There’s nothing like a cool glass of lemonade on a hot day. And there’s nowhere better to get that lemonade than from a child’s sidewalk lemonade stand. There’s something so innocent and timeless — and quintessentially summery — about a lemonade stand.
So, what do you do when your children feel the entrepreneurial spark and want to start their own lemonade stand? Here are some tips to make the experience fun for everyone involved.
While you can purchase a lemonade stand kit online, you also can get your children involved in creating their own stand. Buy some poster board, grab the markers, and let your kids be involved in making the signs and decorations. Let your children incorporate their favorite summer items. Put a bubble machine on the table. Chalk the sidewalks leading to your house with advertising. Make it accessible for your children to participate in creating the lemonade stand.
In the same way, finding a very easy lemonade recipe will allow your kids to be a part of the beverage portion, too. Most recipes suggest proportions of 1 cup of lemon juice, 1 cup of sugar, and 6 cups of water. Have your children help mix and measure. Then, take it up a notch. You can be the “Chipotle” of lemonade stands (think: build your own). Slice up fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries to offer as additions to each glass your children sell. Put the bowls out and let your customers build their ideal summer sipper.
Have your children help choose cups, straws, and napkins in favorite colors or characters to stock the stand. The more you can involve your children in these choices, the more they have a sense of ownership.
Safety and Success
When setting up your lemonade stand, you need to focus on two “S” factors: safety and success. While your child is safe and sound in your fenced backyard, unless you want your only customers to be your dogs, you probably need a little more exposure. However, you also want to make sure your children are safe. Pick a time that works for you to be continually present and help your kids set up the stand a safe distance from the street. You want the stand to be visible, but not impeding traffic. Keep your driveway clear or ensure that there’s adequate room for cars to stop in front of the stand.
Now for the success factor. Consider having your family’s lemonade stand during a neighborhood block party, garage sale, festival or other event that brings people into your neighborhood. Also, spread the word. When you chat with your neighbors leading up to the big day, be sure to mention the stand. If you feel comfortable sharing on social media, you might have a friend or two who will make a stop to show support.
Talk to your children about customer service: big smiles, “thank yous,” how to make change and count money. Consider designating someone to do each task (such as pouring, taking the money, adding fruit to glasses) and then having a time when they can rotate. A well-run stand makes for fun, as well as success.
Also, set the lemonade price at what is reasonable for your neighborhood and an amount that is easy to multiply and make change.
Stand for Something
A lemonade stand can be a great way for your children to raise money for a special cause, charity or church. Many times, young kids cannot take part in hands-on volunteering projects with organizations. However, a lemonade stand for a cause gives them both the sense of hands-on activism combined with fundraising.
Talk to your children about things that are meaningful to them. If they love animals, consider donating to a local humane society. If they like to be mini-chefs, consider a donation to a local food bank or soup kitchen. No amount is too small to make a difference. Once the stand is complete, consider bringing your child to the organization’s location to make the donation in person. And don’t be afraid to promote this aspect of your children’s lemonade stand, too. Make small flyers to have on the table or pennants to attach to the straws that let people know where their lemonade dollars are going.
Most of all, have fun and watch your children undertake this classic summertime adventure with enthusiasm.
Jen Rome is a born-and-raised Clevelander who is dedicated to experiencing all the wonderful places in town through the eyes of a wife and mother. Learn about her adventures at whycle.com or northeastohioparent.com/bloggers.