Help Your Teens Earn Money for Prom

Last year the average family earmarked $1,100 to cover prom expenses. This year, get smart: Soften the blow on your wallet by having your teens contribute to the kitty. Read below for money-earning ideas that also teach valuable lessons.

Chores can add up. No question, you can give them a few bucks for routine chores like mowing the lawn or doing the dishes. Or sign them up for laundry duty. 

Think group effort. To help your teen and her besties earn big bucks, encourage them to “crowdsource” their prom fund by taking on larger endeavors with friends. If they like to cook, have them grab a few culinary-minded friends to host a dinner party/fund-raiser for the parents. The parents buy a ticket to the party (say $25–$50) and are treated to a night out with a home-cooked meal (and no cleanup!). If the event goes well, your teens can do it again with a breakfast or dessert theme.

Teach them to market their skills. Is your teen a stellar soccer player or a piano prodigy? Encourage them to approach your friends that have younger children and offer to give the kids after-school lessons for a small fee.

Go old-school. If your town allows it, help your teen and her friends organize a car wash or bake sale in a central location. At the end of the event, the teens can divvy up the earnings or put them toward a collective goal, such as the cost of their prom-night ride or the after-dance festivities. There’s no question—working for their ultimate prom will make the night even more memorable.  

 

 

Rainy-Day Activities for the Whole Family

The good times don’t have to end just because of a little rain. These activities make it easy to enjoy fun and games—regardless of the weather. 

Great skates! Who says you need actual skates to go skating? Just place an empty shoebox on each foot, then glide around the room to some upbeat songs. Your kids will have a blast, and you won’t believe how much exercise you’re getting. Crank up some Top 40 tunes to feel like you’re really at a skating rink.

Pitch a tent. So what if your cozy campsite just happens to be in the family room. Spread blankets across chairs, side tables, and couches. Then equip your pretend tent with games, flashlights, and a snack or a picnic lunch. 

Bag of tricks. Go to your bedrooms, kitchen, family room, or basement, and place five things in a paper bag. Then use the items in the bag as the inspiration for a play or story. The challenge: making sure each and every one of the items is included in the plot.

Water play. When all else fails, make going outdoors the game.  Get out your most serious rain gear—including rain jackets, waterproof pants, and rubber boots—and go puddle jumping or frog hunting with your kids. See how long you can stay out there without wanting to run back inside. 

Off to the races!  Use a couple of rolls of masking tape to create a giant play racetrack for your kids’ toy cars, boats, trucks, and airplanes. Have the kids place the toys at a starting line on the track, and delight as they race them to the finish time and time again.