"Movie Day" Fundraiser for Kids


One things my kids LOVE to do in the summer is earn their own money. They always want to sell lemonade, but I get tired of that day after day. A lot of times they will gather random stuff around the house and sell it to the neighborhood kids. (I seriously get so embarrassed, but they don't seem to care...and neither do the neighborhood kids.) They think it's cool, and I'm always so amazed that they actually make some money!

When we first moved into our neighborhood 11 years ago, we got a flyer from some neighbors about a movie day at their house. For $1:50, each kid could come and watch a movie and get a treat. My kids loved it. A few years later my kids were again wanting to come up with a way to earn money. Since this family wasn't hosting Movie Day anymore, we decided to try it out.

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They kids were super excited about their new business. We started off by picking the movies-- some old Disney classics and some newer fun ones as well. We counted all the weeks we were going to be home for the summer and picked a movie for each of those weeks. On the flier we took around to the neighborhood we listed each week, with the movie that that would be shown with the time and the price.

When their "customers" arrived to Movie Day, they paid their $1.50 (usually in the form of pennies, nickels and dimes). Then my kids led them downstairs where we laid out blankets on the floor in front of the TV. We popped popcorn and put it in little brown paper bags for them to eat during the movie. Our television wasn't big, but the kids didn't mind at all. Occasionally the kids would start getting restless so I would need to come downstairs to calm things down, but for the most part, they were all really good to sit and watch the movie.



For drinks, I just stacked a buch of little paper cups in the bathroom and they were good to help themselves when they were thirsty. When the movie was over everyone would get an otter pop for the way home. Then, after everyone had left, my kids knew they were in charge of cleaning everything up if they wanted to be able to keep all the money.

The key to Movie Days is letting your kids do as much as possible. It can become a wonderful learning activity, where kids use math, marketing, business, and computer skills. For example, kids can do all of the following:

-Calculate which treat is the most cost effective to serve (Candy bars? Otter pops? Laffy Taffys? Which brand is the cheapest? If a bag of candy is $10, how much does that make each piece?) -Decide how much to charge for tickets- enough to make a profit, but not overpriced -Cooperate to choose appropriate movies, and then gather them (buy? rent? borrow?) -Design flyers either by hand or on the computer -Print, copy, and distribute the flyers (friends' doors, hang in the library or post office, post on the neighborhood Facebook page, etc.) -Work to clean the house before customers arrive -Collect money from customers -Prepare/distribute popcorn and treats -Clean up after customers leave -Pay tithing on money earned

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I love the business and leadership skills that this teaches my kids. It's also fun to see kids in the neighborhood from several streets down that wouldn't usually come to our house. AND as a bonus, it keeps the lemonade stands and door to door garage sales to a minimum. Usually.

Have fun watching your little entrepreneurs grow!