Each summer we try to give our kids a peek into something grown-up. Last year we saturated their amazing brains with poetry and intense art, this summer we decided to tackle something more tangible. We decided to support them in running their own business. It really started over a dinner table conversation about how our family was going to pay for scout camp, swim lessons, drama camp and other summer things. We try really hard to keep the kids in the financial loop, I feel like it helps in those moments of "I want this". So anyhow, we started talking about how the kids could earn money to pay for their various camps and activities. I gave the suggestions of doing some big chores around the house, you know, like dusting and cleaning all the base boards, wiping out the refrigerator and other tasks. Bug, our oldest, piped in that he wouldn't be able to do enough chores to cover the entire cost of his camp. Which is sort of true and was said in a really whining, why are you making me do this voice. This is when Lou, the girl, mentioned something about having a garage sale where they could sell all their old toys. The conversation then turned into how the kids could work together and start a business. I suggested that they make a list of the things they wanted to do and things they thought they could do.
The kids brought the list to me for approval. Some of the ideas we squashed immediately due to the logistics of how they would work and the size of my kids. I make small children. I doubt there are enough mini poodles in my neighborhood for them to make any profit off of dog walking. We don't have any flowers, they can't quilt or make jam that could be re-sold and our lawnmower is super ghetto (and bug couldn't push it safely through other people's yards... I mean, when he mows our lawn it looks like we are breaking all kinds of child labor laws eventhough he is 11). The kids narrowed the list down to lemonade/cookie stand or jewelry. My boys vetod the jewelry idea pretty quick, so lemonade it was.
We then spent a considerable amount of time deciding on what to make for the bake sale portion. Lou poured over our baking books and some of my favorite baking sites. She had a long list of lovely baked items that she thought people would buy. We immediately got rid of any good that required a special item or pan. I wanted to keep the baked goods simple and easy for the kids to make. Oh yeah, I told the kids up front that I wasn't willing to "work" for them in the kitchen, they would need to do most of the baking and making. I was simply there to dispel arguments and keep the safety standards high. With that understanding the kids settled on cupcakes and cookies, solid good choices. Two kinds for each category. Lemon and Chocolate. yum...
The next couple of days were spent practicing the recipes. Both Dustin and I lent a hand. It was stressful at first, but we got into a good rhythm and the kids really took over. NOTE: my youngest came in and out of the process. While he wasn't un-helpful, I wouldn't say that he was helpful either. Mostly just present, especially when the taste testing was happening!
The next post will be about helping my oldest set up an excel spreadsheet and teaching him some accounting basics.
Thanks for reading!