What are the Best Summer Jobs for Kids?

B. Miller

The best summer jobs for kids depend a lot on the age of the individual, as well as his or her level of responsibility. A child will usually by law have to be at least 14 to 16 years of age for most formal jobs, and will have to get a working permit from his or her school, even for a summer job. However, other summer jobs for kids do not require a working permit, and this includes jobs like babysitting, dog walking, or doing yard work around the neighborhood.

Mowing lawns may be excellent summer jobs for kids.
Mowing lawns may be excellent summer jobs for kids.

If a teenager is old enough to get a working permit, he or she has a lot more options. In this case, the best summer jobs for kids might include working as a cashier at a grocery store, being a busser or dishwasher at a restaurant, or working as a lifeguard at a local beach or pool. Some construction crews or contractors will also hire teenagers for extra help during the summer. In many communities, summer fairs and festivals are common, and they often hire teenagers to run booths, do janitorial work, or sell food, for example. If teens set it up during the school year, there may even be summer job opportunities abroad through an exchange program.

A job as a restaurant hostess or cashier could be ideal for high school students seeking temporary summer employment.
A job as a restaurant hostess or cashier could be ideal for high school students seeking temporary summer employment.

Summer jobs for kids that are under age fourteen require more creativity, but they do exist. Babysitting is one of the most common, but it is important that the child is mature and responsible. Pet care and dog walking may also be a possibility. Yard work and lawn care around the local community, such as mowing lawns or weeding gardens, is another one of the more common summer jobs for kids that does not require quite the level of responsibility that babysitting or pet care does. Kids who excel in school might be able to find work tutoring other kids during the summer.

There are even some summer jobs for kids who may be too young for babysitting or yard work but still want to earn some extra cash. Bake sales, lemonade stands, or car washes can all be a great way for kids to have some fun and earn a bit of money. Some kids may also want to help families have a yard sale, or just help out around the home above and beyond their normal chores. All summer jobs for kids should be closely monitored, no matter the age of the individual, but they can be a great way to teach kids some responsibility, people skills, and good money management practices.

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Discussion Comments


Mother's helpers are still a great asset and a perfect part time summer job for students under the age of sixteen. Mother's helpers can watch younger children while the mom takes a shower or goes next door for a coffee and a chat.

Mother's helpers can be as young as twelve, and depending on their level of maturity, can help a young mother in many ways.

I remember when I was pregnant with my second child. I was sick as a dog and couldn't bear to smell any food cooking and yet I had to cook dinner every night for my oldest child and husband.

I hired a twelve year old Mother's helper to put together the dinner each night while I sat on the front porch steps trying not to upchuck! I left her with all the ingredients, the steps outlined in a simple recipe, and all the pots and pans within reach.

She learned to cook that summer and I learned how to simplify recipes. I also had some amazing moments playing with my three year old every evening while our Mother's helper created dinner.


Summer jobs for 13 year old kids haven't really changed all that much. Baby sitting is always needed and responsible kids are in great demand.

My daughter and her group of friends took the Red Cross babysitting course at the age of 13. These girls and boys were typically kids who were used to being with younger siblings and had a natural aptitude for watching the younger kids. Getting their Red Cross babysitting certificate was a serious matter and they took it to heart.

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