What do the children learn at their summer lemonade stand?

Of course, we want them to have fun, but there’s more. Keeping in mind that the children in our summer group have just finished grades K-3, we don’t focus on profit and loss and rigorous bookkeeping. We buy the lemonade and supplies, and then loan money to the group for “working capital”. When the business ends, they repay the loan from the proceeds and they use the leftover funds (which they call “profit”) for ice cream or pizza- or both!

During the event, they learn several important lessons for children their age, such as:

  1. Being a good pedestrian by staying in a line to walk about 4 blocks, following directions when crossing the streets, and being aware of surroundings. During the event, we stay away from the street until a car stops for a drive-by lemonade service.
  2. Staying far enough from any car to avoid stranger danger and remaining with the group in our area designated as the lemonade stand
  3. Collecting money and making change – with some help from an adult
  4. Maintaining cleanliness when handling drinks for customers to consume
  5. Preparing and serving enough glasses to have an inventory ready to sell but not so many that you have a lot of leftovers
  6. Dividing responsibilities and assigning tasks, balancing what the workers want to do and what needs to be done
  7. Maintaining a clean workplace and managing trash during and after the event
  8. Marketing to promote the business to drivers and pedestrians
  9. Selling to generate as much revenue as possible, including the customer question, “do you need change?”  
  10. Helping and respecting co-workers

You can learn more about the lessons for older children from a lemonade stand in this article from Advantage Credit Counseling Service, a non-profit organization that provides a debt management program and related services.

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