Barry County

Kids to hone business skills at Gun Lake children’s market

YANKEE SPRINGS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A market taking place at a Gun Lake campground this month will give kids a chance to learn about being an entrepreneur.

The Children’s Business Market will take place Saturday, July 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Parkside Campground, located on Briggs Road off of Gun Lake Road. Kids will be selling things like bracelets, keychains, seed bombs and more.

Heather Rollston, who homeschools her five children, decided to put together the market after some of her kids participated in another one.

“We wanted to do it because we didn’t see anything like that in the area,” she said. “I’m hoping to encourage other parents to put some on too because it’s a blast and it really brings all the kiddos together.”

She wanted to find a location that would host the market for free. Heather Iverson, the campground manager at Parkside Campground and a homeschool mom herself, saw Rollston’s request on Facebook.

“As soon as I saw that, I immediately thought, ‘Well, we have a space for it,’” Iverson said. “…I reached out to her and it all worked out where we could host the event here.”

Both women have kids participating in the market. Rollston’s 10-year-old daughter Haiden will be selling bracelets.

“My mom was talking about us doing a business fair and I didn’t know what to sell because last time we just sold bread,” Haiden explained. “But I was like, ‘I want to sell something that I made.’”

She said she’s excited for the market and recommended other kids bring change.

12-year-old Kayden with some of the bracelets she'll be selling at the Children's Business Market. (Courtesy Heather Iverson)
12-year-old Kayden with some of the bracelets she’ll be selling at the Children’s Business Market. (Courtesy Heather Iverson)

Iverson’s 12-year-old daughter Kayden will also be selling bracelets. Hers are made with clay beads.

“I just like making stuff, so I was like, ‘Well, might as well sell it if I like making it, because otherwise I’ll just have a bunch,’” she said.

She said she’s learned that “it takes a lot of hard work.”

Both mothers said the market will be a good learning experience for kids and teaches them entrepreneurship skills.

“I think it helps teach them responsibility, it helps teach them a lot about money and math,” Rollston said.

“It’s a really good way for them to learn the importance of investing your money and they learn money handling in this,” Iverson said. “We encourage all the people who come to bring cash so kids can get used to counting money. … It’s just a really good hands-on way for kids to learn about business.”

Acton Children’s Business Fair is sponsoring the market. Rollston said a lot of homeschool families participate in the events.

“It connects families that are homeschooling so they can have playdates and learn from each other,” she said. “And maybe even swap material when they’re done with it, because it can get expensive.”

She said for families looking into participating in children’s markets, parents should let the kids take the lead.

“Choose something that they really like,” she said. “Let them figure the math out. Let them just set up by themselves and make it their own. Because I think that makes it more special. I think the more parents help out, the more they feel like it’s not their own thing.”

Rollston hopes her kids can take away valuable lessons from the market about what makes them happy.

“So many people these days, they go into things that don’t make them happy,” she said. “This will teach kids what makes them happy and that they can actually go on to build the little business with that.”

Everyone is invited to attend the market. Iverson said there’s plenty of parking at Parkside Campground, which will offer hay rides and a candy store during the event.

Rollston asked people to be patient with the kids, as they’re still learning.

“I’m excited about it. … It’s going to be super fun and I hope lots of people come out to help these kiddos be encouraged,” she said. “We’re hoping to gather a crowd of like-minded folks to help these young entrepreneurs.”

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