I remember being a kid. Maybe a tween? Though we didn’t call ourselves tweens back then. I was probably 10 or so, and I wanted to make my own money. Mom couldn’t really afford to give us much of an allowance, but even when she could it didn’t feel the same as when I saw her go to work and get a paycheck. I wanted a “job”. I wasn’t quite old enough to babysit yet, and we lived out in the middle of nowhere so a garage sale wasn’t an option. But I remember visiting my cousin’s house a few weekends in a row, and realizing, “Wow! There’s a lot of traffic through here”. They lived in a busy subdivision, and back then we didn’t really have to worry about strangers as much as we do now, so we set up a lemonade stand. I think we made like $13 that day, and we had to split it 5 ways because our Moms made us let our little brothers and sisters “help”, but we were super excited about it!
Fast forward to 2012, and we live in St. Louis on a very busy road. It wouldn’t be possible for our girls to set up a lemonade stand, but I know many of you live in an area where you could, so I wanted to give my tips for setting up a successful family lemonade stand. I recommend, as a parent, that you supervise your kiddos as much as possible while they have their stand set up, but also let them have their freedom (watch from behind a tree LOL). Advertise on Facebook by making it an event, so it’s successful. $13 divided 5 ways in 2012 isn’t really anything to be excited about.
To make money, you have to have money. If your kids don’t have the money to start up their own lemonade stand, consider “fronting” them the money for supplies, but keep a running list of what you’ve spent so they know that money comes out of their earnings first. It may sound a little crazy, or serious, but I know if my kids didn’t realize the expense they would just think money grew on trees! I mean where does the sugar come from? The pantry! Um, nope, it comes from the store and costs money. :)
Like I mentioned above, make it an “event” on Facebook and invite your local friends to come out and support the kiddos. Consider making it a fundraiser for a charity or local animal shelter. The kids won’t pocket the dough, but they will learn a valuable lesson and help others while doing so.
Have lots of friends, but they’re not local? Consider setting up an online donation page for your chosen charity and using pictures of the kids with their lemonade stand on the page.
While the classic lemonade stand is fine, do you know what would be even cooler? A snow cone stand! You can whip out your snow cone maker – or purchase one – and either make your own syrups or buy some for a few bucks each at the store. People go crazy for snow cones, and because there are a variety of flavors, you’ll have something for everyone.
Consider offering strawberry lemonade as well as regular lemonade. Also consider selling bottled waters, in case your customers don’t want (or can’t have) sugar. Or, you could even offer a lemonade made with Splenda (but be prepared to pay more for the supplies).
Gather the supplies you will need for your drinks or snow cones, as well as napkins or paper towels, cups, straws, ice, posterboard, markers, and pitchers.
Apparently you can get fined for having a lemonade stand, even if you’re a kid. So make sure you’re setting up in a spot that allows lemonade stands. :)
Learning Something While You’re At It
If your children decide to donate their profits to charity, they will be learning while helping others. If they don’t, that’s fine too! They will still be learning lots of valuable skills they can use later on in life. Besides math, they will be working on their customer service skills – which will come in handy at almost any future job they may have!
Overall, it’s all about having fun and creating memories – but throwing in a little money earning and education while you’re at it isn’t a bad idea.
- Have lots of change on hand. If you’re charging $1.50 for a cup of lemonade, you need to make sure you have plenty of quarters and one dollar bills ready in case someone hands you a $10 bill.
- Make your signs bright and colorful. It attracts customers!
- Smile. Be cute. :)
- Be friendly!
- Offer variety. Maybe some chips, too?
- Be careful. Make sure there is supervision at all times.
- Remember to stay hydrated, take breaks when needed, and don’t get too hot!
What’s your best lemonade stand tip?
This is the first post in my Kids Make Money Series, so if you’d like to see more, please let me know if you enjoy it by tweeting it and “liking” it on Facebook!