Interactive Lemonade Stand Economics for Kids
I believe that children learn not only by doing, but by being able to make connections to what they are learning. I have put together several economics lessons that incorporate an interactive lemonade stand that allows students to experience economics themselves. This activity should be started at the end of an economics unit to help students review material as well as put what they have learned to action.
Day 1: Begin the lemonade unit by discussing with students what they would need to run a lemonade stand. What raw materials would they need? Where should they put their lemonade stand? Where and how should they advertise? Have students complete this worksheet.
Day 2: On the second day of the lemonade activity, students should focus on marketing their lemonade stand. Begin the lesson by discussing the basic principles of advertising. As a class, complete the online activity "Create your own Ad" created by pbskids. This online activity will allow students to help create an advertisement for "Burp Cola" (which they think is hysterical). They will pick the slogan, image, ad copy and location of the advertisement. Discuss with the students why they made the choices that they did. On a large sheet of blank paper, have each student create their own advertisement for their lemonade stand.
Day 3: I stumbled upon a great interactive lemonade game online. There are many different lemonade games online, but this game was more appropriate for the age level of my students (third grade). Allow students to play the game while filling out this data sheet. Students will experience how weather and price can effect the supply and demand of their lemonade. They will also have to set the price per cup and decide how much lemonade to make each day. These choices and experiences will allow them to experience economics firsthand!
Day 4: Today each student will share his/her total profit with the class. Students who made money will discuss why they think they were successful and students who did not make a profit will discuss the mistakes that they made. A great way to end the lemonade activity is by allowing students to drink lemonade while discussing their business strategies!
Extended Activity: Read The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davis aloud with the class.
I planned these activities for students in the third grade, but I believe that they could be modified for many different ages. I hope that some of this was useful for you! Happy teaching!