Lemonade stand planning 101
It’s been a long winter, and a chilly spring, but we had a burst of great weather here in Ottawa recently and we’re ready for warmer weather.
For some reason, as soon as we get a sunny Saturday, my daughter always wants to drag a table out to the curb and sell lemonade. I guess she’s an entrepreneur at heart, so who am I to stand in her way?
My tips for you, based on what’s worked for us in the past:
1) Have the kids create some great signage. It has to be eye-catching and encourage people to stop. This can be a project in itself, but get out the markers and bristol board and have some fun with it. If you’re donating some of the proceeds to charity, make sure your customers know about it!
2) Shop for supplies and make the lemonade. Keep the receipts! Talk about what kind of lemonade will you be serving. Fresh? Frozen? From a powdered mix? Sometimes we like to make pink lemonade, just for something a little different:
We like to make the lemonade in large plastic jugs that are easy for the kids to handle. One is left with the kids and the other is kept inside, in the fridge.
3) Keep some ice in a small cooler next to the stand. Ask people to help themselves if they’d like ice. (This is where having an ice-maker comes in handy.) You can even get fancy with the cubes if you want to, it just takes a bit of planning:
4) Showing the kids how they can earn money is the best part of running a lemonade stand. It’s math, it’s business, it’s strategy, it’s awesome. Make sure you price it right, and this is a lesson in itself. How much should you charge so people will want to buy it AND you’ll make a profit?
5) Make sure the kids have a float to start. Count out some coins so they can make change and put it in a tin or small box with a lid.
6) Use an old table and a couple chairs as your stand, although a big cardboard box works well in a pinch as well.
7) Don’t forget the cups! In the past we’ve used small plastic children’s cups from Ikea, and just brought them inside for a quick wash after each customer used them. It’s always worked great!
8) Let them do it themselves. I try not to micromanage because I think they get more out of the experience when I’m not hovering behind them the whole time. No matter how tempting it is, try to give your kids the responsibility of running their stand and avoid lurking in the bushes. It’s good for them!
Do your kids like to host a lemonade stand? If so I’d love to hear about it!