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Entrepreneurship in today’s world is so exciting! With the internet, there are so many opportunities out there, and so many ways to start your own business. If you can create content, provide a service, or sell a product, you can start your own business!
So, why not use this as a teaching opportunity for our kids?
There are so many important life skills we can teach our kids through entrepreneurship:
- Problem solving
- Creative thinking/thinking outside the box
- Balancing risks vs. rewards
- What it means to invest
- How to manage time and money efficiently
- Communication skills
- Social skills
- Negotiating skills
This list could go on and on!
Besides, what kid doesn’t love the idea of being able to earn their own money?
How To Inspire Our Kid’s Inner Entrepreneur
Way #1: Let them set up that lemonade stand!
I know lemonade stands can seem like a hassle. You have to help your kids get the supplies together, make the lemonade, and if your kids are like mine, they will also want to make cookies/muffins/whatever we have the ingredients for to sell. They may also try scavenging through the kitchen for snacks to sell, which you will have to say no to because you didn’t buy your kids snacks for them to go and sell them to a stranger. (This is starting to sound like one of those books, like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie! ha!)
Then, there is setting up a table, sitting outside in the heat, and waiting for somebody to pass by who is willing to buy lemonade or homemade cookies from little people whom they don’t know.
Wow, this took a negative turn fast.
The point is lemonade stands are a hassle. And that’s okay. Let them do it! You don’t have to go all out with baked goods, and you don’t even have to make lemonade from scratch – just buy a jug of pre-made or a mix..
But letting them set up that lemonade stand teaches them how to be go-getters, and helps them build a better understanding of what it takes to start a business. Also, its great way for them to put their math and money skills into use.
Way #2: Let them set up a YouTube channel/Blog/Etsy store
This is along the same lines as let them set up that lemonade stand, but this takes it further because summer weather only allows so many days for lemonade stands. Also, like a lemonade stand this might take a lot effort on your part, but helping your child build a blog or YouTube channel can be a really fun bonding experience, and it inspires and cultivates your child’s entrepreneurial skills.
Not sure where to start? Think about your child’s hobbies and interests. Maybe your child loves building with Legos or doing fancy yo-yo tricks, or maybe they are musical and play an instrument. You could help them setup a YouTube channel and show off their skills. Or maybe you have writer or photographer on your hands- you could help them set up their own blog. Or maybe your child is obsessed with making slime (and your shoe closet is now referred to as the slime closet because it has more slime in it than shoes), you could help them set up an eBay or Etsy store.
Way #1: Encourage Creativity
Creativity goes hand in hand with entrepreneurship, so it’s essential for us parents to nurture our children’s creative side. How can we encourage creativity?
- Through open-ended/pretend play: this means minimizing electronic toys that play for your child and have only one mode of play , and offering toys with more possibilities that require your child to do the playing. Think tea sets, puppets, dress-up clothes, building blocks, sets of zoo animals or farm animals, and my personal favorite things for open-ended play are found outside- sticks, rocks, leaves, puddles, and dirt.
- Through art: keep a stash of art supplies (paper, paints, clay, markers, scissors, glue, tissue paper, and even random items like boxes or containers that you would normally recycle or throw away) for your kids to use when the mood strikes.
- Through music: this can mean funky homemade instruments from pots, pans, and random kitchen spoons, or it can mean learning a new instrument or signing up for choir, or it can mean singing made up songs in the car about how annoying the stoplights are on your way to school. It’s as simple as thinking about how and what ways music makes your child light up – then, do more of that.
- Through writing/reading/storytelling: some ideas to encourage this form of creativity is to plan weekly trips to the library, play games that involve story telling and language (such as Story Cubes and Mad Libs), encourage your children to start a journal or a diary, and make bedtime stories/books part of your nightly routine.
Way #2: Encourage Problem Solving
Sometimes it’s hard to step back and let your child do things by themselves, when you know you can do it for them in 5 seconds flat. BUT stepping back and letting them do things by themselves, problem solve by themselves is so important for their development.
Some ways to encourage problem solving include:
- Play with puzzles, shape sorters, and games (some of my kids favorites are Kanoodle, Forbidden Island, and Sneaky Squirrel).
- Read books about problem solving (What Do You Do With a Problem? and Stuck are great kid reads).
- Imaginary/Pretend play problem solving practice: this is a great method for elementary age, as practicing and acting out a problem, and then solving it in a healthy way often translates real life situations.
- Recognize the opportunities: let your toddler figure out how to balance blocks one on top of the other, let your kindergartener take their time and sound out that word, and during sibling squabbles wait and give them a chance to work it out before stepping in.
- Ask open-ended questions when problems arise: What do you think? Do you have any ideas on what we can to do solve (insert problem here)?
Of course, there are times it’s okay and even necessary to help. It’s okay to struggle, and in fact it’s healthy, but listen to your mama instincts. You know your child best and if he’s getting to the point of anger and frustration, it’s okay to offer your help and guidance. If want to dig even deeper on this topic here is a great article that walks you through step by step how to help your child problem solve.
Way #5: Mowing, raking, babysitting, and other odd jobs
This is a great way to promote entrepreneurship in your home, especially with older kids and teens. Going door to door offering these services might not be the best idea depending on your neighborhood, but a little word of mouth from neighbor to neighbor or friend to friend can go a long way if your teen is really interested in pursuing this avenue.
If your kids aren’t ready for doing odd jobs for neighbors, there are still options. I keep this sign listing available “jobs” posted on my pantry door and update it whenever I need something else done that I know my kids could do. Obviously, this could be simplified depending on the age of your kids.
This is super simple to make with Google Docs. After you print it, add a plastic sheet protector, then you can make changes with Expo markers as needed.
*Note that these “jobs” don’t include responsibilities, which are things like cleaning their room and daily chores that are just part of helping out as a family (usually this is emptying trash/recycling, washing dishes, and setting/clearing table).
There are so many possibilities here that we can use to encourage our kids to think big and bring out their inner entrepreneur. We just have to encourage them and teach them that even though they are young, they can still do big things.
Feel free to say hello, and let me know if you found these ideas helpful, or you have any thoughts or ideas I should add! Thanks for reading!