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Modern Lemonade Stand for Kids making money

Updated on November 23, 2016
Kids Can Make Money Too!
Kids Can Make Money Too! | Source

More than making money

As a six year old, coming back from the seashore with a bag full of small seashells and getting together with my best friend down the street to marvel over them was the first time the entrepreneur spirit bit me. One thing led to another and before we knew it, we were poking little holes in the shells and stringing them together with thread. We were allowed at that point to walk around the block and so the next logical thing to us was to put our creations in my rusty wagon and take a walk…If I remember correctly, we left my house with about 20 necklaces…when we got back, we had none…turns out, the girls in our neighborhood liked them and were willing to pay! Of course, the profits from our labor were quickly lost at the corner store on candy. What we thought we learned, was how to turn seashells into candy…but what we learned was a whole lot more. That same summer, we took what we learned to a whole new level. We involved several other kids and created a neighborhood carnival. It took several weeks to plan but the results started us on our way to a life of entrepreneurship adventures.

The Point

Encourage kids to earn money. It could be as simple as making simple crafts and selling them or putting up a lemonade stand at your next yard sale. Either way, what they learn about money, planning, and marketing will follow them well into their adult lives and create a memory that will serve them well. Besides that, the whole adventure will get them away from non productive activities like television or video games.

Start with a story

The next time your child comes up and ask for money, or talks about something they really want, use it as an opportunity to tell them about a time in your life as a child where you worked for something you wanted and wasn’t just “given” it. Kids will pick up on this very quickly and start suggesting some ideas of their own. You may have to help them out a bit with some feasible possibilities or use the process as a learning opportunity. Kids will be hungry for your instructions as long as you show enthusiasm.

Ask questions

Once your kids start getting excited about the prospect of making some money on their own, ask them some questions. By taking this approach, you will be actually teaching them the basics of business planning. Learning to create a business plan at a very early age will become a “way of thinking” and will become evident even in their school studies and future relationships. These questions are just a sampling and a starting point. Undoubtedly, you will be able to add to the list.

  1. Why do you need the money? (goal setting)
  2. How much money do you need to start doing it? (opportunity to teach them about simple investing)
  3. When do you want to do this? (teaches project management)
  4. Who will buy what you are selling? (teaches identifying the market)
  5. What is the name of your “business”? (this is always fun to hear their ideas)
  6. What is your product? (teaches them how to price and the cost associated)
  7. How will you tell people about your product? (opens up the whole world of marketing)
  8. How will you spend the money? (again, this will teach about business planning and accounting principles)

Kids are creative!

This creative fellow will sing a song or draw you a picture for $1
This creative fellow will sing a song or draw you a picture for $1 | Source

Some ideas

Below are some feasible examples that you could offer. Get creative with your kids. Behind the scenes you may have to help them out a bit by encouraging other family members and friends to patronize their adventure or “donating” some of the start up cost or products.

  • Yard Sale: Either allow your kids to organize a yard sale or let them manage a “table” of their own at yours.
  • Door to door: Although this may be frowned upon in some circles, in some situations, this can be used especially if they are fundraising for a cause
  • Craft Party: Let your kids create their own “craft” or project party where they invite friends and family. (as a child, I did this with the neighbor kids—I served ice cream and sold packets of popsicle sticks and made a “contest” out of the best creations)

Real life example

Two of my granddaughters want to go to summer camp and have decided to plan a lemondade stand to help raise half the money they need to go (that’s the agreement—they come up with half the money, their parents will pay the other half).

For part of the money, they are planning to do a lemonade stand. ”. They did this once before and it worked out well—in fact, it worked out so well, they nearly paid for their camp completely themselves. Their dad is a firefighter with a lot of police friends. And, just like before, they are making a flyer describing their goal and the “What, When, and Where”. Their dad is a firefighter with a lot of police friends and so, “Behind the scenes”, Dad will hand out the flyers at the fire station. The first time they did this, every firefighter showed up, along with police and even some of the county officials.

***UPDATE: They did it! They raised more than enough money--they impressed even me!

This year they asked me for a “new” approach—I suggested doing a “Modern Lemonade Stand”. It will be fun to see what happens.

Thirsty Customers

Fire fighters and police have been some of the best customers for the girls
Fire fighters and police have been some of the best customers for the girls | Source

The Modern Lemonade Stand

For this approach, most of their previous marketing will stay the same although because of their increased market base, they are expanding their offering and relocating their stand to the front of the firehouse.

Instead of “mixing” lemonade, they are handing out “free” bottles of water and selling instead, water flavor for $1. The bottles of water will be placed in two cut off 55 gallon barrels filled with ice. On their “stand”, they will have a large assortment of individual flavor packets. Their customers can now take their bottles with them and more likely than not, buy more than 1. The girls also suggested that they place a set of fireman boots on the table to collect “tips”—which will be donated to the fire station’s volunteer program. I like it! I think I will have to stop by and “buy” a couple of bottles myself.

Teaching spreadsheets to kids

Below are two examples of simple spreadsheets I taught my grandaughters to use as part of their "business" training. Obviously it is very basic but they quickly grasped the concept and are learning how to use spreadsheets to plan their projects.

Modern Lemonade Spreadsheet

Bottle Water
Flavor Packets
Table & Stand
Total Cost
Simple spreadsheet my I taught my grandaughters to use for caluclating their cost of goods and gross profit for each sale.

Modern Lemonade Profit

Quantity Sold
Simple gross profit spreadsheet I taught my grandaughters to use to help them set their goals

Teach a man to fish...

Give a child money and they will buy candy for a day...Teach a child how to make money, and they will wait for Halloween for the candy and learn how to turn their "earned" money into more.

Kids Take a Stand

What kind of stand works best for kids?

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    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 years ago

      We have tried to teach our son about money since he was sentient. My husband would give him a dollar and would tell him if he could turn it into 20 dollars by buying and selling stuff at the swap meet or flea market then he would give him another twenty. If not he wanted his dollar back. Now my son can trade a dollar into twenty without breaking a sweat. (He no longer gets another twenty though.) He now makes his own money making things and selling them. He makes hand-made Christmas cards and envelopes in the middle of November and sells them to neighbors for Christmas money. He has done some selling on various websites as well. He learned to sew and makes clothes including Halloween costumes and prom dresses for his friends for money. He also has computer repair and IT skills from which he has profited. I don't worry that he will have trouble making ends meet later in life.

    • Joel Diffendarfer profile image

      Joel Diffendarfer 3 years ago from Ft Collins, Colorado

      Wow, CatherineGiordano, the "Kids writing their own newspaper" and selling it is a terrrific idea!!! I'd buy any newspaper a child or group of kids wrote...think of the possibilities! They could even include "coupons" for yard work, add classifieds, add jokes, and write articles in their perspective...Really really good idea!!!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I think this is great for kids, and I loved how you used the "lemonade stand" idea to teach kids to be entrepreneurs. I like the yard sale idea because kids have too much junk. maybe they can sell it and earn some money. When I was a kid I sold the local neighborhood newspaper at the subway stop in New York. When I was about 13, my cousin and I wrote our own newspaper and sold it.