When life gives you lemons, make lemonade — and make it a learning experience, too! Check out these simple tips for creating a lemonade stand to remember. Don’t worry: You can still have a lemonade stand in socially distant times! Offer grab and go items, presealed packages, or bottled lemonade. Remember to wear those masks and keep your distance, too.
You can make your lemonade stand with cardboard boxes, crates, a picnic bench, or even a folding table. If you want to make it “official,” check out some of the adorable play stands on the market, like the Let’s Pretend ShopKeeper or the official Alexa 2-in-1 Kitchen and Market, from Kidkraft,
Create a Menu or Price List
Have your kids determine a price list (or menu) for your stand. For older kids, see if they can calculate the cost per cup. Ask them questions like, how much did your supplies cost? How much time did you spend making the stand and the lemonade? Can you divide up the cost per cup?
Make Your Lemonade
You can purchase lemonade as a simple mix from the store, or you can make it from scratch using lemons, sugar, and water. If you’re using a store-bought mix, consider adding fruit to each cup as a garnish (but remember to adjust your prices accordingly). Kids can also offer simple snacks like cookies, chips, or baked goods for sale, too.
Here’s a tip: Offer grab and go items, so buyers are more willing to stop for a purchase. Lemonade can be prepoured in cups with tops or bottled (on ice!); baked goods can be prepackaged or wrapped in cellophane.
Look through some magazines or supermarket fliers with your kids and see if they can figure out what makes an eye-catching advertisement. Provide them with markers and heavy-duty paper to create bold signs.
Practice Money Skills
Recognizing and counting money is an important life skill. Kids begin with coin and bill recognition, and quickly move on to counting, sorting, adding, and subtracting. Having a lemonade stand is a wonderful way to practice real-life money skills. If your child has difficulty making change, you can even create a “Change Chart” to help them remember the proper exchange with customers.
Consider purchasing a play cash register for your lemonade stand, too, like the Calculator Cash Register from Learning Resources (pictured above). It’s a great item to have at home, even if you’re not opening a lemonade stand! Kids can use it for pretend play, becoming mini shopkeepers, creating sales, making price tags, and having family members “purchase” items. Adding up profits when sales are complete is also a great way to brush up on those math skills!
If you’d like to give back to your community, consider donating a portion of your profits. Talk to your kids about what causes mean the most to them. Do they love animals or do they want to help other children? Do they know someone who is sick or suffered a loss? Local animal shelters, nonprofit organizations, and local hospitals might appreciate small donations earned with love! This also encourages customers to purchase, knowing that a portion of their money is going to a worthy cause.
Lastly, if you’re not comfortable having your kids sell lemonade to anyone passing by, consider selling only to relatives, close friends, or within a neighborhood pod. Offer hand sanitizer to those who visit, and remember to wash your hands and follow safety protocols. Life doesn’t have to be sour, after all! We can always make lemonade out of lemons.