Summertime and the living is easy. Well, yes. But boring and too long may come to mind as well. From tiny to teen, a kid with too much time on his hands can zap the life out of sunny days and starry nights. If the first day of school can’t come soon enough, take steps to put energy back into summer.

Lemonade stands no longer top the list for summer money-making schemes, according to writer David Currach ( Creativity rules when seeking out ways to bring home the bacon. Do a little family brainstorming to help dream up a good job for your kids this summer. Or try the age-appropriate suggestions below and your child will be raking in the coins before you can say Donald Trump.
  • Friday Movie Night (ages 6-14). Clear out the family room and fire up the DVD. Send out flyers to family, friends and neighbors announcing a summer line up of family film favorites. Take reservations and offer popcorn, candy bars, and drinks at a reasonable price. Pass a garbage bag around when the movie ends, which will make clean up a snap.
  • Vacation Guru (ages 9-15). Get the word out. Your son is “the guy.” He'll water plants, mow lawns, feed pets, and collect mail and newspapers. Design inexpensive business cards and flyers announcing his services and fees. Tack flyers on neighborhood bulletin boards. Help him with scheduling when business booms.
  • On Broadway (ages 10-17). Steven Spielberg has nothing on your son, the director. Contact school, church and neighborhood friends to audition for a summer talent show. Guitar strumming, tap dancing, and lip-synching to Justin Timberlake are all in the running. Practice, practice and then announce the date for the big show. Charge admission. Double-dip and sell treats during the intermission.
  • Geek Patrol (ages 13-17). Technology and kids go together like piggies and banks. Encourage your son to use his hi-tech skills to assist the technology-challenged. Create a fee schedule and charge by the hour or the task. Senior centers, retirement and assisted-living facilities are target markets.
  • At Home Helper (all ages). Hire your son to help around the house making beds, washing dishes or caring for siblings. Treat each task like a real job. Model professional behavior. Name the task, explain what’s expected, decide on a fee, and pay up in a timely manner. Remember to praise a job well done. Therein lays the gold of the good ‘ol summertime.