[ LITTLE ENTREPRENEURS ]
We’re pretty good around here about donating toys that no longer get played with. I keep a basket in the hall closet where I deposit toys and household items that are on their way out of the house. When the basket is full, I take it with me to Goodwill on one of my frequent thrifting outings, and drive through the donation center.
Recently, Alden went through all of his toys and did a massive purge. Instead of donating, or having a garage sale, I suggested he set up a little store in the house and invite some of the families that we know with younger boys to come and shop. We priced all of the items for less than a dollar, with most being 5¢–25¢ so that the kids could easily afford them with money from their piggy banks.
Tula is not quite so willing to part with any of her toys (I was able to talk her into selling a few of the lingering baby toys), so I suggested that she set up a cafe and sell strawberry shortcake, coffee, and lemonade. Again, we priced the treats really low. After all, these are friends of ours, who we would normally host for coffee and playdates for free.
I can’t believe how enthralled my kids were with the whole process. It kept them busy for two solid days (they barely sat down long enough to eat their meals). They cleaned, sorted, and priced the toys. We spent an afternoon outside painting signs and coloring paper bags, several hours setting up shelves and displays, and Tula got to work in the kitchen baking cakes (with a little help, of course).
Treasure Box Toys and Tula’s Treats Cafe—named by the kids—opened for business for three hours yesterday morning, and all of their hard work paid off. Little boys were scooping up cars and trucks by the armload. Friends with new babies gave homes to some of our favorite baby toys. Moms drank coffee, and we all devoured the tasty strawberry shortcakes.
In the end both kids made about $10, which in their eyes is a huge success. This whole process was never about them raking in boatloads of cash. It was a chance for them to take ownership of an idea, execute it in their own ways, and have a bunch of fun. My hope was that the entire event would be a hands-on learning experience, not only for my kids, but for the other kids who got to come and shop with their own money.