I am always on the lookout for new geeky ways to spend time with my kids. While I love books for makers (Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred, Geek Dad (both One and Two), etc.), my go-to resource is instructables.com. I love browsing through the new projects, and, as the father of a self-professed HPN (Harry Potter Nerd), I was delighted when I came across this article for making simple wands out of paper and hot glue.
Fast forward a couple months to my youngest son's "Mini Society". For this project, they were to come up with a product or service, perform tasks at home to earn money for the supplies, create their product, then sell it to parents and other students at their "Mini Society Day". He made 40 wands, completely sold out, and was the #1 money maker in his class.
While sharing his story with my co-workers, one of them mentioned he had a friend who ran a magic camp and might be interested in purchasing some of these for their kids. I brought in a few samples that the boys had done earlier, and the man bought them all and asked that they make him some more. Last night we delivered another 13 custom-made wands for a Harry Potter Weekend Camp.
To date, the boys have earned nearly $100 and are learning important business skills. They are now buying the materials themselves, which we are tracking using a simple pen-and-paper single entry bookkeeping system, and have even mentioned opening an online store. I'll be handing out their first paycheck this weekend, which they have already decided is going towards even more Harry Potter stuff from the Universal Studios online store (although there was also mention of buying some colored duct tape to make a duct tape sling bag).