It’s a typical first world, 21st century problem. Gone are the days of running around outside playing catch, and here are the days when our children’s eyeballs are constantly glued to the TV screen. While operating costs of TV’s may not be high (usually no more than $5/month) there are some great ways to get your kids away from the TV that not only will they enjoy, but also give them the opportunity to make themselves (or you) some money in the process.
Depending on their age, cooking or baking with your kids is a great way to start transitioning away from the TV screen. Maybe you have a TV setup in your kitchen that you can following along step-by-step as a cooking show airs, or cuddle up on the couch with your little one during the show, jot down the recipe, and then get to work. Use this as a lesson to show your kids how much cheaper it is to cook in then eat out. Replace your typical Friday night family pizza night with a family cooked meal to save $20 – $30, or hit the sidewalks, park, or schools and start your own bake sale with your delectable home made goods.
Yes, it’s a century old idea. But if the demand wasn’t there we wouldn’t keep putting our kids to work selling lemonade would we? Technically, with the latest and greatest wireless receivers outdoor TV is now a possibility, but a quick unplug can take care of that problem. Do a quick search on the internet and you’ll find countless stories of kids that paid their way through college by having a lemonade stand on weekend and summers and investing their earnings. Plop a few wheels on your cart and you could even go mobile offering door to door sales. If your child decides to make this a regular business, they could even have their own fridge magnets made for less than a dollar each to promote themselves.
Workin’ At The Car Wash
With most suburban households having multiple cars, there’s a quick and easy way to turn car washing into a fun activity for the kids, and a money saving activity for you. Setup wash stations for each car, and have a car washing race to see who can wash a car the fastest (with penalties for poor quality) It’s bound to be a great time for your kiddos, and you get your cars washed for free! Bonus round of interior cleaning if you own two vacuums.
Get To The Garden
Similar to cooking, this is something your kids could learn how to do while watching TV, and then take those skills to the backyard and start a garden of their own. The great thing about this is it teaches not only gardening skills, but responsibility through having to water and take care of whatever you’ve planned. When it comes time to harvest, use their creations in your own kitchen to save on groceries, or have your very own farmer’s market!
Garage Sale Treasure Hunt
Another true classic here, with a variation to make it fun for your kids. Compile a list of everything you’d like to sell in your garage sale, and send the little ones off on a treasure hunt! Whoever can find the most items in a given period of time wins a prize of your choosing. Then all you need to do is sit back, relax, and collect the cash as your items sell.
If you have kids that really love TV and know their shows well, time to turn the tables! What could be cuter than a group of 5 year olds doing their own rose ceremony Bachelorette style, or solving their own crime while drawing inspiration from CSI or Criminal Minds. Ask your kids to perform their favorite TV shows for you, and make sure you get it on camera! Start your own channel on YouTube to publish the videos, and if they go viral, the income potential is endless.
Got a kiddo that’s hooked on the Animal Planet or those Sunday morning veterinary shows? Let them put their passion to action and become the neighborhood dog walker! Of course, depending on their age, they may need your supervision, but this is a fun way to be around animals, get some exercise, and make a little bit of cash!
Arts & Crafts
Have a fan of TLC or HGTV on your hands? Have them create their own works of art – be that drawings, painting, beads, or any other form of arts and crafts. These can be sold locally at garage sales or on the corner, or even online with sites such as Etsy. Develop a name for yourself, and you could even have people coming to you with custom requests!
Chores For TV Time
So maybe you want to pull your kids from TV cold turkey and make them earn any screen time they want to have. A great way to do this? Chores for coupons as many call it. Depending on the difficult of the task, completing a variety of tasks can earn you a coupon valid for so many minutes of TV watching. Great way to keep the house clean, with motivation for the kids to do so! No need to hire a maid with this sure to win system.