Is your child looking for a way to be more independent and earn a little extra pocket money?
Under child labor law, it is usually necessary to be at least fourteen years old to work for an employer. However, there are still several different types of chores and part-time jobs that your twelve year old can do.
Taking on a part-time job will help your child to become more independent and learn new skills. As a parent, you may feel nervous at first when your child does independent chores, but you can always supervise them.
So, here are some jobs for 12 year olds that your child might enjoy…
- Mother’s Helper
- Yard Work
- Working in the Family Business
- Cleaning Houses
- Elderly Helper
- Painting Jobs
- Bake Sale
- Online Business Ideas for Twelve Year Olds
- The Pros and Cons of Pet Sitting
- Skills Your Child Will Learn
- The Pros and Cons of Dog Walking
- The Pros and Cons of Lawn Mowing Work
- The Pros and Cons of Paper Routes
- The Pros and Cons of Running a Lemonade Stand
- Skills this Job will Teach your Child
- The Pros and Cons of Car Wash Jobs
- Looking for More Great Advice?
- Final Thoughts
Taking care of the neighborhood kids after school is a good way for your child to make some cash. If your child is interested in babysitting, they can do a special babysitting course through the Red Cross. This short course teaches First Aid and CPR/AED and comes with certification.
This job is perfect for younger children who aren’t ready for the responsibility of babysitting alone yet. A mother’s helper plays with younger children while their mother does other tasks. This is great training for babysitting and is a good introductory job for twelve year olds.
Next on my rundown of the Jobs for 12 Year Olds, many homeowners need help with a range of yard tasks throughout the year. Simple jobs include raking leaves, shoveling snow, weeding, and planting flowers. These jobs allow your child to spend time in the fresh air and get fit while making money.
Working in the Family Business
If you own your own business, your child is permitted to help out with simple tasks. If you own an office, they can file documents, mail letters, make photocopies, and even answer the phones. Working in a family restaurant taking orders from customers is also a great way to teach your child responsibility.
One of the great things about working in a family business is that you can set a flexible work schedule. Your child can work for a couple of hours after school and on the weekends. However, their work should be supervised by a family member at all times, and they cannot do hazardous tasks.
If your child is a star student, tutoring other kids could be the perfect way to earn money. They can help other students with subjects like science and math. If your child is musical, they could also help other students to learn to play the piano or another instrument.
For more information, check out my guide on How to Become a Teenage Tutor.
After a busy day at work, many people simply don’t have the time or energy to do the housework. Light dusting, vacuuming, and other house chores is a great way for your child to earn some money. Make sure they do their own chores at home before they visit friends and neighbors to help them out.
If you have elderly neighbors, they may need a little help around the house. This could involve light housework, taking care of their pets, and buying groceries for them. Some elderly people also appreciate having a younger person around the house to keep them company.
Simple tasks like painting fences and gates can help your child make some extra cash. Once they have gained skill and experience, they can advance to painting walls, cabinets, and baseboards. This job is perfect for children who have an artistic streak and can set them up for a future painting career.
If your child enjoys baking, this can be a great way for them to make some extra cash. They can create sweet treats and sell them to friends and neighbors. People who have a sweet tooth won’t be able to resist cakes, and other treats brought right to their door.
Elderly neighbors may also appreciate some simple and nutritious meals. It is a good idea to go with your child door to door when they are starting out. You may be able to arrange regular orders and teach your child some new recipes.
Online Business Ideas for Twelve Year Olds
Running a business is a great way for your child to learn valuable skills. Instead of working for someone else, your child can set their own prices and learn about everything from marketing to profit margins. Here are some of the simple online businesses your child can set up and run.
If your child enjoys crafts, they can turn their hobby into a way of making money. Help your child work out what they want to sell and set up an Etsy account. Show them how to take photos of their crafts and write creative descriptions to grab the attention of shoppers.
The only drawback with selling crafts online is that sellers need to be at least eighteen years old. You will need to help your child to post their crafts and interact with customers. Most crafts are quite time-consuming, and the potential profit from sales will be minimal.
Is your house full of your child’s artwork? If they have a little talent, they can sell their painted prints, sculptures, or ceramics online. They can also take photos of their works of art and sell the photos online.
Of course, your child needs to have some real talent in order to attract the attention of art lovers. Depending on what they like to make, you may need to help create a dedicated art space for them. You also need to make sure their artwork is properly packaged, so it doesn’t break during shipment.
Designing and assembling jewelry
This is a simple job for children who have an eye for jewelry and fashion. They can start off simple by creating friendship bracelets and simple earrings. As your child develops their skill, they can advance to more complicated jewelry.
Your child needs to have good attention to detail and plenty of patience to do this work. It can be quite repetitive, while the tiny pieces can be a bit fiddly. However, this is a fun hobby that your child can use to make some extra cash.
Sewing clothing or accessories
If your child has a passion for passion, this job is sure to fan the flames. Your child can start by simply hand sewing basic garments and accessories like wallets and repairing vintage clothing. As they gain experience and skill, they may start designing and creating specialist clothing and accessories.
The Pros and Cons of Pet Sitting
If your child loves animals, pet sitting could be a great job for them. This is a simple job that will teach your child responsibility. This job mainly involves feeding animals and cleaning up after them while their owners are at work or on vacation. You will need to make sure your child understands the pet feeding schedule and sticks to it.
If you don’t have a pet at home, this gives your child the chance to spend time with animals. Your child is likely to have fun interacting with the pets and caring for them. This is also a good way to find out if your child is ready for a pet of their own.
Minimal time commitment
Most pet sitting jobs only take a few minutes a day. This is perfect for children who have a lot of homework and extracurricular activities. If your child has extra time, they can also care for several different pets on the same day.
No startup costs
Unlike some jobs your child can do, they won’t have to pay out for any special equipment. The food, bedding, and everything else the pets need will be provided by the owner.
If your child does a good job, the people they work for may give them other work to do. This can include babysitting, housework, and yard work. They may also recommend your child’s services to other people in the neighborhood.
The amount of work your child gets and how much they can earn can vary dramatically. They may find that pet sitting work is difficult to find, at least at first. It is important to motivate your child, so they don’t become discouraged.
Even if your child gets lots of work, all the pets may need to be cared for at the same time. There could also be issues when you want to take a family vacation. It is a good idea to arrange for your child to work with a friend or two who can cover for them.
If your child neglects their duties, the pet could get seriously ill or even die. It is essential to make sure that pets always have enough water and are safe. Overfeeding or underfeeding pets could make them sick.
Skills Your Child Will Learn
One of the main skills your child will learn is responsibility. They will have to create a schedule of when pets need to be cared for and arrange other activities around it.
You can work with your child to create eye-catching posters and flyers to hand out in the neighborhood. Work out with your child the best places to put their posters so that they attract the most attention. You can use this opportunity to teach them about advertising slogans and how to make an impact.
Your child will usually be paid in cash every week or so. They will need to learn how to make a budget for the things they want to buy. They may also need to learn how to make changes when given larger notes.
For more info, take a look at our Pet Sitter Job Description.
The Pros and Cons of Dog Walking
This is another great job for animal lovers. If your friends or neighbors are busy at work, they are sure to appreciate this simple service. Your child can also take dogs to the local park to play with them and make sure they get enough exercise.
The starting salary for professional dog walkers can be as high as $50 per hour. Of course, your child will make a lot less than this when they are getting started. Still, this is a great way for them to spend time with animals in the fresh air and get fit.
Dog walking typically pays more than pet sitting. It encourages your child to spend time in the fresh air and interact with your neighbors. Your child will have the opportunity to bond with the dogs and form firm friendships.
Plenty of work
Dogs are very common pets, and there are likely to be several in your neighborhood. This makes the chances of finding work fairly high. If your child does a good job, they are sure to find it fairly easy to secure new clients.
Low startup costs
You don’t need to invest in a lot of expensive equipment to get your child started. It is a good idea to set them up with a supply of poop bags, a spare leash, and a portable water bowl. After this, they can use the money they earn to buy any extra supplies they need.
This job will teach your child the importance of responsibility. They have to arrive to walk the dogs at the time they have agreed with the owners. They will need to be able to organize their schedule and put this work ahead of playing with friends.
It is important to make sure your child knows this job is not all about play. They will have to pick up the dog’s waste and keep them safe at all times. They will need to watch out for aggressive dogs and other hazards during the walk.
Make sure the dogs your child is walking are not too large or strong for them to manage. If a dog is very large and strong, there is a risk they could pull your child over. This is especially dangerous if your child is crossing the road at the time.
Dogs need walking daily, and your child can’t decide to skip a day when they feel like it. This can be difficult if your child is sick or you are planning a family vacation. You may need to help your child find someone who can fill in for them when necessary.
Dogs need regular exercise, even when it’s freezing cold or pouring with rain. Walking dogs in extreme weather conditions can be quite difficult. However, this is a good way to show your child the importance of commitment.
Need more info?
You can find everything you need to know in our in-depth guide on How to Become a Teenage Dog Walker.
The Pros and Cons of Lawn Mowing Work
If your child knows how to use a lawnmower, this is a great way for them to make money. Many people simply don’t have the time to mow their lawns themselves. Your child will learn attention to detail as well as how to use and maintain different types of lawnmowers.
One of the main advantages of this type of work is that your child can arrange their own schedule. Most lawn mowing jobs take place on weekends. This ensures that your child has plenty of time for their schoolwork and their other commitments.
If your child works several jobs on the weekends and during the summer holidays, their earning potential is fairly high. Depending on the size of the yard, the fee for lawn mowing typically ranges from $10 to $40 per time. If your child does several jobs on the same day, they could start raking in the cash.
Lawns need to be mowed every few weeks. If your child does a good job, they can be sure the same people will contact them regularly. This can also lead to other yard work, such as weeding the flowerbeds.
Plenty of work
There are likely to be several people in your neighborhood who want this service. When they see the work your child does for their neighbors, they are likely to hire your child as well. This can allow your child to schedule several jobs within the same week.
One of the main downsides of this type of work is safety. It is essential to make sure your child knows how to safely operate different types of lawnmowers. A lapse in concentration could result in injury and/or damage to your neighbor’s yard.
There may be several people in your neighborhood who offer lawn mowing services. Your child may need to be persistent to land their first few jobs. This will get easier once they have gained a good reputation for their work.
This work is typically done on sunny days, and a sudden shower could put a dent in your child’s wage. Also, during a drought, lawns tend to die off and don’t need to be mown so often.
The Pros and Cons of Paper Routes
Taking on a paper route was once a popular way for children to earn money. The law states that this work can be done by twelve year olds. However, this work is becoming rarer, and your child will need to be motivated to find a route and maintain it.
The average salary for a paper route is $11.50 an hour. This may seem like a lot of money to your child at first. However, if they have their sights set on something expensive they want to buy, they will quickly learn the value of money.
Your child can ride their bicycle while doing their paper route. This is the perfect way for them to get fit while they earn money.
Your child will have to arrive on time to sort the newspapers. Many customers expect to receive their newspapers at a certain time. If your child is regularly late, they are likely to lose their job.
Customers often give tips at certain times of the year and even every week. If your child does a great job, their chances of getting tips will be higher. This will teach your child the value of customer service and increase their confidence.
Your child will have to face all types of weather conditions during their paper route. Delivering papers during heavy rain and sleet is likely to be challenging. You may need to drive your child on their paper route when the weather is really bad.
Early morning hours
If your child hates getting up in the morning, this might not be the right job for them. Newspapers often have to be delivered by 05:00 in the morning. Your child may have to get up at 03:00 to sort and deliver the newspapers on time.
Collecting money from customers may be one of the responsibilities of this job. This can be intimidating, especially if customers are unwilling to pay. Your child will also need to know how to protect themselves when carrying the cash around on their route.
If a customer makes a complaint, your child will receive a fine. This fine is deducted from their paycheck and is usually $2 or $3 per complaint. If this happens regularly, your child could end up working for free. However, this is a great way to teach them the importance of doing a good job.
The Pros and Cons of Running a Lemonade Stand
Running a lemonade stand is a traditional job that many kids love. This is a great job for the summer, and it will teach your child basic business skills. Make sure you choose the location carefully so it is visible to lots of people and your child is safe.
Running a lemonade stand is a great way to teach your child about business. They need to work out the cost of their cups and other items to know how much to charge. You can teach them about overheads and basic accounting to help them get started.
Your child can choose when they want to work. If they have other commitments like homework, they won’t have to worry about letting their employer down. You will also have the freedom to plan family vacations without worrying about your child’s job.
Limited start-up costs
It doesn’t cost a lot of cash to buy the ingredients for the lemonade. You could buy the basic ingredients and cups first to get your child started. Any future ingredients they need will come out of the money they make.
If your child is naturally shy, they may have trouble interacting with customers. You are likely to find that they lack the drive to attract customers and promote their product. However, setting up with a friend or two beside them can help your child get over their shyness.
If you live in a quiet neighborhood, there may be limited customers for your child’s lemonade stand. Busier areas increase visibility, but there may be competition from other stalls. You need to think about the location carefully and weigh up the limitations.
While this is a great job for the summer, few people will want to buy lemonade in the winter. As soon as it starts to rain, your child will have to abandon their stand altogether. Your child can try selling hot chocolate during the winter months. However, they will need to find a way to keep their brew warm and tasty.
The average price of a cup of lemonade is not very high. Your child will have to sell a lot of lemonade to make a good amount of money. They can try selling other things on their stand as well, such as cookies and crafts.
Skills this Job will Teach your Child
Running a lemonade stand is a great way for your child to learn basic business skills. These skills are sure to be very useful later in life.
Profit and loss
Your child will learn about profit margins and the cost of different ingredients. They will need to know exactly how much their lemonade costs to make so that they make a profit. They will also need to take other costs into account, and this is the perfect way to improve their math skills.
How to make business decisions
Your child will need to make different decisions while running their own business. This will include what types of cups to use and how to present their stall. These business skills look great on a resume and could be very useful in the future.
Your child will need to create the sign for their lemonade stand and work out a way to attract customers. This can be tricky if they set up in an area where there are several competing stalls. This is a good opportunity to teach your child about marketing.
Many children choose to run a lemonade stand together. They will need to learn how to share the responsibilities and make joint decisions. Teamwork is a valuable skill that most employers actively seek.
The Pros and Cons of Car Wash Jobs
Running a car wash with a group of friends can be a lot of fun for your child. If they are prepared to work hard, they could make fairly good money doing this work. Make sure you teach your child the proper car wash techniques. As an added bonus, you will have someone available to clean your car whenever you want.
Your child can decide when they want to work and how long for. If they are working with a group of friends, they are more likely to want to work more often. If they are sick or have other commitments, their friends can still run the car wash without them.
Working in the fresh air is a great way for your child to get fit. Washing cars can be quite a physically demanding job. This will help to get them off the couch and onto their feet, at least for a few hours.
Many children love to play in water, especially on a hot and sunny day. If your child is working with a group of friends, they can turn it into a game. Just make sure they focus on working instead of just horsing around.
Interacting with people in cars can be risky, even in your own neighborhood. You need to make sure your child understands the danger of talking to strangers. It is a good idea to supervise your child’s car wash, at least at first.
Your child will need to invest in a bucket, sponges, and other equipment before they get started. Some of the equipment will have to be replaced regularly. This will eat into the profits that can be enjoyed from this type of work.
You need to choose the place your child runs the car wash carefully. It should be an area where lots of people will pass by and see their business. However, you may prefer them to stay close to your house so you can keep an eye on them.
Not everyone will be happy with soapy water clogging up the sidewalk. Make sure you choose a location where this won’t be too much of an issue. You also need to make sure that your child cleans up when they’re finished working.
Looking for More Great Advice?
If you want the best for your child, it is well worth investing in some good books to read to make sure that they are on the right career path. Plus, as they get older, you can pass the books down to them so that they get as much good as possible from them.
I highly recommend Life Skills and Career Coaching for Teens, the Life Skills Activity Workbook, Soft Skills Training: A Workbook to Develop Skills for Employment, and a book every teenager should own, Road Map to Your Job.
As you can see, there are lots of types of jobs your child can do after school and during the school holidays. Many of these jobs will teach your child new skills as well as giving them some extra spending money. When your child earns their own money, they will gain a greater appreciation for its value.
However, it is important to take the time to work out the best type of job for your child to do. Sit down with them and go over some of your favorite options. You need to pick a part-time job that your child is excited about and will be able to do well.