Today we decided to attempt our first lemonade stand in support of Charity: Water. Lemonade stands are amazing learning opportunities for kids. They have to follow a recipe, learn how to talk to people and promote their product, and learn how to deal with money. When accepting donations in support of a charity you also teach your kids empathy. Not to mention you get to drink tons of refreshing lemonade.
We started with a pretty simply lemonade recipe that everyone would enjoy.
Step 1: Start by boiling 1 cup of water.
Step 2: Then add the sugar to it and stir until dissolved.
Step 3: Let the mixture cool and combine it with all the other ingredients.
I like to think lemonade is best when freshly squeezed. And what better way to freshly squeeze a dozen lemons, a bit of child labor. Please ignore the fake tattoos on my kids in these pictures; my baby just had a pirate themed first birthday.
Once your lemonade is all made, next up is to make a sign. We used a nice big chalkboard and I let my big kid do it for authenticity sake.
We grabbed a few friends, a toy cash register, some cups, napkins, table, and a wagon, and headed off to a nice shady spot with medium foot traffic. When picking a location we figured a busy street may have gotten more sales, but 7 kids under 4 on a busy street for a few hours is a living nightmare for parents.
It went surprisingly well, after ironing out the glitches in our business (like the children trying to pay customers, and issues with pouring the lemonade). The kids learned that if they didn’t ask “would you like some lemonade”, most people just walked right by (and a few people did even when asked). Lots of lovely people stopped, even pulling over on cars and bikes for a refreshing cup on a hot day. A few even over paid for their drinks since it was in support of charity. We tried to get the kids to explain what they were raising money for and why, though they had trouble with that aspect (but they are all under 4 so that is fairly expected). It was also great having so many kids because they all got to do different jobs and switch around a lot. We had four posts. One, asking pedestrians if they were interested in lemonade. Two, filling up the cups. Three, handing out napkins. Four, manning the cash register and counting change.
It also meant that the kids could have a few breaks to sit on the hill, have a snack and enjoy their own hard earned delicious cup of lemonade.
After 2 hours we packed back up, and headed home to count our money. There was a lot of stacking quarters and counting piles (when you charge 50 cents you end up with a mountain of quarters. We managed to raise $40 on the dot for Charity: Water. It was a great afternoon activity. Hopefully it taught the kids a bit about business, money, and the beauty of charity.