Before kids are old enough to work legally, they may want to earn a little pocket change with simple jobs. Here is a list of great jobs for preteens.
Mowing the lawn: In the summertime, mowing a neighbor’s lawn (or several) can guarantee a source of income every couple of weeks if the mower does a good job. Start by knocking on some doors on the weekend and offer to mow the lawn for (depending on the size of the yard) about $15-$30. Feel free to return to the same home and ask to mow the lawn again after a few weeks.
Dog walking: For kids who have pets of their own, this is an especially easy job. To start, talk to neighbors who have dogs and offer to take them for a daily walk. You can also make signs to post around the neighborhood, offering dog walking services. Agree upon a distance/time for the walk and charge based on that amount, anywhere from $10-$25 for 30 minutes should be appropriate.
Taking out garbage: For folks who live in an apartment or condominium where they are responsible for taking their own garbage to a shared dumpster, having a kid stop by to pick up trash and get rid of it is surprisingly desirable. Anywhere from $2-$5 would be appropriate for discarding a bag or two of trash.
Raking leaves: Although like mowing the lawn, this is a very seasonal gig, raking leaves requires very little equipment and can be done by young kids as well as older ones. Because raking leaves does require a little more time, it wouldn’t hurt to have other neighborhood kids chip in and split the profit. $10-$20 should cover an average-sized yard.
Babysitting: Not for very young children, but once a kid gets to be around 13-years-old, they should be able to start babysitting younger children for short periods of time. Start by offering the service to people who know the child well and trust that they are responsible. Ask those people to be references after a successful babysitting gig, then start offering babysitting services around the neighborhood. $20 an hour per child is a decent rate.
Yard sale: Who doesn’t have a ton of items in their home they could part with but don’t have the time to sell? Take a day and gather all those items up and let your kid sell them over the weekend. Help them set the prices and be sure to stick around for any exchange of money but give them a portion of the profit for simply keeping an eye on the merchandise. You could even offer to sell your neighbors unwanted treasures on consignment (basically, they get paid when the item is sold, or the item is returned to them if unsold).
Shoveling snow: Snow day and your kids home from school? Why not make a little money and spend the morning shoveling snow for neighbors. $10-$20, depending on the size of the driveway/ sidewalk is about average.
Car wash: In the summertime, the lines at car washes can be intolerable. A good hand wash may be a little more pricey, but overall it will be more thorough and less time consuming for the consumer. Charge anywhere from $10-$15 for a car or small SUV.
Taking down decorations: The day after Halloween or Christmas is the best time to offer to take down decorations. People are still on a high from the holiday, and they are probably not looking forward to taking down all that décor. Knock on their door and offer to do it for them, and you’re almost guaranteed a thankful yes. There isn’t really a market for this work, so depending on how heavily decorated their home is, you could probably charge anywhere from $20-$30 to pack it all up.
Cleaning: You might be surprised how many people, especially older folks, who would pay a little money for a kid to come in and do light housework for them. From dusting to vacuuming, having a kid do the more menial cleaning tasks can mean a lot to anyone and is a fraction of what a professional cleaning company would charge. Expect to charge about $10-$15 an hour.