Turn lemons into learning, and ensure your campers are happy.
My boys are at a stage in life (ages 6 and 8) when their entrepreneurial spirit is blossoming. Last summer, they asked me if they could host a lemonade stand to earn some pocket cash. The experience was so much sweeter and more rewarding than any of us expected. Here’s what I learned:
1 LET THE KIDS RUN THE SHOW. Avoid any instinct to control the process. Let your children’s creativity and ideas lead. You can be their support!
2 USE PLANNING AS AN ONGOING FAMILY
CONVERSATION TOPIC. Choosing a theme (ours was Happy Food and Drinks) and a color scheme (blue, white, and yellow) and deciding what treats to make gave us lots to talk about during family dinnertime.
3 TEACH THEM ABOUT OVERHEAD COSTS.
At first, our boys had some grand ideas about what to offer to attract guests. We had to explain the concept of overhead costs and how to adjust their offerings— and their pricing—to make a profit.
4 THINK OUTSIDE THE PITCHER. Why stop at lemonade? Our kids had the (brilliant) idea to sell coffee for the adults to enjoy in addition to the lemonade. Hot cocoa or iced tea would have been smart choices, too, depending on the weather.
5 GET THE KIDS IN THE KITCHEN WITH YOU.
It’s fun to squeeze fresh lemons! Offering baked goods or other treats in addition to lemonade? Let the kids help make them so they can own the experience even more. Our boys made crispy rice cereal treats with smiley faces on them.
6 CHOOSE A HIGH-FOOT-TRAFFIC DAY.
Check listings for local events you can piggyback on to boost foot traffic. We held our stand during a neighborhood-wide garage sale, for example. A local parade or fun run could be good, too.
7 DON’T LET LEGAL ISSUES SOUR THE
EXPERIENCE. Check requirements for permits and peddling in your city. If selling food isn’t allowed, you could give away lemonade and treats and accept donations instead. For an added lesson: Encourage your kids to give proceeds to a local charity.