We can probably all agree that entrepreneurial instinct is a great asset, even if you don’t go on to start your own business. Introducing your kids to entrepreneurship is a great idea, but how and when should you do it?
When to Start
There’s no magical age to start introducing your children to entrepreneurship, however, some basic cognitive understanding is necessary. Though you may not get into the nitty gritty of it all, you can “play shop” with kids as young as three and four. The important thing is to keep it fun; don’t make your kids dread it by forcing “teaching moments”. Let their curiosity take the lead.
Lemonade Stands and Beyond
Kids as young as five and six have been setting up lemonade stands for decades. Sure, this is a small venture into entrepreneurship, but it can hold many valuable lessons. By asking constructive questions, you can help your kids think creatively and reinvent the wheel – or in this case, the lemonade stand – without taking control.
- What else would people buy along with a lemonade?
- What about people who don’t like lemonade?
- How will people find out about your lemonade stand?
- Where can you set up the lemonade stand? What’s good and bad about each location option?
Make Problem Solving Fun!
Problem solving is an invaluable part of entrepreneurship and it’s one that easily integrates into play. Everything from playing with trains and need to figure out how to close the loop with the right track pieces to trying to figure out how to trapeze an obstacle course without touching the ground works those problem solving muscles.
Important principles to integrate into your child’s playtime:
- It’s okay to try something even if it doesn’t work out.
- Take a few minutes to think about possible solutions.
- Frustration is okay, but it shouldn’t discourage you!
Teach Your Children to Think Differently
This is an important trait many entrepreneurs share. Here’s a fun game kids do this:
Take an ordinary item (book, pen, scissors…just about anything!) and see who can name the most uses for the item aside from its traditional use.
For example, a pen can be used:
- as a paper hole puncher
- to dig a hole in the dirt before planting seeds
- stir chocolate milk
- How To Integrate Entrepreneurial Skills Into Your Child’s Play - August 8, 2017
Though you should make it clear to your kids that you won’t actually be using a pen to do these things, the act of imagining an item to serve a different purpose helps your child learn to think outside of the box.
Teaching Kids Technology
When your children get a bit older and know how to navigate their way around different digital tools, you may feel comfortable to show them how to use Slack, Square, Nimble, Google Analytics, or any of the other online tools you find most useful. They don’t have to become pros, but even a little exposure into what each tool does, can be an interesting lesson.
How do you keep your kids’ entrepreneurial wheels turning?
TaZa was born out of a belief that fine wine and adventure go hand in hand. She’s committed to the living life to the fullest - that means balancing work and play, eating well, conditioning the body and mind, embracing the world as a classroom, raising awesomely curious children and taking care of the planet and ourselves.
In addition to TaZa and another venture, Veppo, she has also started the Skip the Plastic Straws Movement, a global effort to end the use of disposable drinking straws.