According to the U.S. Department of Labor, kids can’t legally take on their first job for an employer until they’re at least 14-years-old. But that doesn’t mean your child can’t start finding ways to make money before then.
Thanks to the internet, there are more opportunities for kids to make money in 2022 than ever before. Gone are the days when the only way to make some extra cash was by setting up a lemonade stand in your neighborhood.
And learning how to make their own money at a young age can benefit kids later in life. Your kids will learn valuable skills they can put to use as an adult. Plus, it can help them learn proper money management skills. Here, you’ll find 25 ways kids can make money, broken down into age groups — from traditional ways they can bring in some extra cash to how they can start earning money online.
Ways Kids Can Make Money Under Age 13
Not all ways to make money are appropriate for children under 13. However, one or more of these suggestions could be a winner if you have a younger child who wants to start making money.
1. Working at a Parent’s Business
If you’re self-employed, then you can hire your kids to start working for your business a few hours each week. This is a great way to teach them the basics of running a business and get some of those extra tasks done. Plus, the IRS will let you deduct your child’s wages as a business expense, as long the pay is reasonable, and the work is necessary.
They can do simple tasks like helping you sort mail or package items for shipping. Or, if you have older kids who are particularly tech-savvy, they can help you manage your social media accounts or website.
2. Setting Up a Garage Sale and Selling the Items
Setting up a garage sale and selling the items is a great activity the entire family can get involved with. Not only will it help you clear those unwanted items out of your home, but it can also be an opportunity for your kids to earn some extra cash.
Help your kids go through their old clothes, shoes, toys, and electronics to find items they want to get rid of. They can help you price and organize the items on tables and talk to neighbors who come by to browse through your sale.
3. Watering Plants
Another good way for a younger child to make money is to water plants for older neighbors or for people who go out of town. While they may need some instructions on how much water to give certain plants, this is an easy enough way for a younger kid to make money.
4. Running a Hot Chocolate or Lemonade Stand
If you live in a large, friendly neighborhood, setting up a hot chocolate or lemonade stand may not be such a bad idea — especially for younger kids who have limited money-making opportunities. Your child can set up a stand with a sign that briefly explains why he or she is trying to make money. People will be more likely to stop and buy a cup of hot chocolate or lemonade if they know it’s going to help someone reach a goal.
Best Ways to Make Money for Kids Who Are at Least 13
For some money-making opportunities — especially the ones online — 13 is the minimum age for participating.
5. Creating a YouTube Channel
What kid doesn’t want to make money by starting a YouTube channel? Your child needs to be at least 13 to create a YouTube account. And legally, a child has to be over the age of 18 to make money on YouTube via AdSense or have a legal guardian over 18 who can handle the payments on his or her behalf.
Like blogging, the benefit of starting a YouTube channel is that you can get paid to talk about the things you find interesting. Whether it’s crafting, gaming or telling jokes, if you have something interesting to share, then there is an audience for it on YouTube.
6. Selling Unwanted Items Online
One of the easiest ways to make money online is by selling unwanted items on sites like eBay. But unless your child is 18, he or she will have to list their items for sale on your eBay account.
You can help your child start creating listings for the items they want to sell. Note that collector’s or vintage items can sell for quite a bit of money. And as they get more skilled with selling items online, some kids may want to branch out into flipping items. This involves buying products at a low cost, fixing them up slightly and reselling those same items for a profit.
7. Selling Handmade Items
Does one of your kids have a knack for designing jewelry or creating their own artwork? If so, they could sell their products to customers online via Etsy. This can be a great creative outlet and an opportunity for kids to make extra money. However, if your child is under 18, but between 13 and 17, he or she will have to sell items through your account because Etsy does not permit children under 18 to own their own account.
To get started, your child will need to set up their account and decide on the types of products they want to offer. From there, they can take photos, create a listing and sell these items through their Etsy shop.
Here are just a few of the items kids can create and sell on Etsy:
- Homemade soap or bath bombs
- Knitted scarves or hats
- Holiday decorations
- Calendars and planners
8. Making Money on Twitch
Twitch is a live streaming platform for gamers, and like YouTube, can be used to make money. It’s not going to happen overnight, but if they can build up an audience, kids can make decent money by playing video games on Twitch. The minimum age requirement to create an account on Twitch is 13.
9. Creating Online Games
Does your child love to play games on Roblox? Well, as long as he or she is at least 13 years old, making some extra money by creating Roblox games is a possibility. Creating a new Roblox game is relatively easy and requires very little coding knowledge.
How much money they can make depends on the popularity of the game. Your child can take some time to identify the types of games that are already popular on Roblox. This can help them come up with their own ideas.
If your kids love animals, they could earn good money by starting a dog-walking business. If you have neighbors who work outside of the house all day, then they might appreciate having someone stop by to walk their pets throughout the week.
Kids can also offer pet sitting services, so your neighbors don’t have to board their pets when they go out of town. Your kids will be responsible for stopping by a couple of times a day, making sure the animals have food and water and letting them outside.
11. Create a Fiverr Account
As long as your child is at least 13, he or she can set up their own Fiverr account and offer their skills to make money. Fiverr has opportunities for musicians, graphic designers, writers and people skilled at video and animation.
Depending on who your child’s customers are, he or she won’t have to bake from scratch to take advantage of this money-making opportunity. A boxed mix of brownies sells for under $2 at Walmart and yields 20 servings. And if your child sells each brownie for 50 cents each, there’s room for a profit of around $8 per batch minus the eggs and oil needed to create the finished product.
13. Growing a Garden and Selling Vegetables
Your child will learn valuable skills and also make some money by growing a garden and selling vegetables. If your soil isn’t good for growing, you can help your child build some raised gardening boxes to add good soil to and plant the seeds in. Once the vegetables are ripe, take them to a local farmers market or advertise them for sale on a local community marketplace.
While your child may not make a lot, recycling can be a way to make some extra cash. To get started, check to see if your state pays residents for beverage container recycling, like bottles or aluminum cans. Your child can also collect used printer cartridges from relatives, friends and small businesses and send them in for a profit to places like TonerBuyer.com or InkRecycling.
15. Designing and Selling T-Shirts
Plenty of online platforms exist for creating and selling T-shirts, such as Printful, which allows you to sell on-demand without upfront costs. Keep in mind that these platforms will likely have age requirements, so you may have to open an account on your child’s behalf.
Best Ways To Make Money Online for Older Teens
These money-making opportunities are best for teens that are a bit older because they require some know-h0w, maturity and the ability to make good decisions to be successful.
16. Running Errands
Running errands for people typically requires a driver’s license, so that’s why this is suggested for older teens. However, if you’re willing to play chauffeur, a younger child could also make money doing this. Your child could pick up items from various stores, drop off mail or packages at the post office, pick up or drop off dry cleaning or any number of other things people need to be done.
If your older teen is particularly good at a subject, such as math or English, he or she may find there’s money to be made as a tutor. Tutoring opportunities can be found among their peers or even for younger children who live in your neighborhood.
18. Teaching Music Lessons
If your child is musically talented and can teach others the skills of playing an instrument, teaching music lessons could be very lucrative. As long as your child has a lesson plan for each session, follows through with it and gives his or her students instructions for practicing, charging $20 per hour wouldn’t be a stretch.
19. Teaching Cheerleading Lessons
If your teen is skilled at cheerleading, he or she may find an opportunity to teach other aspiring cheerleaders what she knows. Your teen could give individual lessons for an hourly fee or charge a one-time fee for a cheerleading workshop that lasts a few days.
20. Teaching Sports Lessons
While being good at sports does come easier to those with natural talent, there are also plenty of skills that come into play. And if your child is excellent at a certain sport, there’s money to be made. Again, he or she can choose to give individual lessons at an hourly rate or charge a one-time fee for a workshop that covers skills needed for a specific sport.
21. Selling Used Clothes
If your child is a fashionista of sorts or insists on wearing only the best brands, selling used clothing items could help turn a profit. Online community marketplaces could be good places to sell, or you could help them sell their items via your account on eBay.
Note that if your child wants to sell clothes on an online clothing resale platform, like Poshmark, age requirements apply. Your child needs to be over the age of majority in your state of residence to open an account on Poshmark, but you might be able to facilitate the sales for them if they aren’t.
22. Mowing Lawns
Mowing lawns is one of the best ways for kids to make extra money during the summer. Everyone wants a nice-looking yard, but not everyone has the time or the desire to mow their lawn once or twice a week.
But it’s not just a great side hustle — it can also turn into a pretty good business model. If they do a good job, then they could start building up a base of repeat customers. And you can help them advertise their services on social media or in a neighborhood Facebook group.
And kids don’t just have to limit their servicing to mowing. They can also rake leaves, trim bushes and offer other types of yard work.
Babysitting is a staple for teens who are looking for ways to make money. Teens can start by spending an hour or two babysitting for a family friend. For instance, your teenager could babysit your neighbor’s kids after school a few days a week.
And as they gain more experience, babysitting can turn into a pretty lucrative gig. According to Sittercity, the national hourly rate for babysitters is $16.50 per hour. However, babysitting does come with a lot of responsibility, and it’s not going to be the right choice for everyone.
24. Taking Online Surveys
Taking online surveys is one of the easiest ways to earn a little extra money online. Users share their opinions and provide feedback that helps companies build better products and services. But there are age requirements. For example, although Swagbucks will allow users as young as 13, Survey Junkie only allows kids who are at least 16 years old to share their opinions. Your kids can earn points that they can redeem through gift cards or cash for every survey they complete.
If your kids are naturally very creative and enjoy writing, then they could make money blogging. How much money you make as a blogger will largely depend on the amount of traffic you have come to your website.
It will take time to build a following and make a name for yourself as a blogger. But if you go into it with a plan, then blogging can be very lucrative.
3 Ways Kids Can Earn Money Through Blogging:
- Ads: You can sign up for Google Adsense or other ad networks. After placing the ads on your site, you’ll make a little bit of money each time someone clicks on the link.
- Affiliate marketing: In affiliate marketing, you’re essentially paid to promote another company’s products or services. You’ll earn a small commission for every sale that company makes.
- Sponsored posts: And finally, a company may pay you to write a post promoting their product or service on your website.
As your kids start getting older, it’s only natural they will want to start earning their own money. Fortunately, there are tons of opportunities available to them, whether they want to utilize technology or not. With a little creativity and hard work, your kids will be on their way to earning an income of their own — even if you have to step in and give a helping hand at first.
Jamie Johnson contributed to the reporting for this article.