5 CREATIVE WAYS TO TURN A LEMONADE STAND INTO A LEARNING EXPERIENCE
30 · Jan · 2016
Building a lemonade stand can be some serious family bonding time. Not only can you show them the value of working together, but also that beautiful feeling you have inside when you complete a project from start to finish. That ultimately will teach your child hard work, dedication and pride. Your lemonade stand doesn’t have to be intricate in order to build one together, you can simply buy some crates and stack them as a stand and add signage for a complete look. Or if you’re super crafty, handy and your child is a little older, you can get those tools out and build one from scratch. Either way, I think drawing out a plan, talking it through and letting your child participate and be involved creates such a beautiful experience.
Using a lemonade stand as a birthday theme is adorable for younger kids. You can do a “Pink Lemonade” theme for a more feminine twist, and a more rustic farm lemonade stand theme for a more neutral look. The lemonade stand would be the focal point and the main prop for the event. Make real lemonade, and add some mini mason jars and fresh flowers for a beautiful complete look. If you’re going for a more rustic approach I would even add crates with fresh fruit and flowers, and if the children are old enough add a cash register and let them use the stand to pretend play. Not only is this theme adorable, it can be super educational as well. For a more personal touch, have your child help create some of the décor. They can paint some crates to match the color scheme of the party, or help cut stuff out. Including them in the experience makes them feel valued, important and extra special on their big day.
Your lemonade stand can be a wonderful tool to teach your child how to give back. We discovered a charity called “Alex’s Lemonade” and did some research on how we could participate. We found out that The Gap was collaborating with them, selling shirts on behalf of the charity and giving ALL of the proceeds back to help find a cure for pediatric cancer. Their mission is to encourage children to get involved to help make a difference for children fighting cancer – children helping children for an amazing cause.
We went to alexslemonade.org, got signed up, purchased shirts at The Gap, built our lemonade stand, and we were ready to start fundraising!
We explained to our kids in a simple way (given they’re only 3 years old) that the more lemonade they sold, the more money was raised for this incredible charity. It was a fantastic day, and by the end of it all we had exceeded our goal and the kids were shouting, “Lemonade for Cancer Research!”
They ultimately learned how little things can make a big difference. From a simple lemonade stand to a means for helping make an amazing little girl’s legacy live on. I’m especially proud to have been a part of this all, and we hope it encourages you to do the same for “Alex’s Lemonade” when you can as well.
You can have a lemonade stand inside or outside of your house as a pretend play station. Your children will love making their own lemonade, and pretending to sell it with their friends. It’s a great way for them to use their imagination and start to explore their early entrepreneurial skills. They can make signs and come up with the costs, and use pretend money to buy and sell the lemonade that they made. They can write out pretend orders and receipts on blank pieces of paper, count out money to purchase or change to give back from a purchase, pour the lemonade into cups trying not to spill, etc.
As an entrepreneur, this is one of my favorite reasons to build a lemonade stand. So they can create their first business experience. Pretend play prepares them for this moment, which is why letting children play and imitate reality is so important. They truly learn the most from playing at a young age. There’s an actual event called National Lemonade Day May 1st of each year. It’s a program that children can join within their community and if you go to www.lemonadeday.org you can find out more on how to sign up. This program is built to nurture the budding entrepreneur in your child and teach them how to start their own business. When your child registers their lemonade stand, they get a free backpack that has workbooks to help them plan and operate their stand successfully. How cool is that?!