8 Tips for a Lemonade Stand for Kids

8 Tips for a Lemonade Stand for Kids

Be sure to check off all the fun family activities on our printable summer bucket list for kids, too, like stargazing and painting rocks and the best easy water games for hot summer days.

How to Host a Lemonade Stand For Kids

Want to keep the kids busy this summer, learn essential life skills, and encourage their entrepreneurial spirit? Hosting a lemonade stand for kids is a great screen-free way to spend a day — or a whole week, with planning and building included!

When the kids run a lemonade stand, they get to learn a little about running a business, practice their manners and social skills, make a little money, keep up on those important math skills, and have a great time making fond memories.

Check out these tips for how to help the kids host a lemonade stand this summer.

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1. Plan & build together.

Help the kids decide how they will make their lemonade stand and what they need to put it together. From a simple table with a bright colored table cloth to a DIY wooden stand with a lemonade stand sign up above, the only limit is the kids imagination (and your DIY skills).

DIY Lemonade Stand Ideas

The simplest lemonade stand setup is a folding table (try this one with adjustable legs for kid-height when you need it!) — just add a lemony cute tablecloth and a quick easy paper banner to make it eye-catching.

A shade canopy is helpful for keeping the drinks and kids cool, plus adding height to draw attention and add a banner or sign to the top of the stand.

If you’d like to make a DIY project of it (and what Remodelaholic does’t love a project?), grab this color-your-own cardboard lemonade stand or try these DIY kids lemonade stand ideas you can build together.

DIY Kid’s Lemonade Stand Tutorials

And for the menu, you can use good ol’ posterboard — or build a standing chalkboard easel or an easy magnet board that can be reused in the house later.

2.  Make a signature lemonade drink.

Easy premade powder lemonade mix or from-the-can frozen pink lemonade is a quick go-to…. But what if you let the kids get creative with their own lemonade recipe?

Start with fresh lemons and the basic recipe below, then let them add their own twist such as a fruit flavoring (from syrups or fruit puree), fun shaped ice (made with a special ice tray), or a piece of candy like a lemonhead or gummy bears dropped into the drink.

Basic Easy Lemonade Recipe for Kids

Or add one of these summer smoothie recipes to your lemonade stand menu!

Here’s a tip for smoothies at a lemonade stand: blend all the ingredients except the ice beforehand, then add the ice just before serving.

3. Diversify the menu & sales offerings.

If you have lots of neighborhood kids involved, or if you have tweens who are ready for a challenge, consider adding more than just drinks to the menu.

Bake Sale Additions

Treats like brownies and cookies are easy to make at home, or you can rent or buy a cotton candy machine or popcorn machine.

For kids who are really motivated, spending a few weeks making extra inventory to sell can be a great way for them to learn about profit margins (see below) and get paid for a hobby they enjoy, such as making earrings or whittling.

For example, Cassity’s tween girls spent the winter and spring making handmade earrings to sell! (See our favorite crafting tools for makers here.)

They had accumulated a great inventory to sell and added some snacks and treats like cotton candy (in pre-made tubs) and small bags of chips, too.

4. Learn the basics of entrepreneurship & marketing.

 Small businesses like lemonade stands are a great place for kids to start their young entrepreneurs journey. Use this kids lemonade stand as an opportunity to discuss the basics of running a business.

Who knew talking about supply and demand could be fun? Help them set a price point that people will buy at but still generates a revenue — after all, this experience is about making a few bucks, right?

Do they think they can increase profits by selling more smaller cups of lemonade? or by selling a bigger cup, with extras, at a higher price? (They might need some guidance about prices the market will bear, here!)

Can you increase the profit margin by adding inexpensive additional items (as mentioned above)? For example, making lemonade or baking brownies can fun and profitable but you can probably *also* turn a quick profit by adding ice-cold bottled water or other pre-made treats to the lemonade stand, too, for variety and convenience. (Just think of how much you pay for a bottle of water at a carnival or Disneyland!)

Recommended Summer Reading

The Lemonade War

Add some literacy to your summer lemonade stand learning! The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies is about 2 siblings who set up competing lemonade stands. This is a quick read that will have kids laughing while giving parents lots of opportunities to talk about entrepreneurship and friendship.

Plus, this would be a great time to talk about what the kids will do with the profits. We suggest they keep some to spend, but also set aside certain amounts to save and to donate to a charity of their choice.

Look for a local need that your kids care about (like an animal shelter or food bank) or that they might benefit from learning about (like the local foster care support program), or you can join a national program such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to raise money for childhood cancer research.

5.  Budget and shop.

Make a list of all the supplies needed and take the kids shopping. Talk about using coupons or finding things on sale since all the money spent upfront will come out of their profits in the end.

Teaching Modern Real Life Skills: Let the kids use online ordering to schedule a grocery pickup or delivery of all their supplies. We *love* our Walmart+ membership for things like this!

In addition to the lemonade, you’ll need

This is where some summer math skills come into play! To plan and run a lemonade stand, kids can practice:

Decorating a Lemonade Stand

Kid-made posters and signs are the quintessential lemonade stand decor, but you might also consider printing one of our easy printable lemonade or summer art prints! Just click each image to see the details and get the printable.

In addition to a fun tablecloth, use basic wood crates for cute and easy display shelves, add mason jars to hold straws, and add a chalkboard, light box, or whiteboard to make it easy to change your sign if needed.

6.  Choose a date, time and location.

If your kids just want to do their lemonade stand right-now-right-now — any day and time and any safe location will work.

For the entrepreneurs, though, choosing a good date, time, and location for the kids lemonade stand is an important factor in sales success.

Pick a good location to let the kids set up the lemonade stand with both a lot of foot traffic (ie potential customers) and safety in mind. Your front yard would probably be the easiest place, but if it is possible, try to find a place where a large amount of people would be walking by like near a playground or park.

You may be able to combine your lemonade stand with a local event or a neighbor’s yard sale, or ask a local business if you can set up outside their storefront. This can be a win-win for both your lemonade stand and their business.

Whatever location you choose, be sure to get permission from the property owner or the city, if needed, and follow all local laws and license or permit rules for your municipality.

Also, think about the best time of day when people will be out and about. Be sure to have the kids choose a reasonable starting time *and* ending time for the lemonade stand (if they don’t sell out first).

And of course pick a day to host the lemonade stand when you have good weather. On a hot sunny day, people will be looking for a way to cool down and a glass of cold lemonade will be just the thing!

7. Get the word out.

As any small business owner knows: marketing is a big deal! Let your friends, neighbors, and community members know that the kids will be hosting a lemonade stand and ask them to help spread the word.

Make It Entertaining

Creating a fun environment is a great way to add excitement for both the kids and their customers, and also draw extra attention to your lemonade stand!

Play some fun music, get out the bubble machine, and add yard games to make the lemonade stand extra fun and inviting.

Remodelaholic Girls Lemonade Stand 1
young Remodelaholics picture/art stand turned lemonade stand — it doesn’t have to look fancy!

8.  Let them learn!

As much as possible, let the kids run the show. Prepare them in advance and pratice making change, explaining menu options, and talking with their clientele politely, This is a great time for them to practice their social skills and manners when dealing with customers — a little customer service experience makes for a lot of empathy!

Have an adult (parent or family member) on hand for supervision and safety, but as hands-off as possible.

When they do most of the work, the kids will get the satisfaction of a job well done while learning valuable lessons, and have a fun time while doing it.

Shop Our Lemonade Stand Must-Haves

First published 28 June 2015. Last Updated 17 June 2022.

This content was originally published here.