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Oregon Family Magazine

Lessons From a Lemonade Stand

05/31/2015 16:01 ● By Sandy Kauten
Kids selling lemonade in their front yard are a sure sign that summer is here. Who can resist those little adorable faces, handmade signs, and enthusiastic entreats to buy a small glass of lemonade for a quarter? Joggers, thirsty teens, and neighbors are drawn in by the entrepreneurial moxie of your smiling children. Sometimes when the sale ends, they have earned a shoebox full of change. They may be rolling in dough comprised of nickels, dimes, and quarters! Babysitting, yard work, and walking dogs are also examples of ways that kids earn money in the summer months. Use this season’s opportunities to teach your child about money as a tool to work and play with responsibly.

Spend Wisely

Letting your child buy something they want with their own money may seem indulgent, but it is a chance to teach your child about personal finance. When you take your child to the store and he spends his limited earnings, he will learn that he must choose with care. Walk him through selecting items he can afford and prioritize wants and needs. Another way your child can spend his money is using it for going out and spending time with others. Let him take a friend or family member out for dessert, hot chocolate, or a fast food meal. Show your child which coins or bills to use and share your guidelines on tipping. Though your child will be spending his profits, he will be spending them thoughtfully, and that makes a more conscious consumer.

Save the Money, Not the Fun

Even if you don’t feel like a financial wiz, you can help your child understand the benefits of saving their money in a bank. Many banks have kid’s programs with incentives to save, online education about money, and games to teach your child about finances. Find out if your bank or local credit union has a savings program for kids. Visit the bank with your child and help her open her own savings account. When the bank statements come in the mail, show her how much money she has and how much she has earned that month. Some banks have kid programs with point systems and prizes, so she can be rewarded for saving her money.

Choosing How to Help

Show your child that giving to a worthy cause can make a big difference. Help your child research charities based on topics that he is interested in. He may choose to give online to an organization that conserves a national park or protects your child’s favorite animal. Another way is to help a local organization like an animal shelter or community food bank by purchasing and donating food. Let your child pick out the food he thinks is needed. If you donate to an animal shelter, call ahead and see if you can drop off the donation at a time when he can pet visit with the animals. Consider having your child send a picture to the organization he chooses to show his support.

Divide and Conquer

Shannon, a mom from Seattle, Washington suggests a save, spend, and donate division of profits. She recommends helping your child save some money towards a goal, keeping some to spend on little wants, and donating some to a cause that interests her” Your child will get the best of everything when she chooses to divide her money multiple ways. Help her plan out how much she wants to give to each. It may be more fun for her when she doesn’t have to decide one particular way to use her money. Spending, saving, and donating are all part of what grownups do with their money too!

Invest In Supplies for A Bigger, Better Lemonade Stand

If your child gets bitten by the sales bug and wants to have more lemonade stands this summer, let them roll their profits back into their business and boost the caliber of their stand! Do they need fancier cups? More ingredients? A bigger table? Perhaps they want to add a selection of flavors! Guide your child’s planning and be open to his ideas on how he wants to improve his business. Then, let him use his profits to make that happen!

Some kids prefer to kick back, watch the butterflies and sip lemonade at their very own lemonade stand in the sun rather than trying to sell any. Having a lemonade stand is all about having fun in the sun and when it becomes profitable, that’s just a bonus. Whatever way your child chooses to participate in this age-old tradition, customers are sure to want to be a part of it too. Now you can help your child decide what to do when the lemonade is gone and their shoebox is full of change!

Sick of Lemonade? Other Entrepreneurial Ventures for Kids

Art Walk

Let your child create drawings, leaf rubbings, clay sculptures, even coloring book pictures that are cut out and taped onto popsicle sticks as ‘puppets’. Patrons won’t be able to resist supporting your little artist’s blooming creativity.

Flower Power

Your child can pick flowers from your yard or a nearby field and make them into bouquets. Another way is to let him organize similar flowers together and let the customer choose what goes into their custom bouquet.

Micro-Garage Sale

Let your child choose a few toys, games, and stuffed animals that she no longer plays with and let her set them out on a small table with a sign that she makes and decorates herself.

Bake Sale

You can create the baked goods together from scratch, or use store bought dough. Either way, he will probably want to eat a quality control sample to be sure they are good and sell what’s left.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

If your child wants to have a lemonade stand on a chilly day, let him sell hot cocoa instead. If he really wants to make a bundle, let him sell coffee to the grownups! You can be the barista that helps him pour the hot drinks.

Ruth Hanley is a mom of two small lemonade entrepreneurs and loves to watch them in action.  Unfortunately, they never give her a family discount.