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DIY: Lemonade Stand

June 30, 2014

By Nikki Cecala

A girl and boy stand smiling behind a lemonade stand.

Lemonade stands are a great way to introduce children to business and money while under your supervision. It’s also easy to start up and can be a lot of fun! Operating a lemonade stand teaches your child responsibility, the value of money, how to improve interactions with people, and encourages the entrepreneurial spirit. It’s a great activity for children ages three and above with adult supervision.

There are only a few steps to starting a lemonade stand.

First, check the laws in your city. City officials have the right to shut down a lemonade stand or hand out fines if operating a stand without a license. Check the guidelines first.

Second, choose the type of lemonade you wish to make. Lemons (these are healthier!) or lemonade powder?

If you’re making the lemonade from powder, decide how sweet or sour you want to make it. Experiment by adding a few extra spoonfuls of sugar to the pitcher at a time. Let your child determine how tart or sweet it is so he or she can take ownership of the product.

If you’re using lemons, roll them on a table first, as this will help get more juice out when you squeeze them. Then cut each lemon in half and squeeze out the juice. Add it to a pitcher with water and sugar and mix well using a big spoon. Slice an extra lemon and add the slices to the pitcher for decoration and added flavor. If you would like to be more creative with your lemonade, try adding strawberries for an additional refreshing flavor.

Third, choose a location. If you really want your child’s business to succeed, I recommend the local park or beach. Of course, you can also display the stand in front of your house or somewhere safe in your neighborhood.

Check the weather forecast so you can bring enough sunscreen, water, or an umbrella. Make the stand look presentable but noticeable enough to lure customers in. Have a neatly written, personable sign that indicates the cost per cup and whatever else your child is offering along with the beverage. Help your child come up with a clever name so if he or she continues to host the stand throughout the summer, people may recognize and remember the unique business name.

Here are a few more items you should bring to the stand:

  • Ice
  • Cooler (for keeping ice and lemonade cold)
  • Cups
  • Cash box (with coins for breaking change)
  • Folding chairs for sitting

At the end of your child’s lemonade stand business, I recommend making a journal of the experience, profits, and lessons learned with your child. Go over the pros and cons, make recommendations, and ask your child’s opinion of the experience and what he or she would do differently. This will help your child further succeed with any future lemonade stands or other businesses he or she may be interested in.

Check out Lemonade Day, a website that helps children dip their feet in the entrepreneurial world with a 14-step process that inspires children to follow their dreams and educate them about operating small businesses. See what dates the National Lemonade Day celebration begins in your town!

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