Business Guide for Kids

It's been said that money makes the world go round. This expression, although metaphorical, is true. A good economy means that there are enough jobs for people to afford food, homes, and other important things. Businesses do well when they make profits, but can be destroyed if the money is not managed properly. This holds true for personal finance, as well. Money is a necessity for acquiring basic everyday needs and preparing for the future. These skills can be learned as early as getting your first allowance and deciding to buy a new game or saving it for a new computer.

General Information about Becoming Entrepreneurs and Inventors

  • Business New for Kids – "Today Shapes Tomorrow" is this website's motto. Business News for Kids is a kid-friendly website that takes "The Wall Street Journal" approach to business reporting, yet puts the news in a comfortable format for younger readers. Run by a man and his three sons, Business New for Kids presents business news surrounding the daily stock market results, the economy overall, and the auto, technology, environment, and computer and electronics industries.
  • These Kids Mean BusinessThese Kids Mean Business is a PBS documentary written and hosted by Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page. According to Page, most kids have the desire to start their own business, but do not have the knowledge to do so. In this telling documentary, Page explores the lives of kids who have started their own business, and provides key information for aspiring young entrepreneurs; information, Page says, kids are not taught in school.
  • Free Printable Business Cards – Sponsored by Savetz Publishing, this fun website provides templates for kids to print their own business cards for their new business ventures. The business cards can be designed and printed from a home computer for free, and there are many different types of templates to choose from, making it easy to find the perfect business card to suit the new business venture.
  • Smart Kids 101 – Smart Kids 101 is one of many kid-oriented projects by "full-time champion for kids" Julie Hunt. The Smart Kids 101 website contains articles and videos that help prepare a young entrepreneur for the business world. This includes narrowing a kid's focus down to the appropriate business path to take, mapping out the career with steps on how to draft a business and marketing plan, and discussing the key financial aspects of business profit and loss.
  • Be the "E": Entrepreneurship – Designed by a handful of college professors and business professional throughout the United States, Be the "E": Entrepreneurship provides links to several website resources and activities that train young minds on how to become a business owner. The website also contains inspiring true stories of young entrepreneurs who have turned their own ideas into successful business ventures.
  • Biz Kids – Biz Kids is a public broadcast show, blog, and newsletter that helps kids learn how to become entrepreneurs and run their own business. Biz Kids is created and organized by the same creative team behind the PBS-Emmy winning show Bill Nye the Science Guy. The Biz Kids website contains links to the PBS shows, cast blogs, the Biz Kids Newsletter, games, and resources for students and teachers.
  • New England Economic Adventure – Sponsored by The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the New England Economic Adventure website takes the real financial exhibit at the Boston Fed facility into the cyber world. This website contains links to information and games that teach kids the facets of economic growth. There are also teaching resources and information on how to visit Boston Fed's Economic Adventure exhibit in Boston, Mass.
  • Youth Rules! – The U.S. Department of Labor not only recognizes that teens work, particularly in part-time summer jobs, but also knows kids are the wave of the future. This business website provides information for kids, their parents, potential employers, and educators on the federal regulations surrounding youth employment, including where teens can work and how many hours they are legally allowed to work.
  • Inventor Ed, Inc., Presents: Kid Inventor Resources – Are you an inventor? Inventor Ed, Inc., discusses the importance of safety when inventing. Click on the "Return to Kids Home Page" after reading the safety article and find links to other kid inventor resources, including pages about inventing overall, invention pages for girls, rocket invention tales, and science links provided by teachers and the website's author, MIT Professor Ronald J. Riley.
  • Girls Go Tech – Sponsored by Girls Scouts of America, the Girls Go Tech website provides links to information on science, technology, engineering, and math. This is important for young entrepreneurs interested in pursuing a career as a scientist, inventor, engineer, or any of the math-related fields such as accounting or business finance.
  • Kids Invent! – Wildly Creative Learning sponsors this website packed full of information for young entrepreneurs interested in becoming inventors. The website includes links to invention activities, information on contests for future inventors, and also information for parents and teachers who want to encourage the inventor within their child or students. Complete the website activities to learn how to successfully design and market your future invention.

Ideas for Starting Your Own Business

  • Home School Entrepreneur: Business Ideas for Kids – "Deb" writes a comprehensive article giving young entrepreneurs some ideas on how to start their own business. Included are ideas for starting your own coffee business, farming, blogging, and opening a small baking business.
  • Show Kids the Money – Show Kids the Money.com is a website designed for parents to help them teach their kids how to start their own craft making business. If your kids is an ace when it comes to arts and crafts, this article gives comprehensive information on how your kid can turn their skills into a profitable business venture.
  • Education.com: Summer Entrepreneurs Moneymaking Ideas for Kids – Why get a summer job at a movie theater when you can turn your home into a movie theater? Why not open up a home care business to take care of your neighbor's houses while they're on vacation? Instead of getting traditional minimum wage summer jobs, Education magazine provides some fun ideas for kids and teens to open their own summer businesses to earn money while on summer vacation.
  • Life 123: Great Business Ideas for Kids – Marie Kirschbaum shares some unique, yet profitable, ideas for young entrepreneurs looking to make extra income. Included in this article are ways to open your own car wash, pet sitting business, yard maintenance business, and even becoming a delivery person or golf caddie. Explore this link for some interesting business venture ideas.
  • Invent Now – The Invent Now Organization is a compilation between the Ad Council, Invent Now, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation. This website provides comprehensive information on how to design your invention, build it, and get it patented through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It also has links for parents and teachers interested in helping kids make the next great invention.
  • National Museum of Education – Browse through exhibits of successful kid inventions. Have fun participating in a bubble wrap competition. Check out what other student inventors are thinking and creating. There are links to all of these inspiring pages on the National Museum of Education's invention website.

Money and Finance Websites

  • Figure This! – The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics present a website dedicated to those who love math. Take the math challenges provided on this website and see how you rank in mathematics. This website is a must for those seeking a future in economics and finance.
  • Jump$tart! – Jump$tart! is a website presented by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. This finance driven website provides tons of information for young financiers who want to learn more about the FDIC, accounting and clearinghouse practices and the regulations that surround them, and the financial news impacting America and its economy.
  • Kid's Finance – Hollis Page Harmen presents a website geared toward kids who want to learn the importance of financial solvency. This includes information on the different types of money circulating in the United States, how money is printed, and the stock markets and investing. Games and activities make this website a fun source of finance education.
  • The Mint – Northwestern Mutual Foundation designed this website to teach kids all about earning money, saving it, and spending it wisely. This financial website also has games that will test a kid's money smarts, and resources for parents and teachers.
  • The United States Mint – The U.S. Mint presents a "kids" page that teaches kids all about money. How is money made? What are the different denominations? Interested in becoming a coin collector? Learn all about money by searching through the articles and playing the games on this website.
  • Sense and Dollars – Managing money is a complicated thing to do. It is important, however, to achieve financial success throughout your adult life and into retirement. Maryland Public Television presents a website chalked full of games and information on how to earn, save, and wisely spend your money.
  • It All Adds Up – The Council for Economic Education presents a Shockwave driven website that teaches youth all about economics and how money impacts everyone's daily lives and the society we live in. Sponsored by American Express, explore this website to learn all about economics, and how they all add up.
  • Kids Health: Allowance Basics – Parents, want your kid to learn how get the most bang for their allowance buck? Explore Kids Health and learn how to establish an allowance and some great tips on how to teach your kids ways to earn the money.
  • Education.com: Show Me the Money! A Math Guessing Game – Play this math guessing game created by Education.com to learn about the different types of coins that American money has. This game is for the younger students who are just learning about money.
  • Money Instructor.com: Kids and Money – Money Instructor provides lessons for kids and parents of all ages on how to money. Links includes resources that teach about money basics, earning money, saving money, personal finance, allowances, and starting a business.
  • Finance 4 Kidz – Fintelligence Publishing presents learning resources that can be purchased, and an online blog to teach kids about the importance of finance and money management. There are also links to other financial website resources on this Web page.
  • CNN Money: Kids and Money – CNN's Money magazine gives both parents and kids the education needed to learn all about money, finance, the stock market, savings, and retirement. This website also discusses the crucial topic of credit and the importance of teens learning how to use it wisely. Browse through the "Money 101" lessons and teach kids the importance of being financially savvy.

Teacher Stuff and Lesson Plans

  • Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship – Founded by Steve Mariotti, an expert in educating at-risk youth, this website provides resources for teachers who need to encourage low-income students to stay in school and achieve financial success by opening their own business. Improve your students' academic performances, and set them on the path to success by utilizing this program's resources.
  • Money Instructor.com: Career, Work, and Business Lesson – Teaching kids to succeed in their future is critical. Money Instructor provides middle and high school business lesson plans for teachers who are looking to help their students obtain work. Lesson plans include resume writing, interviewing skills, and public speaking.
  • Teachnology: Business and Economics Subject Matter – Teachnology lesson plans cover business and economics for students of all ages. The plans include more advanced topics, such as the stock market and the current United States' debt.
  • Lesson Planet: Business Lesson Plans – Peer-reviewed business lesson plans include lessons on business loans, business marketing, international business, and Internet business. Lesson Planet provides lessons for preK to senior high school students.
  • National Geographic Expeditions: Where Should I Build My Business? – This 9 to 12 grade National Geographic lesson covers geography, economics, and social studies. Students create a mock business in their hometown after researching where they key market areas are in their community.
  • Legacy Educational Resources Money Lesson Plans – High school lesson plans are based on the successful book Money: How to Make It, Save It, Invest It, Enjoy It. Legacy Educational Resources is nonprofit organization with a mission to help educators change their students' lives.
  • Money Management International – Money Management International presents money-saving lessons to teach children the importance of saving and managing their money wisely. Lessons include establishing savings goals and using credit wisely.
  • The Teachers Corner: Money Lesson Plans – Elementary school teachers will find a variety of Teachers Corner lesson plans that teach students about earning money through rummage sales, investing in the stock market, and creating a money ladder to have students answer money questions until they reach the top.
  • Practical Money Skills – This website gives teachers lesson plans for PreK all the way up to high school. Basic plans include learning about money; advanced plans teach teens the importance of establishing and maintaining financial independence.
  • Kids.gov – The Federal Citizen Information Center designed this website for both kids and teachers. Explore links to lesson plans for students of all ages, as well as links for kids to explore the U.S. Mint, among other financially related government agencies.
  • These Kids Mean Business – The teacher portion of this website provides lesson plans for teachers of grades 3 through 12. The National Council on Economic Education has created the lesson plans, which are primarily focused on students wishing to become entrepreneurs.
  • EDTEC: Entrepreneurship Curriculum Series – Teachers of grades 5 through 12 will find beginner and intermediate lesson books for New Youth Entrepreneur series, and Making Money the Old Fashioned Way, which is a look into the history of African-American entrepreneurs written by teens.
  • Junior Achievement – Junior Achievement discusses middle grade programs to learn about money on this website link. Included are resources to help students begin and establish their future careers.
  • National Federation of Independent Business – Teach students how to take their ideas and turn them into profitable businesses with the National Federation of Independent Business Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom lesson plans. This three-module lesson plan covers everything from the initial business idea to obtaining financing for it.
  • The Mint – The teacher's section of Northwestern Mutual Foundation's Web page provides teaching resources for teachers of grades 6 through 12. Budgeting, credit, and the stock market are all included in these lesson plans.
  • Practical Money Skills – These lesson plans are specifically geared to grades 3 through 6. The lessons include a discussion on allowances, and how to save and spend the money wisely.

Learning Through Playing

  • Primary Games: Lemonade Stand – Learn how to run a successful lemonade stand in this time and money management game provided by Primary Games.
  • PBS Kids: It's My Life – Be your own boss in the PBS Kids' game. Decide on the business you want to start, obtain financing for it, and make the business grow into a successful moneymaking venture.
  • World Online Games – World Online Games presents several strategy-oriented business games that teach kids how to build their own business in both the industry and commerce fields.
  • Soft 82 – Soft 82 has a huge selection of business flash games for the young entrepreneur. Whether opening a restaurant or ski shop, kids can learn how to organize and run just about any business they choose on this website.
  • Lava Mind – Lava Mind offers many business-related games that teach kids how to grow their businesses to become a "Gazillionaire." There are also games that teach kids how to earn profits, as well as how to become a retail tycoon.
  • The Stock Market Game – One of the most important things to learn about finance is how the stock market works. Investing money can be a wise or disastrous decision. Kids can learn how the stock market operates and how to invest play money with this game.
  • Planet Orange – This website takes kids on a world tour of money and how to earn it, spend it, and save it. This "planet" also has resources for teachers and parents.
  • Rich Kid Smart Kid – These games teach kids how to teach their parents to be smart with their money. An interesting twist on financial lessons.
  • Savings Quest – Wells Fargo Bank gives kids a play paycheck and teaches them the different ways they can save and grow the money.