Jobs That Tweens Can Do

April 19, 2009 by Amy Clark

Jobs provide wonderful learning and family-bonding opportunities, whether the purpose is to earn income, raise money for charity, nurture creativity or simply alleviate boredom. Here’s how you can help get your tweens to understand the value and necessary skills we learn from working.

Learning Opportunities and Safety

  • Scope it out. Accompany your child to a customer’s home on the first visit to assess safety and show you’re an active parent.
  • Talk to your kids about where and when personal information should be exchanged. If they’re communicating their service via an email address or website, make sure you have access to it and that they don’t post sensitive data.
  • Make sure kids understand the importance of good customer service, eye contact, timeliness and appropriate language and attire while on the job.
  • Set boundaries. Make sure kids understand basic safety measures such as staying out of the street and not talking to strangers.
  • Math matters. These jobs allow kids to practice simple arithmetic.
  • Teach the value of money. Encourage kids to save their earnings, spend wisely or donate to a good cause.
  • Work together. Help siblings cooperate and appreciate their unique talents.
  • Enjoy the moment. Relish the time spent teaching your child a new skill.


Kids who enjoy the outdoors will love helping parents and neighbors with yard work. Establish a fee or reward system, maybe 5¢ per pulled weed or 50¢ per planted item. Check out library books or visit a nature center to help kids learn to identify plants and seeds. If they plant and maintain a small vegetable or herb garden, they can sell the produce at a neighborhood stand.


  • Gardening gloves
  • Carpet square or knee cushion
  • Watering can
  • Trowel
  • Three-tine cultivator
  • Soil
  • Seedlings
  • Sunscreen

Wash Cars

A car wash works especially well as a one-time group event or as a by-request offering. For a group car wash, kids need to secure a space (a parent’s driveway or a school parking lot) and post signs and flyers. List the event on community bulletin boards, local newspapers and Craigslist. A by-request car wash service requires a different kind of advertising: Create and distribute a flyer that lists the price, processes (use of soft cloths, vacuuming the car interior, etc.) and availability. Get the word out by talking to neighbors and friends.


  • Buckets
  • Hose and water source
  • Cloths or soft sponges
  • Car wash fluid or liquid dish soap
  • Dry towels
  • Glass cleaner
  • Handheld vac
  • Signage and flyer materials
  • Small bills and change
  • Sunscreen

Do you have ideas to share on jobs for tweens? What has been successful in your family?

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark has been the driving force behind MomAdvice since 2004. In addition to running a successful community for women and running after her two kids, she has appeared on The Early Show, and in Parents magazine, Redbook, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, MSN Money and The New York Times.