Why and How of Teaching Entrepreneurship To Kids

About two years back, I got irritated working in the regular 9 to 5 grind. It felt that whatever I was doing, I was doing for somebody else – working for somebody else, working on somebody else’s idea and working to meet somebody else’s goal. I wanted to invest in myself. I wanted to work on something that I can call my own. I wanted to become an entrepreneur.

I Regretted Not Learning Entrepreneurship

It took me more than 30 years of my life to want my own business. As part of my education, I learned languages as they were important and so was learning science, social studies and mathematics. However, I didn’t get the chance to learn about entrepreneurship or the process of transforming ones ideas into business. I was not born into a business family so on that account as well, I didn’t have the exposure.

So I’m Trying To Teach It to My Daughter

I wanted my daughter Little B to understand entrepreneurship and make it a part of her life. I wanted her to realize the freedom that having one’s own enterprise gives a person, and I wanted her to get addicted to that freedom starting now.

Teaching Entrepreneurship to Kids is Imperative

My insistence on entrepreneurship is not just so that one day Little B becomes a business person. It is because, as I see it, entrepreneurship is a state of mind, a way of thinking. It stands of self-worth, taking control of one’s life, leadership, responsibility, fearlessness and creativity. It is about redefining limits and empowerment. It is like a bundle of every important skill that a person needs to thrive even in the most adverse situations.

I wanted to include my daughter in activities that can help her think, act and create like an entrepreneur. When the idea of handmade toys crossed my mind, I knew it would be a perfect place to start.

Handmade/Homemade Toys to Start it All

Like any other child of her age, Little B is interested in toys. I knew I can take advantage of this fact and initiate her into the world of enterprise through it. I went over many online activities which mentioned easy way to make toys at home. A simple “DIY toys” in the Google search box, gave me many potential leads.

In the beginning, Little B didn’t see any purpose in making her own toys – why to make toys if we can buy them? However I noticed that if I and my husband joined her for such activity, she promptly agreed. There’s nothing that kids love more than quality moments with their parents.

We made a gas stove, billing set, pirate ship, coin roller, Lego storage box and many more through our DIY projects. I found that cardboard is the best material when making such toys – it can be painted and it is durable enough to last at least a couple of weeks.

What She Learns Out Of It

Making her own toys gives Little B the opportunity to do problem solving. She collects a dozen random things and tries fitting them together to make a pulley. She thinks of a toy she wants and tries to create it. She is getting used to the independence the whole activity gives her – she doesn’t have to ‘ask’ or ‘request’ or ‘demand’ any toy from anybody because she makes a version of it herself.

She now thinks, “why to buy toys if we can make them?”

And that is how she is learning to take pride in things she creates for herself. That’s the first step in being an entrepreneur and Little B is on the right path.

(The above article was first published at MyCity4Kids.com and was written especially for Kellogg’s.)

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