Selling lemonade on a hot summer day in front of your house — we all have a least one days’ memory of this at some point in our childhood. The homemade sign, the paper cups, the questions about homemade vs. the store-bought mix … it’s all very sweetly nostalgic until your own child asks if they can set up a lemonade stand.
Well, having recently gone through this again with my 10-year old, I was reminded of how much work goes into a lemonade stand! My hands ached from “helping” squeeze the lemons, and my floors still stick from spilled lemon juice and simple syrup. But my son had a blast, he made some money, and I’d like to think he learned a thing or two in the process as well.
Here are some tips that I’ll keep in mind when the time comes for my next child to suggest a lemonade stand on a summer’s day.
- Curb appeal. Have nice cups, preferably with lids & straws if you plan on attracting drive-by traffic. We had lots of people stop their cars to buy some, which was great, but without lids to offer, I felt bad for those with little kids or those getting back into their cars. Napkins or wet wipes are a nice thing to offer, too. Don’t forget a small trash can.
- Marketing materials. Make the sign bright, bold, and easy to read. “Homemade Lemonade” or “Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade” sounds better than just “Lemonade” if you’re making it from scratch. Then you’ll also avoid the awkward comments about Country Time Lemonade mix, trust me. Consider balloons or streamers.
- Ground rules. This is helpful to establish before you begin. Figure out how long you’ll stay open. Will younger siblings be helping? If so, offer them some sort of compensation. What roll will a parent play?
- Talking. Your child may not be salesperson of the year, but it helps to remind your child to say their “hello’s” and “thank you’s” and to prep for questions they might get. Customers will ask how much each cup costs, how it’s made, etc. They’re also likely to ask about your summer activities, the upcoming school year, etc.
- Make it a teachable moment. There’s nothing wrong with talking to your kiddos about expanses, profits, and revenue. We have even decided to take it a step further and, instead of letting our child’s profits go to candy and video games, we’ve offered to match any amount he’d like to put into savings, which hopefully will get the ball rolling and peak some interest in building a savings account for himself.
Check out "Our Favorite Homemade Lemonade Recipe" for a quick and easy way to make freshly-squeezed lemonade that everyone will love.
About the author: Kathryn is the owner of Bicycle Pie and mom of 4 little ones. Also a writer, editor, and former owner of one of Boston's premiere baby boutiques, she continues to write about motherhood, children's products, family life, and all other things that test our skills and patience as parents.
Photo credit: mg7