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10 Quick & Easy Fundraisers for Kids

While the summer days are quickly slipping away, it’s always good to have a few entertainment ideas tucked away in your back pocket for when they set down the iPads. And besides, technology may be advancing beyond our imaginations, but do you really want them relying on a moral compass app? That’s where you come in.
There are thousands of worthy causes out there that would love to see your kids advocating and fundraising for them. Here are 10 quick and simple ideas to get your kids off the couch and out making a difference.
1) Make it a party
Invite the kids and parents in your neighbourhood to participate in some traditional fun in your backyard. Egg-and-spoon racing, tug-of-war, and a water balloon toss will wear them all out. Charge for the event, charge per game, or charge for the mouthwatering barbequed food you’ll offer later.
2) The Lemonade Stand
There’s a reason this one has been around for so long. Having your kids put together a lemonade stand is a great way to not only teach them about fundraising, but also about running a business.
Get them inspired in advance by having them create marketing pieces to post around town. And not all the money needs to go to the organization. What about a 50/50 split so they can buy ice cream later? (Ensure the donors are advised).
3) The Bottle Drive
Another standard option, but it can be a lot of fun if you have multiple children involved. Make it a competition to see who can collect the most bottles. Have a prize for the winner, and offer praise and motivation as their bottle mountains grow. #InItToWinIt
4) Costume Parade
Are your kids pirates or princesses? Give them a chance to show their true colours in a costume parade or themed day. Gather local youth and ask them to pay a minimal amount to participate.
5) Yard Sale
We live in a society of too much. Stripping away what we don’t need is a good lesson to learn at a young age. As your children grow out of their clothes and toys, challenge them to part with what they no longer use.
Reward them after with a memory-making experience to show that things are less important than adventures and caring for one another.
6) Board Game Tournament
Blow the dust off of your Scrabble and Yahtzee for a board game night! Pick games that are fun and familiar, set time limits, and charge per entrant. Whip up some delectable drinks and snacks that can also be offered for a minimal donation. Let the competitive spirit run rampant.
7) Balloon Pop
Is it a single balloon? Or half a dozen that need to be popped each round as they compete with each other to advance to the top. Make it more interesting by changing up the balloon shape, filling the balloons with stuff (have a water balloon round, or nickels that they have to collect from each balloon to drop in jars), or have them work in teams.
8) Car Wash / Dog Wash
Hot summer day? Check. Need to cool off? Check. Get through these dog days with a useful, messy car wash. Sponges will be thrown and buckets knocked over, but all is forgiven when it’s for a good cause. Give the youngest participants squirt guns for the car rinse.
9) Cardboard Boat Race
Have a pool or a pond nearby? This option is a great way to enjoy that sunshine and meager breeze. Give everyone the same supplies – cardboard, scissors, tape, glue and decorations – to see who can create the boat that will last the longest and float the furthest. Miniature boats in a pool, or full-sized ones on a lake. Offer prizes for the top creations.
10) Talent Show
You know your children are brilliantly talented, but do all of your friends? Use your back deck as a stage, borrow a karaoke machine, and ask objective neighbours to act as judges. Parents of the winner get bragging rights.
Ultimately, it’s not that hard to put the ‘fun’ in fundraising. Just ensure that you debrief with your children after the fact that they understand why you just had a dog parade in front of dozens of confused strangers. Kids comprehend and take to heart a lot more than they are given credit for. You’re equipping them not just for a fun afternoon, but for a meaningful life. So what are you waiting for?

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