A Lemonade Stand that Did NOT Cost $280? Imagine that!

Folks — I am loving your responses to the post below this one, which was about all the expensive things a parenting magazine says you need for a lemonade stand. (And the fact that the mag also calls it a “family lemonade stand,” as if kids can’t possibly be trusted to do anything on their own. ) So feel free to peruse them. Here’s one that made me cheer:

Dear Free-Range Kids: 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.  – Erin