The summer holidays are fast approaching; between six to eight weeks of glorious sunshine (this year, maybe that will be true!) and pure bliss if you’re off on school holidays. Whilst the summer holidays are full of fond childhood memories for many of us, it can be really hard to keep your children entertained and productive over the seemingly endless six weeks. Here are our top tips to make sure your children stay productive and keep their money skills sharp whilst still having a fun and memorable break from school.
1. Gardening — With the weather getting hotter, the garden will be growing like never before. A great way for teenagers to earn money is by mowing the lawn, weeding the flowerbeds and generally ensuring your garden looks picture-perfect. But more about this later!
2. Housework — Whilst this word spreads fear and panic in most kids, setting household chores for children using goHenry’s solution means the extra time they enjoy at home during summer can in part be used to keep the place tidy and help them learn about earning money at the same time.
3. Car washing — Machine car washes can be expensive and when the weather’s nice, car washing is an excellent chore for teenagers. When the sun is shining, it’s a great way for teenagers to earn money whilst getting some fresh air.
4. Pets — With more time at home, children can keep productive in the summer holidays by spending more time looking after their pets than they can when it’s term-time. Things like walking the dog, cleaning out the rabbit hutch or grooming the cats are good jobs for a 13 year old (or older) and could provide an excellent way for your children to earn money.
5. Reading — Those long summer days provide a great opportunity for your children to do more reading — fiction or non-fiction, reading is great for keeping their minds active. Why not encourage them to set aside some time each week to read, whilst providing a fun activity (listed below in point 8) outside the home to add variety to their days.
6. Saving goals — Money can easily be frittered away on lots of little purchases over summer, so why not encourage your children to decide on a bigger purchase they’d like to make towards the end of the summer and help them stick to their saving goals leading up to this? It’s a great way to teach children about money and the satisfaction they’ll have from successfully saving up for it will live long in the memory.
7. Volunteering — This isn’t just for adults. There are many projects aimed at getting young people into volunteering for charities and other organisations, such as Royal Voluntary Service and The Princes Trust. Both of these offer volunteering opportunities for those aged 14 and over, which can be a great way for children to use part of their summer holidays helping others.
8. Free attractions — The UK is full of free parks, attractions, museums and galleries, so why not encourage your children to enjoy these and keep costs low whilst still getting their brains ticking? Here are just a few ideas for great museums that are educational as well as entertaining:
The Natural History Museum has an exhibit on extinction running until September 2013.
Imperial War Museum North (Manchester) has a Horrible Histories 'Rotten Rationing’ show running until December.
9. Music Practice — Sometimes it’s only during the school holidays when children have enough time to practice their musical instruments. Setting aside some time each week will ensure children don’t get rusty over the break.
10. Writing a blog or journal of the holidays — Whilst writing may not come easily to every child, writing a blog or journal of their experiences over the summer holidays is a great way for them to create an online 'scrapbook' of what they’ve done. You can help them upload photos and videos and it provides a creative output for your children, making sure the summer will be remembered long after hot weather has disappeared.
Using goHenry’s unique earning, saving and spending solution, parents can set their children tasks and chores to help them earn extra money, so this summer that could mean a cleaner house and garden and a happy teen with more money to spend.