for children to learn the life skills they may not be able to find inside the classroom, like an appreciation for nature, the value of making new friends, or the grit needed to stick with a summer job. It’s sometimes difficult to find age appropriate jobs for elementary and early middle school aged children - that's why we put together a list of our top five jobs for grade school kids.
1. Landscaping/Lawn Work
Oh the virtues of having a well manicured lawn! There are so many opportunities for your kids to get involved in lawn work, whether you live in an apartment and would like help with watering the plants or you and your neighbors have lawns that need watering, cutting and trimming. And don’t forget gardening. Little hands are great for weeding. If your kids are older, they may be ready to start their own lawn mowing business.
2. Plant or Pet Sitter
With neighbors and family friends heading out of town for vacation, summer is a great time to start a plant or pet sitting business. Plant sitting is usually more low maintenance, but can also incorporate lawn work duties, like watering a garden or mowing the lawn. Pet sitting can also vary depending on the animal involved. Cats are relatively easy and are happy on their own. But dogs can be more time consuming. This job can also be a good way to teach your child the responsibility of having a pet before getting one at home.
3. Household Cleanup - Yard Sale
Like everyday household chores, cleanup responsibilities can vary. One fun way to go about it is to have your child sort through his or her things to create piles labeled trash, give away and sell. You child can also help clean out storage rooms, the garage, etc. Things of value that are not being used can be sold in a yard sale. Many neighborhoods have designated yard sale days so it might make sense to contact your HOA for guidelines.
4. Mother’s Helper
Although this age group is not quite old enough to babysit, being a mother’s helper is a great way for 10-13 year olds to get some experience in minding an infant while still getting paid. A mother’s helper is usually responsible for watching the child/children when the parent is doing other things around the house. Often a new mother will hire a mother’s helper to watch her baby while she showers and catches up on quick errands that would be easier to do without the baby.
5. Dog Walker
Many people may not be able to take their dogs on daytime walks, especially during the heat of summer. Often elderly people prefer not to take their pets on a walk during hot days. And many working adults would be happy to have someone take their dog on an extra walk during the work day. Like with pet sitting, parents should make sure they’re child is physically capable of walking the dog and knows not to wrap the leash around his/her hand in case the dog decides now's the time to catch a squirrel. Make sure they know they’re responsible for picking up after the dog too.
Bonus: Volunteer Work
While volunteer work doesn’t pay and isn’t technically a summer job, the experience of givinging your time and energy to a good cause can be incredibly valuable. Teaching your children to give back is a wonderful way to spend the summer!