I am an avid reader of ideas for teaching entrepreneurship not only for improving my own teaching of entrepreneurship but also so I can help parents and teachers implement entrepreneurship education in easy and effective ways. Sometimes we forget about the everyday opportunities we have for developing our kids into young entrepreneurs so here are 5 everyday activities that you can use to teach entrepreneurship to your kids.
- Getting up in the morning – do you go in their room and wake them up for school? Empower them by picking out an alarm clock and putting the responsibility on them. If they prove that they can be responsible (and keeping their grades up), you might make them a deal that they could use their cell phone as an alarm. After all, will you be there when they get up and get going for college or a job? Be sure to discuss what the consequences are if they don’t get up on time and get going to school. This one thing can teach responsibility and initiative.
- Budget for needs and wants – as young as age 9 they should have the skills to develop a budget for some of their expenses. Kids can understand needs and wants by then (even much younger than that) and so they could have a budget for needs and a budget for wants. This is a great way to have kids start learning how much it costs for necessities and learn what you as a parent are doing to provide these necessities for them. Then have them budget for their wants and come up with ideas to earn money for those wants.
- Questions or complaints; brainstorm solutions. If your kids are like mine – they ask multiple questions (and complain) every day. How many times have you heard, “I’m bored”, “How come she gets to do that” or “What’s for supper”? Since entrepreneurship is about solving problems, have them list the questions and brainstorm some ideas on how it can be solved. Then have them pitch an idea to you about the solution. This empowers them to come up with a solution and work as a team to put it together. It will also help their team work, negotiation and consensus building skills.
- Plan a Trip. Planning a trip is like running a project and entrepreneurs have to plan and manage many projects. Have a discussion of where you might want to go for a family trip (could start small with a weekend getaway). Then have them research hotels (including prices) and activities they want to include. If it’s a bigger trip, they can include airfare and a rental car. They can also come up with an itinerary for the trip. This will give an idea of how much a trip really costs and it will also give them the chance to learn how to research, document and communicate their findings.
- Promote their passions. No matter what it is, find out what they like the most and help them develop those skills. Maybe it’s going to cooking class together, or going to sports activity, it will make them feel special and help deepen their passion (and your relationship). If they are truly passionate about something, encourage them to turn it into a business. They can start small, maybe at craft fairs or by teaching kids at school. This way they can see how it goes and make sure they like it. It will give them a taste of entrepreneurship and maybe they will be able to earn money for some of those “Wants”!
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