As a child, I was always given money at Christmas time to use to buy gifts for my family, teachers, and friends. As a parent, my husband and I ask our children to use their own money to buy gifts for their immediate family members.
My children save aluminum cans from the neighbors and cash them in for money at the recycling center. This is their extra spending money. If they know they will be needing extra money for something, they have to work harder to get more cans from additional neighbors. This has worked well for them. The neighbors value the fact that they are working for their money. Some neighbors even drop their cans right off at our house for them.
Instead of just buying “whatever” for their gifts, as I did with my allowed money as a child, our children really think about what they are going to buy. My oldest watches the commercials months before Christmas looking for the gifts he wants to buy his brother. Christmas is almost here, but it is not too late to do this with your child. Offer to pay your child for certain chores in order for them to earn their Christmas shopping money. Next year, you can start this earlier with odd jobs or saving cans!
HELP YOUR KIDS START A CAN BUSINESS
1. Locate a recycling center near your home that pays for aluminum
2. Find a place to store the collected cans.
3. Help the kids write an informative letter, in their handwriting, to your neighbors explaining why they need their help collecting cans. Be sure to include your contact information so they can set up a can pick up. My kids wrote a letter to the neighbors explaining why they wanted to collect cans. I made copies of that letter and stapled it to a grocery sack which we hung on the neighbor’s front doors. We had people call us and set up times for us to pick up their cans.
4. Help your kids pass out the letters and start collecting the cans from your house.
5. Keep me updated! I can’t wait to hear from you.
A majority of your neighbors will want to help kids save aluminum cans, especially if they know the money is 100% for the kids. People will want to help more if they know the purpose behind the earnings.