how to make money as a kid

Popular Contests and Competitions for Kids to Win Money

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There aren’t a whole lot of ways for kids to make money until they’re old enough to do things such as babysitting, mowing lawns, etc. That doesn’t mean there are not many opportunities out there for them. It just means you have to get a little more creative. 

And as luck would have, there are competitions for kids hosted by various organizations that they can get involved in and make extra money from the competitions. These competitions to win money are offered through mediums such as contests and quizzes, which allow kids to show off their skills. How great does it feel as a parent to watch your kid compete and feel a sense of responsibility that they will need later in their adult life?

With so many competitions for kids that your child can participate in, you’ll need to assess which ones would make the most sense. Ideally, it would be best to enter competitions to win money for areas they are actually interested in. They’ll be more engaged, and it will help sharpen their skills. We have identified several ways for kids to make money using the competitions below. 

Online Competitions for Students

Finding competitions for kids has been made much easier with the internet. Here are five ways on how to make money as a kid through online competitions.

Google Science Fair

Anyone between the ages of 13-18 can participate in this science and technology competition. They can enter as an individual or team from all over the world. The projects are intended to make an impact on local or global communities. Kids that participate will be rewarded for being creative and inspiring in their approach to designing their solution. 

USA Computing Olympiad

The USACO’s mission is to support computing education in the USA and worldwide by six identifying, motivating, and training high-school computing students at all levels. They hold six online competitions for students each year. They also provide hundreds of hours of free online training resources that your child can use to improve their problem-solving and programming skills. The top students in the USA are invited to an intensive summer training camp to improve their skills. 

3D Young Scientist Challenge

Held annually, the 3D Young Scientist Challenge is for students in grades 5-8. They are tasked with submitting a video between 1 and 2 minutes that describes a unique solution to an everyday problem. Ten finalists are chosen for their effective communication skills, passion for science, the spirit of innovation, and ingenuity. This online competition for students is held nationwide for a chance to win $25,000 and an exclusive 3M membership. 


Students in grades 6 through 9 in teams of 3-4 in this free, web-based science, math, and technology can compete. There are state, regional, and national awards that are available. Students will ask questions (for science) or define problems (for engineering), and then construct explanations (for science) or design solutions (for engineering) based on identified problems in their community.

Doodle 4 Google

Your kid can use their imagination to create a Google Doodle based on a specified theme. Using any material they want, they must enter the doodle by using the entry form. The winner gets their artwork displayed on for a day, a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 technology package for their school or non-profit organization, Google hardware, and swag. They also have four National finalists and 54 State and Territory winners who will also win cash and other prizes. 

Writing Competitions for Kids

For those of you who have a budding future author, there are poetry and essay contests to win cash prizes for winning.

Americanism Essay Contest

Open to all students from grade 7 to 12, it also includes those who are homeschooled. This annual easy contest promotes the spirit of Americanism and patriotism in the youth of today. The deadline to enter is by December 1st. Students must submit a 350-word essay through a local FRA branch or FRA member. 

Ayn Rand Institute Contest

Open to students between grades 8-12, this contest offers cash prizes for essays that are Ayn Rand-themed. This essay contest has been held for over 30 years and awarded over $2 million in prize money. 

Creative Communication Poetry Contest

This contest is one of those writing competitions for kids that’s open to students of all ages. In addition to winning prizes, they can get published. Definitely, a proud moment to post on the refrigerator! This event could be used as one of many fundraising ideas for kids because it can help teachers earn school supplies. 

National High School Essay Contest

Sponsored by the U.S. Foreign Service, this contest allows high schools to think and write about important international topics. The essay topic changes each year and typically requires at least 1000 words. There are some strict guidelines on how to submit your essay, such as the font, font-size, etc., so be sure that your student reads the rules before submission.

Physical Activity Competitions for Kids

Kids who are interested in physical activities have a slew of options. From dance competitions for kids to martial arts and everything in between, here are just a few options listed below. 


Is your kid involved with Jiu-Jitsu? All ages and levels can compete in tournaments all over the USA. The North American Jiu-Jitsu Federation also has information about training to hone their skills. 

UCA Cheer

The Universal Cheerleaders Association holds competitions throughout the country. With almost 50 events, your child can likely get in on these dance competitions for kids nearby. They also have camps to help your athletes master their skills while making positive memories. 

Ski Team

There are statewide and nationwide ski and snowboarding competitions in participating ski teams in your area. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard is an Olympic sports organization that provides leadership and direction for young skiers and snowboarders across the USA.

Other Competitions

Here are seven competitions that don’t fall into the other categories on how to make money as a kid. 

First Lego League

This league takes young children through STEM learning and exploration, where they learn the basics of STEM. Then they apply their knowledge and skills to compete with each other. Through this competition, they will also use teamwork while building their confidence. 

IGX Kids Tournaments

Kids can compete for cash and other prizes in a game competition that allows them to put themselves to the test. Check out their tournament game to see what’s available. They also have a non-profit group of professionals and volunteers from science, technology, and engineering careers whose goalie is to help students of all grade levels explore STEM careers while having fun learning. 

Super League

This event is a game competition for esport enthusiasts all over the world and of any age. Young video gamers can compete in a new e-sport called in-theatre gaming. It allows players to see other places while doing things like fighting monsters or building structures. Local winners can go on to the National Championship, where they can win a $15,000 college scholarship.

Money Smart Kids Contest

It is one of those fundraising ideas for kids that will help your local community. The grand prize is $10,000 for your child’s elementary school to help them build a brighter future for their students. Other prizes include $1,000 to donate to a charity of the school’s choice to teach students about the value of donating and a financial literacy event that’s held at their school. 

Young Composers Challenge

Young composers between the ages of 13 and 18 write their compositions for a small ensemble (2 to 6 instruments) or a full orchestra. A panel of judges will choose the top three ensembles and top three orchestral compositions performed and recorded by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Each winning orchestral composer receives $1000, and winning ensemble composers are awarded $500. 

National Geographic Bee

The National Geographic Society developed the National Geographic Bee in 1988. Their purpose is to promote geographic knowledge among young people. Open to students from grades 4 to 8 who attend public schools, private schools, and homeschools in the U.S, the National Geographic GeoBee is an academic competition. There are three levels of competition: state, school, and national.


Students from grades 6 to 8 have the opportunity to compete in this national program against and alongside their peers. Competitions are held live, in-person, and students from public, private, charter, virtual, and home schools are eligible to attend. 

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