Okay…we just completed our first lemonade stand of this summer. It was a huge success! Well…by huge, I mean the kids are all taking away a few bucks. Me, however, well…I’m out quite a bit of money. Lemonade stands when I was a child (a long, long time ago), were very simple. We usually tipped over a cardboard box (that was our lemonade stand), we had a shoebox to hold our money (that was our cash drawer), and we had one pitcher of lemonade and some plastic cups. We sat on the ground!
I think we probably charged $0.25 per cup back in my day. If that much…maybe just a dime. Today’s lemonade stands are quite different. First of all, my kids have what I consider to be a pretty fancy set up for their lemonade stand. They used my 4 foot plastic folding table from Amazon, but it’s a really nice table. It’s the table I bought to use for birthday parties. It is white plastic, and you can cover it with whatever themed table-cloth you need for your party each year. Then, you can fold it up and put it away until the next birthday party. It’s been great, and I’ve had it since the kids were little.
I had thought about getting them one of those really cute store-bought lemonade stand tables, like the Melissa and Doug Deluxe Lemonade Stand. Our neighbor has one of these, and I see my kids look at it with envy each time we are customers at her lemonade stand. Or I thought about getting the ready made Lemonade Stand Table Cloth that you can buy – it just slips over a standard folding card table and boom – you’re ready to sell! But we were out of time – the lemonade stand was happening the very next day, and I didn’t have time to order any of these fancy things. So…my poor kids were on their own to do their best with my utility table!
MY utility table that I had used for years, that had now been hijacked by my kids and turned in to a lemonade/snack stand table. I couldn’t really complain since I wouldn’t buy them one. And these days, kids don’t use cardboard boxes as their table – these kids have it easy. Their lemonade stands are fancy. And of course, it is so hot in Texas, that we needed to provide some shade, so my husband drilled a hole in the corner of my table so they could attach an umbrella and be in the shade while they were hard at work selling lemonade and snacks at their “Drink/Snack Stand.” And it’s not just any umbrella – it’s one of those giant umbrellas that are used for sand tables and picnic tables! So that, combined with their nice, comfy chairs makes this lemonade/snack stand thing pretty cool!
Zach and Morgan and 2 of their friends began planning this adventure a day or two ahead of time – I left it up to them to set it all up. They first designed the posters – they wanted one to tape to the table, and one to use for advertising. They decided that one of the kids needed to be at the corner holding up one sign for passing cars advertising their sale. The others would man the table and serve any customers who stopped by.
As they were working on their posters, they decided that lemonade wasn’t enough – they wanted to “invent” some new drinks to sell as well. So they finished up their posters and moved on to the “drink invention” phase… After mixing many different concoctions with sodas, sugar, and vanilla, they came up with a few flavors to sell in addition to their basic yellow and pink lemonade! Here is what they came up with (and the recipes if you want to try some):
- Vanilla Mountain Coke – 2/3 can of Mountain Dew, 1/3 can of Coke, 5 drops of Vanilla, 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Dr. Cola – 1/2 can of Dr. Pepper, 1/2 can of Coke, 1 teaspoon of sugar
- The Broverman – 1/2 can of Sprite, 1/2 can of Coke, 2 drops of Vanilla, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and a “pinch” of cinnamon
You could also buy snacks at their stand – snacks from my pantry that I had just picked up for the kids to snack on this summer, and for us to pack up and take to the pool when we went. I had not intended for them to be used at the Lemonade – now Lemonade/Invented Drink/Snack Stand! And it gets even better – when I was sitting outside keeping an eye on things, I asked Zach for a pack of Goldfish Crackers. He so sweetly brought them to me, but when he handed them to me he said “That will be 50 cents, Mom.” Really? My crackers from my pantry, and I had to pay for them! My little entrepreneur! Gotta love that entrepreneurial spirit…right?
The day was finally here. The day for our (I mean their) first Lemonade/Invented Drink/Snack Stand! They sent my daughter, Morgan to the end of the street with a giant poster advertising their stand. She sat comfortably in a chair and held up her sign with her cute little smile waving to passing cars. Well…the boys decided she wasn’t generating enough traffic, so my son took over advertising for a while. He didn’t just sit in the chair – he hopped on his hoverboard and rode back and forth along the sidewalk with the sign. It was like he was picketing some cause…
And…as all good moms do, I blasted out a picture of the kids to my Facebook account and told everyone where we were – I so desperately wanted them to be successful. I didn’t really want the snacks to sell (grocery shopping isn’t my thing), but I was hoping their drinks would sell. I was impressed with all my friends who answered the call – so many came by. And so many of them were so brave – they bought one of the invented drinks instead of standard (and relatively safe) lemonade! I was so happy for these kids.
But…because of their success, they are already talking about inventing more drinks for their next Lemonade/Invented Drink/Snack Stand! Uh-oh… I think my idea of advertising for them may have back-fired. I was under the impression that we only had to do one Lemonade Stand per summer. I was very excited to get this checked off my list… Boy was I wrong. Not only will we be having another Lemonade/Invented Drink/Snack Stand, but they have decided that they will have one per week. They are pooling their earnings together to buy “something really cool” at the end of the summer. Oh my…what have I started…
As I sat on my porch watching these happy kids, I thought “This is what summer is all about.” I sat back and read my book for a while watching them happily sell lemonade. Then I headed in to the kitchen to start thinking about dinner. As soon as I entered I realized I would not be cooking dinner tonight – we were ordering pizza. I was going to be spending the evening cleaning up the mess they had left in their wake.
It was overall, a wonderful experience. But…the only part of this whole Lemonade/Invented Drink/Snack Stand that really concerns me is that this took place on the 3rd day of our summer vacation! I remember doing lemonade stands at the end of summer vacation when we were bored and had nothing else to do. Hmmmm…what will the rest of the summer bring for us? I’m a little afraid to find out. Wish me luck! And good luck with your Lemonade stands! Send me some pictures… Until next time…