Summer Jobs for Teens and College Students: Over 30 Ideas for Productivity and Earnings

Summer Jobs for Teens and College Students: Over 30 Ideas for Productivity and Earnings

Summer Job Ideas and other Opportunities for Teens and College Students

Every parent’s favorite summer activity for their teen or college student is a J-O-B. Nothing like getting them into the real world, collecting a pay check and having taxes deducted from it to help them see the value of their education. A  summer job doing anything whether it is hauling trash, answering phones, entering data, or taking orders at the Burger Barn is a worthwhile experience. It teaches responsibility and gives them references and experience for their future endeavors. Here are some Summer Job Ideas and Other Opportunities for Teens and College Students.

After two summers of  few opportunities this summer should have ample options. And with the worker shortage businesses may be more willing than ever to hire summer help. Pools, water parks, tourism, and anything seasonal are especially good opportunities. Use these summer job ideas to help them find something to do out of your house!!

Summer Jobs for Teens and College Students: Over 30 Ideas for Productivity and Earnings 1

Summer Job Ideas and Other Opportunities for Teens and College Students

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Summer Job Ideas: Try Self Employment:

Self Employment is one of the best summer job ideas. Any skill can be marketed to neighbors, friends, and friends' Facebook contacts.

  • Babysitting: Many moms and dads are still working from home and desperately need someone to care for their children, take them to the pool, play with them, and get them out of the house.
  • Lawn mowing
  • Other yard work
  • Tutoring: Online or in small group settings. If they have an area of expertise, advertise it. Many kids are behind because of online school. Being willing to work with kids, teens, and college students to get their knowledge of a subject ready to go back in the fall of 2022 will be invaluable.
  • Computer or other technical skills (One of my sons spent a summer transferring friends’ old VHS recordings into digital formats. He then branched into video production, including weddings and promotional videos.)
  • House sitting
  • Pet sitting
  • Providing rides for kids to lessons, camps, the pool, etc. for occupied parents


Summer Job Ideas: Look into the “Gig Economy”:

  • Grub Hub, Uber, and other delivery and service jobs are good summer job ideas for those who meet the age and other requirements.

Summer Job Ideas: Take Classes for Employable Skills:


Summer Job Ideas: Hire your student:

  • Here is an interesting summer job idea! Give your teen or college student a household responsibility, such as the yard, the laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and pay them to do it.

Apply for scholarships:

Take Summer School:

  • Knock out a high school or college graduation requirement. My daughter knocked out 9 hours online last summer.


  • Even if they have a job, send them to a hospital, a church, or anywhere that won’t consider it trespassing if your kid hangs around trying to be helpful. Consistent volunteer work is a great college application and resume booster. Organized volunteering in a group setting may still not be available this year. Your student can create their own opportunities by making cards and dropping them off at nursing homes and doing other individual service projects.

Summer Internships:

  • For your college kids, summer internships in their chosen field are a must. If you have a connection in that field, then it is not too late to ask if your college student could intern with them for a week or more this summer. If they cannot find anything, go to summer school to free up space in their schedule later when internships are available.
  • Most internships are applied for and accepted during the spring, so if one is not available this summer, time spent researching what internships would be possible for the next summer and the application process will pay off.
  • Ask to interview someone in a field of interest about their education and experiences. If a real live human is not available, listen to podcasts or read blogs about the profession.

Read 7 Musts Before Senior Year:

Plan for College

Attend Camp:

  • Fun, sun, bonding, getting along with others, new skills and adventures. I’ve never heard of a camp that allows the kids to stay up all night, sleep all day, and make a mess of their cabin, so even though their duffle and clothes will be full of dirt, they will have an intact sleep/wake cycle when they return.

Attend Specialized Camps and Classes

  • There are camps and classes for everything: badminton, musical theater, cheerleading, sewing, cooking, tennis, creative writing. Don’t miss the opportunity to improve a skill or acquire a new one. 

Test Prep:

Special Projects:

Do you have projects you are “going to get to someday?” Hire your son or daughter to do one. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Organize photos
  • Scan photos
  • Video your house as a home inventory for insurance purposes.
  • Clean out the garage.
  • Clean out a closet.
  • Hold a garage sale with the items they have cleaned out and allow them to keep all or a percentage of the profits.

Bucket List:

List their textbooks:

Sell Digital Photos:

Start a blog:

  • Blogs give you a forum for your thoughts, teach you to create a website. (i.e. marketable skill), and sometimes make a little money. To begin you will need a host server and domain name. I use Siteground as my server and WordPress to build my site. WordPress is free. I have a custom theme called “Divi” that I purchased from Elegant Themes. I share more about blogging in this post.

Get ready for the next school year:

  • Read the assigned summer book or books.
  • Clean out backpacks.
  • Clean out dorm stuff and pack up for the next year.


While a job working for someone else is the first choice of most parents for their teen or college student, sometimes that does not work out. But, there are still plenty of ways to make productive use of time and even earn money during the summer. They can free-lance their skills and time, prepare for standardized tests (which can mean money later on), take classes, volunteer, work online, and many other possibilities.

Tell me your summer job ideas in the comments below.

Graduation Brunch Ideas

Graduation Brunch Ideas

Graduation Brunch Ideas

Why have a graduation brunch? When we were planning a party for my daughter and her friend we realized the kids literally had parties scheduled all day long and evening for several weekends and days in a row. You need to coordinate all of these events so that they do not overlap (or don't overlap by much). A graduation brunch is a great idea because there are usually fewer graduates vying for this time. A brunch also gives opportunities for many fun graduation brunch menu ideas!

Read on for Graduation Brunch Ideas!

Graduation Brunch Ideas

Graduation Brunch Ideas 

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive (at no additional cost to you) a small commission, which helps pay for this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

minted graduation party invitation


The first thing you will need for a graduation brunch is invitations. These amazing invitations are from Minted. If you are giving a party for more than one graduate, have a picture taken of the honorees before creating the invitations or use a picture of them from their high school years.


clear frame with picture of girl on table at graduation brunch


We rented bistro tables for the kids to stand at while they ate their food. Use simple table decorations that do not take up the whole table. We chose pictures of the graduate in acrylic frames surrounded by confetti. Confetti is inexpensive and the frames can be reused. You can get a set of 5 acrylic frames for $39.95 on Amazon.

mother daughter in front of picture backdrop at graduation brunch


One of the best graduation brunch ideas is to have a fun photo backdrop. We ordered this beautiful backdrop on Etsy. You can find any style you would like and have it customized here. And yes, my daughter is really that much taller than I am!

graduation brunch buffet


The honorees celebrated their new schools with donuts decorated in the school colors – green and yellow for Baylor and red and white for Oklahoma. These were a HUGE hit. A friend of ours made the donut board, which we have loaned out on several occasions. If you live in Tulsa, feel free to come and borrow it 😉

We also had a virgin mimosa bar. Make cute tags and tie them on with twine. Our bottles came from Target, but you can order these pretty bottles on Amazon.

graduation brunch buffet


Fruit, breakfast burritos, pigs in a blanket, and mini yogurt cups and granola and other toppings rounded out the menu. We ordered the cute little yougurt cups from Amazon. 

jar with notes from attendees at a graduation brunch


We set out a jar and paper for the kids to write notes to the graduates. Also do not forget a gift table!!

corn hole game


Corn hole in the back yard was also a hit. We ordered corn hole bean bags in the girls' school colors.

A Graduation Brunch can be a wonderful solution to overlapping parties and other graduation festivities. I hope these Graduation Brunch Ideas help you in your planning. Be sure to savor the day and take lots of pictures!!

Bible Verses for High School Graduation

Bible Verses for High School Graduation

Bible Verses for High School Graduation


High school graduation is such an exciting time filled with bittersweet memories and dreams for the future. As our babies take their first steps into the real world, we want to send them with encouragement and prayers. These Bible Verses for High School Graduation are the best guidance to give them.

Write these Graduation Bible Verses on a graduation card or print them out on card stock so they can tape them to their mirrors and pin them to their bulletin boards.

The Printable Bible Verses for High School Graduation are available for FREE for members of the Almost Empty Nest community in the Printables Library. You can gain access to the library, which contains all of the Almost Empty Nest printables above and below this post.

For more verses:

12 Bible Verses for College Students

Bible Verses for Parents of College Students

Bible Verses for High School Seniors at my new home Next Phase Parenting.


Bible Verses for High School Graduation 2

Bible Verses for High School Graduation


Proverbs 3:1-2 – Do not forget my teaching, but keep my commandments in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.

Deuteronomy 31:8 – The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Numbers 6:24-26 – The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Exodus 14:14 – The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Colossians 2:6-7 – So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Micah 6:8 – He has told you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Matthew 5:16 – Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.



I love every one of these verses. They are my prayers for my own children. I pray you will be able to use these Bible Verses for High School Graduation to encourage the graduate in your life.

What are your favorite verses to write in a graduation card? Comment below!

Need present ideas:

Ultimate Graduation Gift Guide


Bible Verses for High School Graduation 3
Bible Verses for High School Graduation 4

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More from Almost Empty Nest:

Bible verses for empty nesters
Bible verses for parents of college students
Bible Verses for College Students
17 Tips for Empty Nesting, College and Life Prep, and Parenting Teens

17 Tips for Empty Nesting, College and Life Prep, and Parenting Teens

17 Tips for Empty Nesting, College and Life Prep, and Parenting Teens

It's been a strange week. I cut my finger slicing carrots, then I got tested for Covid after my sweet physician husband put on a steri-strip at his office.

I had texted him to say I could not get my finger to stop bleeding. He told me to come up to the office. His text auto-corrected to “steroid strip,” so I thought he had some magic strip that would stop the bleeding, but no, it was just a super tight band-aid. In addition to my gross finger I also complained of a scratchy throat, congestion, and a headache. Off to the lab I went. I really just wanted the magic bleeding-stopping strip and not the q-tip-up-my-nose-thing again.

My test was negative.

Read on for the 17 Tips for Empty Nesting, College and Life Prep, and Parenting Teens.



17 Tips for Empty Nesting

 17 Tips for Empty Nesting, College and Life Prep, and Parenting Teens

Join me and my co-host and friend Melanie Studer at the Next Phase Parenting Summit. 17 contributors will present their most amazing tips for empty nesting, college and life prep, paying for college, and parenting teens.

No proving you don't have COVID and you don't have to wear a mask, but it is fine if you do.

For three whole days you can interact with parenting, college and career prep, paying for college, and empty nesting experts. These are not just “experts,” but folks who have BEEN THERE. They will share their knowledge and their hearts on their topics.

You can also join the Free Facebook group to interact with other attendees and speakers, ask questions, and play fun games and win prizes!!

I'll see you on the inside!



Tax Credits and Deductions for Parents of College Students

Tax Credits and Deductions for Parents of College Students

Tax Deductions for Parents of College Students


No one likes paying for college and no one likes doing their taxes. Fortunately there are a few ways to make the process more pleasant during tax time with tax deductions for parents of college students. These college student tax credits can give you a few of your tuition dollars back from the government when you file your taxes each year.

For more posts about Paying for College:

How to Complete Your FAFSA

The Complete Guide to Paying for College


tax credits and deductions for parents of college students

Tax Deductions for Parents of College Students


There are 2 tax credits and one tax deduction available to parents of college students. They are the American Opportunity Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit, and the Student Loan Interest Deduction.


The American Opportunity Credit

The American Opportunity Credit is a credit available to parents of college students who claim their student as a dependent on their taxes. College students who are not dependents on anyone else's return may also claim the credit.

If your adjusted gross income is below $90,000 for single filers and $180,000 for joint filers, you can take up to a $2500 credit per eligible student on your return. The cool thing about credits (as opposed to deductions) is that they come straight off your tax bill.

Your college student must be pursuing a degree or other recognized credential, be at least a half-time student, and have a social security number to claim this credit.

The other cool thing about this credit is that you could potentially receive CASH BACK. 40% of the credit is refundable for most taxpayers.


Lifetime Learning Credit

The Lifetime Learning Credit is another credit available to parents of college students. You cannot take both the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit on the same return. Usually the AOC is better, but you can only take the AOC for 4 years per eligible student. The Lifetime Learning Credit can be taken for an unlimited number of years. So, if you are still paying for expenses after 4 years, you can switch to the LLC.

Although the Lifetime Learning Credit has a lower income threshold ($68,000 for single filers and $136,000 for joint filers), its eligibility requirements are not as strict. It does not require that the student be pursuing a degree and includes courses to acquire or improve job skills and it can be claimed for one or more courses.

The LLC will not result in a refund on your return. It can only reduce the amount you owe.


Student Loan Interest Deduction

The student loan interest deduction is not a credit. It is one of the taxdeductions for parents of college students, meaning it reduces your income, not your tax liability. The maximum deduction is $2,500.

This deduction can be taken by the person who is claiming the student as a dependent AND is legally obligated to pay the student loan interest.

The person who is legally obligated on the loan will receive a 1098-E from each institution to whom $600 or more in interest was paid during the tax year.

The income threshold for this deduction is $85,000 for single taxpayers and $170,000 for joint taxpayers.


Tax Credits and Deductions for Parents of College Students Cheat Sheet

I created a cheat sheet to summarize the tax deductions for parents of college students in this post. It is available in The Printables Library. You can access it below. These college student tax credits and student loan interest deduction are complicated in their eligibility, so I encourage you to consult a tax professional. I have done my best to report accurate information, which I obtained from IRS Publication 970.  

tax credits and deductions for college students
Adult Children Living at Home: 6 Best Tips for Parents

Adult Children Living at Home: 6 Best Tips for Parents

Adult Children Living at Home: 6 Best Tips for Parents

Fellow Empty Nest blogger Linda Hanstra shares her experiences with her adult children moving back home in this post: Adult Children Living at Home: 6 Best Tips for Parents.

I knew it would happen.

Just as I began to relish the empty-nest life–the silence, the freedom, the lack of clutter–my daughter said, “I’m coming home!”

I’ve enjoyed the serenity of empty-nesting for much of the past four years. Our “party of two” is much simpler than the “party of six” we had for many years prior. I appreciate the reduced workload of only caring, cooking, and cleaning for two. 

It’s a stark contrast to when the kids come home and the noise level increases, as do the grocery bill, the dirty dishes, and the clutter. They fill the guest rooms and every square inch of extra space in the house with stuff. Lots of stuff. I hope this post Adult Children Living at Home: 6 Best Tips for Parents will help you if you find your kids boomeranging back to the nest.

Adult children living at home

Adult Children Living at Home: 6 Best Tips for Parents

Having put four kids through college, I’ve experienced the Boomerang Kid scenario several times. I got used to their brief stays over school breaks and we learned to adjust, even for a whole summer. The biggest surprise was the extended visit during the pandemic of 2020 that doubled our household size overnight.

And here we are again, facing not one, but two boomerangs. With the recent college graduations of our final two kids (Woo-hoo!), our daughters are both coming home for…a while. With student loans to pay, an uncertain job market, and the cost of housing, it makes sense for them to avoid paying rent for a time. 

Are you making way for ducklings as well? Is your college kid returning home for the first time and you don’t know what to expect? Do you have a boomerang flying at you and you’re not sure how to catch it?

Let’s start by remembering our kids are no longer children, but rather young adults. They’re old enough to marry, buy a house, and have their own children, whether you (or they) are ready for it or not. With that adulthood comes a strong desire for independence. This means as parents, we step out of our former role as disciplinarian and commander-in-chief, and become (hopefully) a trusted advisor and friend instead. 

Here are the Adult Children Living at Home: 6 Best Tips for Parents to help you avoid potential conflicts, build lasting relationships, and gracefully catch that boomerang, and to live happily together.


If you don’t want to take on hours of extra work or spend all of your time nagging your young adult about cleaning up their dirty dishes, it’s important to assign chores and responsibilities early on. 

If your daughter had chosen (or hopes) to live on her own, she would do her own cooking. Every night. Asking her to make one or two meals a week not only helps you out, but is good practice for her. If your son has been away at college, he has learned how to do his own laundry. There’s no reason that should stop.


Don’t be afraid to talk openly about money. Or the lack thereof. For many young adults, it makes good financial sense to go back to their old digs for a time. As long as Mom and Dad haven’t downsized their home and there’s still a room available, why not? But this is usually not what either party desires for the long term. 

You can prepare your young adult for eventual independence by teaching them fiscal responsibility now. In exchange for free housing, require them to keep a budget, to pay off student loans, or even pay a small sum for the privilege of living at home. Review money matters with them regularly and determine what means are available as you help them plan a course of action for their financial future. 

If your child seems to be free-loading or taking advantage of you, it’s time to draw the line. Require job-searching goals and actions. If they can’t find their dream career, they may have to settle for flipping burgers for a time. Encourage them to move toward independence by setting reasonable limits on your handouts.


Your adult child receives many fringe benefits by living at home. Make a list of what you will provide and what you expect them to pay for or do in return. Don’t forget about internet, cell phones, and streaming services. Who will use them? Who will pay for them? 

What about transportation? Will you be juggling cars and who will pay for auto maintenance, insurance, and gas? If they don’t have means to pay in dollars yet, barter for a service, like mowing the lawn or weeding the garden. 


Will you be home for supper? 

Where are you going tonight? 

Will you be out late? 

What time do you work tomorrow?

Rather than a barrage of nagging questions, keep a family calendar to avoid schedule conflicts and surprises. Use texts or phone calls to check in. Let your young adult know what you expect and also what you need. Do you and your spouse miss your freedom and alone time? Let your kids know you want one night a week “sans kids.” 

Check out my Happy Together Checklists for talking points you’ll want to consider in kicking off clear communication. If it helps to put things in writing, consider creating an informal “lease,” outlining expectations for both sides.


Your standards of cleanliness and tolerance of clutter may differ from your young adult’s. Rather than make unrealistic demands that will erode your relationship, find a balance that you can both live with. What seems like laziness or a waste of time to you, might be relaxation for them. Permit them to have their own habits and space as long as it doesn’t take away from yours.

Remember, your child has grown and changed while away from home. Friends, professors, and mentors have shaped them. Their choices are not a reflection of only your parenting, but also of many outside influences. Make room in your life and heart for the mature adult they are becoming, with their own opinions, gifts, and personality. 


The Boomerang Kid days allow extra parenting opportunities. I’ve had many heart-to-heart talks with my adult children and have taught them skills and lessons we had little time for during their busy younger years. 

Use this added time to give instructions on cooking, gardening, and home maintenance; medical insurance, retirement plans, and career goals. Discuss issues of faith, values, politics, and current events. You can still be an influence in your adult child’s life, so listen with an open mind while giving advice sparingly and with love.

Finally, use this “bonus” time to build deeper, lasting relationships. Find interests you have in common and pursue them together. Eat meals as a family. Vacation together. Encourage your young adult to attend worship with you. Seek opportunities to laugh and have fun together. 

Before you know it, your nest will be empty and quiet again. You’ll miss the youthful energy, the conversations over coffee, and the joy of watching your child take their first steps…into adulthood. But in the meantime, follow these Adult Children Living at Home: 6 Best Tips for Parents as you get ready to catch that boomerang and live happily together!


CLICK HERE to access the Happy Together Checklists! Spend 15 minutes upfront to save hours of potential conflict and misunderstanding. These questionnaires–one for the parent(s) and one for the boomerang kid(s)– cover expectations for household duties, food, finances, freedom, privacy, and more! 

For more Resources on Parenting Adult Children: Best Books on Parenting Adult Children 

Adult Children living at home checklist
Linda Hanstra

Linda is wife to Tom, Mom to Jared, Seth, Leah and Chloe, MIL to Maddie, and she’s now a grandma too! Linda is inspired by her everyday experiences and perspectives as a parent and empty-nester. Through biking, traveling, parenting her adult children, assisting her elderly parents, and spending time with family and friends, she captures stories to encourage you in your everyday. If your nest is full-for-now, soon-to-be-empty, or all the birds have flown, Linda’s message is one of promise and possibility on your journey! You can find her at