A Lemonade Stand Costs HOW Much, According to a Parenting Magazine?

Hi Folks — We all know that magazines exist to sell things, but this example seems particularly outrageous: A parenting magazine lists all the things your kids need to run a lemonade stand — from name brand ice cube trays to an actual, store-bought stand, to a juicer  to squeeze the lemons (has no one heard of hands? Or lemonade mix?)  — and the total is pushing $300. If you want the breakdown of all the costs, here it is! – L (and don’t diss me for vlogging! I am trying to embrace all sorts of new things!)

66 Responses

  1. Thanks for this video. I will now add all these to my “things you never knew you never needed” list for outdoor play.

  2. Oh, I won’t diss you for “vlogging”. But I do think the *term* “vlogging” is a neologism that ought to be taken out back and shot.

    Could they make it more obvious that the whole article was an advertisement? Sheesh…

  3. I think that lemonade mix is a bad idea – it doesn’t yield a quality product, so trying to sell it at inflated prices is ridiculous. Lemon juice from the store, plus sugar and water makes excellent lemonade. We don’t bother with ice cubes.

    My kids do a lemonade stand a couple of times per year; we make them keep track of how much household stock they use and pay that back out of the profits, as well as listing ingredients on the sale sign.

  4. Those parenting mags are such a joke.

  5. The cups are $11 for 24 of them- before tax. That’s $0.46 (pre-tax) JUST FOR THE DISPOSABLE CUP. No way you can make a profit if the packaging alone costs nearly the amount you are charging and no way am I paying extra because your kid is too precious to use plain cups, average ice and a card table with a cheap table cloth. The only thing your children will learn running a lemonade stand that way is how to go bankrupt. Don’t we have enough businesses like that already?

    I do however approve of using sidewalk chalk for advertising- as long as you don’t live somewhere where sidewalk chalk is considered offensive or disturbing the peace😉.

  6. My son has a stand a few days a week with his friends. They are all 11. Parents scare customers away, they tell us.

    The best part about lemonade stands is interacting with the kids. I like homemade signs and grandmom’s old card table. Everything a kid needs to run this is in their garage. Let them figure it out!

  7. I realized I sound like a penny pinching crab, so I should clarify. I don’t mind paying kids for resourcefulness. I set aside cash every week in case we come across a car wash, lemonade stand or other youthful enterprise. I’ve been paying the kid down the street to pull weeds for a couple years, though I do ask that he leave a few of the easy to pull ones for my almost three year old. If kids put in the time, effort and resourcefulness I’m more than willing to support it. But when they don’t put in one or more of those things because of their, or their parents’, sense of entitlement or snobbery, forget it.

  8. Magazines like that exist to advertise products. Period.

    Off topic, but it’s the same with organized sports. It doesn’t matter who wins the football game. The whole point is getting a large audience for the advertisers.

  9. @Heather G- don’t apologize. Teaching kids the basics of how prices are determined and start-up costs are part of the process just like NOT buying overpriced, stupid cups vs. generic Solo cups.

    My son “hired” his younger sister to work his stand for $2 an hour while he went fishing with his friends last week. One of his signs had a decimal error- the soft pretzels they were selling were marked:
    “Small pretzels- $.50
    Large pretzels- $10. Free Mustard”
    My daughter (9) had customers question the pricing, but she said she was working for her brother, and she couldn’t change the price. She said one guy was really adamant that he couldn’t believe the large one was so much more, but she thought it was because of the free mustard…all you can squirt!
    We laugh at the conversations (and learning experiences) these kids are having…

  10. Of course they’re doing this. A lemonade stand for… fun? Be serious. If it doesn’t allow the parents to actively prepare Johnny for competitive primary schools, it ain’t worth doing. Trusting Johnny and his friends to learn a few things about setting up a business on his own, or even just having an exciting afternoon, is a bad idea!

  11. I was in Target, they were selling lemon sliced shaped ice cube trays, cup, straws, a premade sign and other lemonade stand stuff. It was cute, and I did get the ice cube trays, but that is because my girls were having sleepovers, and wanted to make a drink with koolade ice cubes and Sprite. (we didn’t have any ice cube trays) I thought that the sign was cute too, but then thought about it more, and knew half the fun of a lemonade stand is getting the stuff together, and doing it themself. There last stand they made $9.
    Now, last year, a bunch of neighborhood kids started making stuff with duck tape, and wanted to sell it. I thought the things they made were cute, and no problem with setting up a stand to sell it. The problem was my neighbor. They made their duck tape flowers and stuff at our neighbors house. The Mother told them before they could sell it they needed to but fliers in mailboxes, make sure we (parents) got change, and a bunch of other things. To make a long story short my neighbor came to me to tell my that my daughters were pushing them to sell the stuff before she felt they were ready, and told me about her plan. I looked at her and said they were kids, they didn’t need a bussiness plan, let them do it there way, and they would all be happy. I then made a new rule that they could no longer sell things with those neighbors because it is to hard. ( annoying me) My daughters were very happy about the new rule because “everytime we want to do something like this (the mom) has to make it all serious, and then it is no fun.”

  12. That is hilarious!!!! My kids buy 50 styrofoam cups for a buck, 3-4 packets of kool-aid for 20 cents each and use water, sugar, and pitchers from home. They set up on their old little tykes plastic table/chairs set from when they were little and make a sign with paper and markers in their rooms. Total cost under 2 bucks, time spend working 1-2 hours, typical amount earned approx. 15-20 bucks (once they made 35 bucks). My involvement NONE, except that I do pick up the cups/kool-aid while I’m at the store, but they have to pay me back for it out of their earnings🙂

  13. Parents make everything a project. Get a card table, everyone has something. Make some lemonade not rocket science and let the kids sit out on the street. May grandson does throughout the summer. We have a street light on the corner so he always sells to the drivers stop for the light. People like to interact with kids and give them money for their work. We are not marketing a high end product, just selling lemonade. Easy and fun are the two requirements. And as for sidewalk chalk, use it. It washes off in the rain and for those who have a problem, get over it already.

  14. The whole reason I ever stop at a lemonade stand is because kids selling lemonade is cute and reminds me of my own childhood. As long as the prices are reasonable, and it looks like a child enterprise, I’ll buy whatever lemon-like drink they’re selling. Setting your kids up with a designer lemonade stand is absurd and missing the point. The kids work, hopefully learn something about business, and have a great time doing it. That’s all it needs to be.

  15. It cracks me up when I see products advertising that they were “featured” in some parenting magazine. Oh, really? And how much did you pay them to be featured? When I had my first baby, I wondered why I got so many offers to get those magazines for free. One quick glance through one made it clear: they are pure advertisements, right down to the “articles.”

    The sad thing is some people must buy into it. Products that are supposed to make our lives easier sometimes are more burdonsome than they’re worth, or they take the fun out of things. Like others have pointed out, half the fun of the lemonade stand is assembling it yourself out of common household items you already have.

    I wish some parents would stop trying to be such perfectionists and let their kids do things themselves. No, your children won’t look like they just stepped out of a Pottery Barn Kids catalog, but they’ll learn so much more and have a lot more fun . . . while you spend less money!

  16. Without watching the video — let’s not forget the business license from the city! Yes, it’s true that in our fair city (and others) CHILDREN must purchase a business license to operate a lemonade stand. We are also required (although not enforced) to purchase a license for garage sales.

    The days of making your first “million” in the lemonade business as a child are over!

  17. I think the saddest thing is, as Sarah said, is that people buy into this idea, that you can’t have a good time, or a good life, unless you buy the perfect accoutrements. There was a moment, a flash (okay, half the duration of my first marriage) when I thought that the “right” curtains, glassware, carpets, furnishings, paint colours, etc would leave me in a state of bliss and solve all my other identity issues and spiritual malaise.

    Ha!

    So parents, please understand that you are only delaying your own and your children’s happiness with each unnecessary purchase you make.

  18. Loads of communities won’t let anyone have a lemonade stand. I saw a few stories last year about the cops shutting them down. One time it was because it was a traffic hazard. Apparently, a small side street in a little neighborhood that sees 10-cars total in a day was put at risk of a jam up if everyone stopped for a drink. The other one was shutdown because the kids didn’t have a food handlers permit. I might have read about that one on this blog. I cannot remember.

  19. The little girl next door set up a lemonade stand a few weeks ago. Her mom provided the cups and drink mix (she offered both iced tea and lemonade). My son “helped” – mainly by sitting with her and chatting with her and the customers (she is 9, he is 3). At her mom’s suggestion, and to avoid the need for a buisness license, she wrote on the sign that the drinks were free, but donations were appreicated. At the end of the day, the kids had a good time (and occupied themselves most of the day), they met people from around the neighborhood, and they made about $20. I was very impressed! And I was proud of our neighborhood for making so many donations. About a week later, I saw another lemonade stand a few blocks away while I was out running. Apparently lemonade stands are making a comeback in our neighborhood. (But it should be noted they are of the card table stand, hand-written signs, lemonade made from drink mix, and totally run by kids variety)🙂

  20. A parent I used to babysit for charged her kids for the raw ingredients and it took me a while, but I realize it was a great lesson in business reality.

  21. The on-the-fly lemonade stand sounds a lot like my wedding reception. Used the church building for free, as well as tables and tablecloths, had friends and family help with setup and cleanup, bought seasonal decorations for the centerpieces (ceramic eggs and Easter grass) and served cupcakes and ice cream. It was simple, it was cheap, and it was perfect. Life doesn’t have to be complicated. We just make it that way.

  22. This is also why I am anti-bake sale. Schools and clubs ask YOU to spend money on baking ingredients, so they can then sell the cookies/brownies/whatever at what is almost certainly less than you spent to make them. If they need a donation, I’d rather just give them the money. If they want to teach kids about business, make them use the organization funds to bake then sell them at a profit.

  23. I agree with AW13. My kids just set out an old jar labeled “TIPS” & let people put in what they want. That way the kids (ages 7 & 8) don’t have to fuss with making change.

  24. What a bargain! Real Simple magazine would estimate the total to be about $700, including stiletto Birkenstocks and a geothermal cooler.

  25. I love it, so funny !

  26. The two kids I bought lemonade from last Friday, just had a card table, a couple chairs and a sign. The lemonade was real, you could see the lemons through the pitcher. They had an ice bucket with tongs and large styrofoam cups. I stopped on my way out for a cup and it was good enough that I stopped on the way back and bought two more cups.

  27. I was talking to my mom about this after posting and she reminded me of when I was about three or four. We were at one of many giant, family/block/haven’t-had-a-party-in-a-week parties at my godparent’s house. They had a keg and because I was the kid that figured things out quickly, or could talk an adult into showing me how to do something, I ended up “tending bar”. I talked my godparents into setting up some bricks and wood for a bar, setting out a jar and I poured everyone’s beer and they tipped me for it, even the cops in attendance. Two hours later my mother found out about my little business. Boy was she mad that I manipulated my way into business but proud that I not only learned how to earn money but did so in successfully. For the manipulation I had to buy a toy to donate to charity. For earning the money I got to buy myself one too. Apparently I choose to buy myself supplies for a brownie stand.

  28. Teaching children to be consumers under the guise of entrepreneurs. It’ll be a rude awakening for the handful who actually try to open a small business someday.

  29. This just confirms to me one of the reasons why I always stayed away from parenting magazines, so utterly ridiculous !!! I so pity the new parents because too many fall into the trap ( I WANT so I NEED). The kids that have the most fun are the ones we let be, be creative and enjoy the simple things of life,

  30. LOL! Now I begin to understand why they say it takes hundreds of thousands to raise a child to age 18.

  31. The important thing to remember is that it is illegal for kids to sell lemonade almost everywhere in America. It is not possible to obtain the necessary zoning, health department, and business licenses for such a criminal activity. But, hey, it’s a free country, isn’t it?

  32. Well, I’m assuming that every home has a juicer already for the lemons. They’re a lifesafer!

    This is also why I am anti-bake sale. Schools and clubs ask YOU to spend money on baking ingredients, so they can then sell the cookies/brownies/whatever at what is almost certainly less than you spent to make them.

    At a quarter per cookie, I doubt it. Well, unless you count labor costs.

    But yes. Although I do make cupcakes-in-cones once a year, dutifully, for the bake sale (and boy are those a hassle to transport!) it’s one of those things, like Halloween, that make no sense whatsoever. All these fundraising efforts. Even the boxtops program. I rarely buy an available item, but when I do, I’d rather spend less and give the difference to the school than spend more and give them the lousy ten cents!

  33. I don’t read parenting magazines anymore because they’re targeted at the type of parent who either has $300 to blow on a shiny lemonade stand setup or can be guilted into spending money they don’t have.

    I could do it for $50 if I chose to build a stand from scrap rather than takig house furniture outdoors. $20 if I let the kids take their bedroom table outside. Maybe $30 if I bought a cheap end table or card table at the thrift store.

  34. To those of you making “funny” and “snarky” comments about business licenses, the inspectors get the last laugh:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/08/portland_lemonade_stand_runs_i.html

    There are others all over the country; lemonade stands shut down for operating without a permit, or without a health inspection…

  35. Note the update on that, Yan – they apologized and said it wasn’t a concern.

    Overzealous inspectors are nothing new. I think it’s entirely possible that there’s been no real increase in them, just that we can more easily hear about them because of The Internet.

    How many of these cases have you heard of in your own community?

  36. When my daughter and her friend were about 6,they set up a stand to sell stones. As it, right from the driveway to the table. Didn’t cost them a thing. I think they made about 10 cents each. But no health inspectors questioned them either!

  37. Like other poster, I did not spend a lot on wedding reception. We had it at our really large old house. I borrowed tables and table cloths. I went driving down country roads the day before and cut buckets of wild flowers. When I got home, my mother and sister helped me arrange them in mason jars. My brother is a chef, I asked him to make my wedding cake instead of a gift. It was a 3 layer cheese cake, and the best wedding cake I have ever had. We turned on the stereo and had music. Everyone was asked to bring a dish to pass as this was an old fashion country wedding reception.

    Everyone had a great time, except for one mom when her son got “lost” in the corn. He followed the row, came out on the road, and walked back up the long driveway.

    The idea was to have fun, not impress everyone with how in debt we were going to be. Lemonade stands should be the same. I probably spent less on my wedding (aside from the dress my mother made) than this magazine says should be spent on the lemonade stand.

  38. Oh wait it works it works! Assuming that you’re selling that there lemonade for $7.96 a cup. Or something like that. Sigh.

  39. Because the math was wrong. The cups and straws themselves are about $2 each.

  40. I was reading this, and then I went and got my mail… and the local “newspaper” was in there, and on the front it was talking about some kids that started a lemonade stand to raise money to donate toys to hospital patients. And it says they raised $300. Lol.

  41. I noticed that in the article they mention that kids must be with parents , or (!) they will be kidnapped. I understand how this paranoia come from, but don’t parents understand that you can’t just live in fear and keep kids in fear! The fear itself is a damage to kids’ conscientiousness.
    And second, if the magazine proves to offer ridiculous things, why subscribe and read at all?

  42. @catnipper…
    Making change was a very engaging parts of the enterprise for my nephew. He had long conversations about it with my husband and they started exchanging various coins as part of honing his skills and teaching him about various denominations. My nephew is quite skilled now.

    My husband still enjoys dropping a half dollar at a lemonade stand and watching the excited kids run to show mom and dad.

  43. Every summer my boys and their friends have a lemonade stand with homemade lemonade (squeezing the lemons by hand) and cookies for sale. The money they raise all goes to a charity they choose together. They have a blast promoting the sale with chalk ads on the sidewalk, hand-made signs on the lamp posts and telling everyone who gets off the bus to come and buy lemonade. They have a good time and feel good about raising money for a cause they believe in. Every summer they all look forward to doing this.

  44. I saw an ad for a pre-made lemonade and cookie stand at Giant Tiger. It cost $25 (plus tax), and the thing was made of CARDBOARD, if you can believe it. Whatever happened to painting a cardboard box? But anyway, Lenore, as usual, you have me beat with your absurd description of designer cups, name-brand ice cube trays, a power juicer, and a $300 price tag.

  45. UpParent, I’m fairly sure that “or they will be kidnapped!” was Lenore’s sarcastic aside to the assumption that the whole family would be involved in setting up a lemonade stand, not something from the text of the article.

    Ingredients for a lemonade stand: 1) some form of stuff that can be made into a popular drinkable substance: Kool-aid and sugar, frozen lemonade concentrate (my personal favorite), other powdered beverage mix, or real-live lemons and sugar, plus water. 2) some kind of pitcher you have sitting around the house. 3) inexpensive cups. 4) Something you can make into a surface, such as a card table, a large box, two smaller boxes and plywood, but most importantly, something you have around the house. 5) kids 6) a pile of coins to make change, though at least in this neck of the woods people are fond of saying “keep the change” when they see kids out doing this. 7) something to identify your stand and display the price (e.g., a piece of cardboard and markers.) One year they made a sandwich board for the youngest, and the kids wound up on the TV news for it! (This was when we did the stand during the time about a thousand people (literally) were walking past our house to get to the city fireworks celebration.) 8) ice — optional. 9) cookies — optional.

    See, writing these articles isn’t so hard. It’s getting all the product placement into them that brings in the big bucks.

  46. This post inspired the perfect kind of summer-fun afternoon for my girls, ages 8 and 7 and 4. And as a side-benefit, it also put an end to the fighting and whining that can drive a mom crazy during summer🙂
    The girls were over the moon excited when I asked them if they would like to make a lemonade stand!
    After a quick trip to the store for lemons, cups and ice (we spent only about $7), they made some quick handmade signs on poster board that we had lying around the house. Taped one to the side of their wagon and had another one for waving in the air to attract customers. And yes, they hand-squeezed 8 lemons to make a gallon of homemade lemonade without my help.
    Then they loaded it all up on their wagon and went off on their own around the corner and to the stop sign at the end of our cul de sac where they spent two hours manning their stand. They took turns waving the sign, taking the money, and pouring the lemonade. And from what they told me, they learned a lot about teamwork and good salesmanship (I wouldn’t know for sure, because I wasn’t there. I stayed home except for bringing them each a hot dog for dinner because they were too busy to come home.)
    But the best part for me was the looks of excitement and pride on their faces as they gave me an account of each customer. After they counted up their money, they planned a shopping trip to buy what they need so they can do it again tomorrow. Ended up with $24 profit!
    I think the spontaneity and independence they were able to show by planning and preparing and selling all on their own is what made this, “The most excellent day ever,” to quote my 7 year old.

    You can’t buy that kind of experience.

  47. My two children love holding lemonade stands! A few years ago, they learned about “Alex’s Lemonade Stand,” a charity that helps raise funds for research into childhood cancer, through efforts of other community members on behalf of a local child battling cancer. My kids hold a couple of lemonade stands each year to sell home-made lemonade and brownies/cookies, then send the proceeds to Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
    It was started by Alex Scott, who held lemonade stands to raise money for cancer research after she found out she had cancer, and it has been continued by her parents after her death. They even have a “National Lemonade Days” weekend, when my kids did a stand this year and could register on Alex’s website for people looking for one in their area, but stands can be held anytime. Alex’s even has a packet with logos/helpful tips/etc. that they will send upon request, although my kids just make their own signs.
    Check it out–my kids have a great time operating their “small business” and knowing they are helping children with cancer like their little friend in our community at the same time! The first few years they decided to give “50% of the proceeds” to Alex’s and keep the rest, but now they even contribute some of their savings to their profits and send it all in. We also always stop at other lemonade stands we see. What a classic way to learn about making, advertising, and selling a product. Long live lemonade stands! alexslemonade.org

  48. Darn and I thought u could just use a card table, lemon juice, ice and water and sugar and some old ice cube trays for the ice that we have around the house. Oh, yes and that good old jug and cups from the dollar store. Wow over $200 just to get started? thats crazy!

  49. Im surprized it doesnt say the kids serving the lemonade have to wear gloves and wash their hands with hand santizer between each human contact lol (can u hear the sarcasm dripping?)

  50. O.k. so I left my kids at home one afternoon (horrors!) and my twelve year old by discovered that he liked to make lemonade. In fact he liked it so much that I have a hard time keeping lemons in the house. We knew of a commercial being shot in our neighborhood, so he had me buy a case of lemons. He organized his brothers and one of his sisters and they ended up squeezing 40+ lemons by hand, throwing in almost an equal part sugar to create a syrup, then we added water and ice the next day. Grandpa bought the cups (he was visiting otherwise we would have had son buy these) Mimi brought out the card table, and he made around $125, with requests to bottle the stuff…except that wouldn’t exactly be “fresh” squeezed would it? Anyway, my point is that when a child puts his mind to something a little hard work can really pay off. Our challenge as parents is to not get sucked into the window dressing of childhood, but to invest in the things that will build character and strength that will follow them into adulthood.

  51. Story 1: My kids: in the hot sun, selling lemonade 1 fifty-cent cup every half hour, hanging in there but getting tired. Customer: pulls up in his Spider (apparently a really rare sportscar) gives them a TWENTY DOLLAR BILL and tells them to keep the change, chugs down his drink, and peels out. They talk about this guy 15 years later as some kind of amazing apparition.

    Story 2: The avocado stand story. We’re from Maine. We have no idea what avocados should cost. We’re visiting my parents in California. Kids put out a big basket of avocados the younger son went up into the tree to pick. They mark them 25 cents each. First customer pulls up, dumps all the avocados in her bag, pays for them, and peels away. (I can just hear her yelling “Suckers!” over her shoulder.) Kids are thrilled. Close stand.

  52. As the old saying goes “If it ain’t broke…don’t fix it!”. Lemonade stands, old school style, that’s the way to go. $300?! Pffft. For all the parents that want to do this “Trump” style lemonade stand, I have an incredible deal on a rock for you. It rolls downhill even. lol

  53. I would be curious to see if there wasn’t an ad near this story, selling some of the things mentioned in the story.

  54. I gotta say, as I was watching this I almost peed my pants laughing, not because of you, or the point you’re making because I completely agree with you, or even because of the idiocy of the magazine. What absolutely SLAYED me was the captioning underneath- I don’t know if anyone else read some of what it said- but HOLY, it was good. I’m going to type out one of the best here in case you didn’t see it.

    Actual: “Uh, more like liquid gold at this point. And add a personal touch by…”

    What the caption read, “Uh, we’re like liquid gold at this point. Antidepressants expect putting their name and the exit prostate party.”

    Seriously, I watched it twice and both times it was equally funny.

  55. I spent many a summer afternoon selling kool-ade and lemonade as a child. But I recently saw the best lemonade stand. We were at my 4 year old’s tball game, it was hot out, and here came a traveling stand. A boy had set up a large igloo thermos on his wagon, and had decorated it with homemade signs. His father was with him, but he let the boy do all the work, taking orders, filling cups, and making change. He must have made a good twenty bucks off of all us thirsty parents. While I think my 4 year old is a bit young just yet, I can’t wait for him to have his own stand in a few more years!

  56. Mollie- What I’ve come to realize in recent years is that much of helicopter parenting (along with so much else), is driven by profit. It’s a pretty demoralizing realization.

  57. I’ve never done a lemonade stand and neither have my kids (although I might suggest it this summer… we buy huge containers of strawberry lemonade mix from Costco real cheap, big bags of cups and napkins from the dollar store, all they would need would be to figure out a table). But last summer my oldest (then 11) and her friends (12) made a bunch of friendship bracelets and sold them for $1-$2 each around the neighborhood. they made enough to go to Bi-Mart and get a slushee machine they wanted.

    Of course, they stole my embroidery floss to do it when they ran out of her friend’s supplies (from a bracelet kit). I thought it was pretty creative. I remember a friend in high school crocheted a bunch of little purses with cheap yarn and sold them around the school for $2 each. She made a killing. I bought one and still have.

    My kids really aren’t all that industrious. Getting it all together is too much work for them and they’d fight the entire time. And then fight over the money.

    This article did just have a positive effect. I tend to get a little too involved when it comes to planning stuff for the kids to do even though I don’t actually want to be “involved” because I’d rather they do it themselves. Mostly because once I get involved they stop doing anything and expect me to do it all.

    Anyway, we were having lunch and I was telling them how they need to find something to do after they were done eating because they weren’t staying inside all day and it hit me: picnic. My 10yo was like, “why didn’t you say that before I ate the sandwich.” LOL

    It was so hard to not pack up the lunches myself because they were making a huge mess and were so disorganized but I was reading this article and just sat there. They gathered some sandwiches, bowls of fruit salad (that my husband made yesterday), some cheese sticks, regular salad (it was part of lunch) and water bottles. Then found the picnic blanket, packed everything into a book bag, got their baby brother up from his nap and put his shoes on and off they went to the park down the street. Of course, the kitchen is still a mess but at least they’re gone. And they took extras in case their friends wanted to join them.

    I just hope they bring my containers back because I don’t want to have to buy a new set.

  58. My eleven year old is a born entrepreneur… he finds something he likes and turns it into a ‘business’. He never seems to make any money at these businesses but it’s pretty darned funny. This year he developed a fascination for origami. Within no time he was printing out order forms, and taking them to school. All week long he took orders from friends for origami bookmarks, critters and of course “Origami Yoda” (see book), then each Friday he’d haul out his decorated shoe box filled with his finished products and take them to school to deliver to his customers. Of course, all profits were spent on more Origami paper.

  59. @Merrick, I say, that’s pretty awesome. Your son can indulge his enjoyment of his hobby, and not stick you with the cost of new material. That, right there, is good sense parenting. I’ve got friends who spend several hundred dollars/ month on their children’s hobbies (not sports, HOBBIES). That’s insane to me, but not one of them sees my point. Good for you.

  60. Hey on the avocado stand story, your kids went up the tree and picked the fruit. That’s more than anyone else did. They could have gotten more if they’d known the going rate, but they made money by underselling the competition. It’s more than they would have gotten playing Playstation all afternoon!

    Really, in a way, it’s more realistic economics than $.50 for a cup of $.12 lemonade (concentrate price — more for lemons, less for lemon juice) that people buy because the kids are cute or because they want to encourage them.

    And next year they can charge $1 and still come out ahead.

  61. […] do, you’ll probably scour the internet looking for a fun activity to occupy them. If you read a blog post about how lemonade stands are becoming a commercialized, family affair you’ll probably want […]

  62. I wonder if this marketing push is supposed to appeal to parents’ sense of yuppie-infused nostalgia. The parents would love to make a lemonade stand, and now they have the cash to do it up! Wouldn’t that be fun?

    I wonder because buying this stuff doesn’t seem at all fun for kids.

  63. When life hands you lemons, let them sit and rot while you go buy that fake lemonade crap that is too sweet to drink, the kids prefer that anyways.

    Or just squeeze the lemon juice in the eyes of whoever came up with the original $300 lemonade stand article.

  64. Our kids have a stand made from wood left over from my husband’s other projects; they use re-useable cups (the free ones from restaurants) so it doesn’t matter if someone takes it home, but most customers are neighbours who drink it right there at the stand and chat. We haven’t used the lemonade stand as a money-making enterprise, nor have we charged our kids for the lemon juice and sugar, rather, it’s teaching our kids about customer service and community. They also know how to make real lemonade and will never have to buy frozen concentrate again (which has also developed their palate–they don’t like overly sweetened drinks anymore). And they do this all on their own, including carrying the stand to the end of the driveway and cleaning up after themselves.

  65. Love this! My kids bought generic lemonade mix and a bag of 100 generic plastic cups for about $6 total. I let them borrow a card table, and plastic pitcher. Signs were made on printer paper with sharpies that we had in the office. They each made $10 profit. It was a great weekend.

  66. I liked the vlog, but the ad-supplying company is doing you no favors. What was with the oh-my-g*d-the-batteries-in-your-bathroom-scale-are-going-to-kill-your-child! ad I had to watch first?

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