Looking for family fun things to do in the winter without snow? Teach your kid(dos) profit margins with this awesome winter family event you’ll create in your own backyard.
It’s soooooo easy to sit inside all winter long and slowly accumulate cabin fever (plus a few pounds). That's why you've got to look for fun things to do in the winter.
Well today? We’re going to switch things up. I’ve created a family date night for you (family winter activities!) that has both an indoor AND an outdoor component.
But don’t worry – with this fun winter activity we’ll keep things toasty throughout.
So, what’s the game plan? Each of your kid(dos) will make (rather, create) a warm winter beverage recipe indoors. Then here's the twist: you’re going to host a family taste testing contest around your fire pit in the backyard.
Not only will this make a fun family memory, but your kid(dos) will actually walk away with more money knowledge in the process centered around the all-important lesson of how to make a profit!
Pssst: Now that’s a money lesson I could have used as a kid, specifically as I’ve gone into biz for myself as an adult.
Let’s get started.
Host a Winter Beverage Outdoor Taste Testing
Finding fun things to do in the winter doesn't have to mean you're freezing your tootsies off. There's nothing better to keep you warm outdoors in the wintertime than a toasty drink. Well, a toasty drink around a roaring fire.
Here’s how it’s going down:
Psst: you’ll want to grab your free printable to really bring this activity to life.
Step #1: Choose an Event Date
Build the anticipation for your family by choosing a date 1 to 2 weeks out (so that there’s time for you guys to complete the rest of the prep work).
Fill out the invitation on Page 1 of the free printable, and display prominently on your family’s bulletin board/gathering center in the kitchen so everyone knows the date of the big event.
Set the stage for the competition by having your family read their mission out loud. Other cool factors you can add in: make it a Friday or Saturday family date night, under the stars. Let the kids stay up a little past bedtime to complete.
Step #2: Your Kid(dos) Research Hot Drink Ideas to Enter into the Competition
Your kids are the ones entering the competition. They’ll be in the driver seat of actually creating their own recipe from scratch (with some inspiration from below).
There are lots of toasty, kid-friendly drink recipe ideas to get them started:
They’ll get lots of help not only from looking up recipe examples on sites like Pinterest, but also from the worksheet in the free printable (Page 2).
Step #3: Shop for the Ingredients
Once your budding restaurant consultant has determined possible ingredients they’ll need for their signature drink, they’ll need you, Mama Bear, to purchase them.
Take the list your kid(dos) have created and go to the store (solo, or with them) to make the purchases.
Having trouble coming up with a pool of possible ingredients to buy? Use the lists below for inspiration of what to pick up (a few of these ingredients you probably already have at home) and let your kids create what they can from it:
- Bases: hot cocoa, apple cider, chai tea, milk
- Flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, flavor syrups
- Sweeteners: sugar, brown sugar, caramel
- Creamers: milk, half & half, almond milk, heavy cream, etc.
- Top-offs: whipped cream, caramel sauce, orange peels for zesting
Save your store receipt, as your kid(dos) will need this information to price their drinks later on.
Step #4: Your Kid(dos) Tinker + Perfect their Drink
Using the purchased ingredients as well as anything in your home they can find, host a kitchen lab session where your kid(dos) tinker with ingredients and perfect their super-secret, signature recipes (talk about fun things to do in the winter inside!).
They’ll write down the exact portion sizes to each ingredient that they use as they go along, which is important for the next step.
Step #5: Your Kid(dos) Figure Out the Profit Margin of their Signature Drink
Remember, the goal is to create a new drink for this restaurant that not only costs less than $5, but has at least a 60% profit margin for the owner.
Ahem: between you and me, that means their cost needs to come in under $2.00.
So, as your kid tinkers with ingredients, they need to keep price in mind.
Note: this step can seem a bit unwieldy, but is SO important for the whole process. Just know – I’m outlining both how to do this all by hand, as well as giving you shortcuts to online calculators where your kid(dos) will still learn the process by setting up the inputs and thinking through how it all fits together.
Of course, we’re not talking about the cost of the entire ingredient that you’ve purchased. After all, it’s unlikely they’ll use an entire carton of milk to create one drink. We’re talking about the small portion size that they used of the product.
In other words, they’re not going to get the cost of a single drink they’ve created from your grocery store receipt as it is now. They need to do some calculating based on the measurements of each ingredient that goes into each drink.
You need to know how much it costs to create just ONE of your super-secret signature drinks so that you can calculate the profit margin.
What’s a profit margin? It’s the percentage of what you keep as profit from each $1.00. For example, a 20% profit margin means that we earn $0.20 on every dollar. That means that the other 80% or $0.80 are expenses. Remember that Jack, the man from The Yeti Slide, needs a 60% profit margin, or $0.60 on each dollar in profit after expenses are taken out.
Step #1: Write down your ingredients + quantities.
Step #2: Convert each quantity in your recipe to the quantity on the product label.
Divide your ingredients up by dry ones (like cocoa powder), and wet ones (like heavy cream or vanilla extract).
Then use the appropriate table below to convert the amount in your recipe to the amount that’s found on the ingredient’s product label (front of package).
For example, if you used 3 teaspoons of cocoa powder (dry ingredient), then your conversion is to a ½ ounce (the cocoa powder can is in ounces). Or if you used 2 tablespoons of almond milk, you find on the Wet Conversion table that you used 1 fl. Oz. (the almond milk carton is in Fl. Oz.).
Hint: Can’t find the conversion or a little confused? You can plug the exact quantity of your ingredients into this liquid converter or this dry converter calculator online and convert it into the measurement found on your product label).
|3 teaspoons||½ ounce|
|2 tablespoons||1 ounce|
|1/4 cup||2 ounces|
|1/3 cup||2.6 ounces|
|1/2 cup||4 ounces|
|3/4 cup||6 ounces|
|2 cups||16 ounces|
|2 tablespoons||1 fl. oz.|
|1/4 cup||2 fl. oz.|
|1/2 cup||4 fl. oz.|
|1 cup||8 fl. oz.|
|1 1/2 cups||12 fl. oz.|
|2 cups or 1 pint||16 fl. oz.|
|4 cups or 1 quart||32 fl. oz.|
|1 gallon||128 fl. oz.|
Step #3: Calculate the cost of each quantity of ingredient used.
Now you need to price each converted quantity of ingredient by figuring out how much each ounce or fluid ounce costs, and then multiplying it by the amount you’ve used.
Hint: A good estimate to use for dashes of spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg is $0.05.
- Write down the overall price of each ingredient used.
- Write down the converted amount you used of it.
- Divide the total amount in the product package by its price to find what each ounce or fluid ounce costs.
- Then multiply that by the converted amount you used.
- Write down the cost. Then add all of the individual ingredient costs to get your total expense to create the drink.
Example: I used 1 tablespoon (tbsp.) of heavy cream. One 8 fl. oz. container of heavy cream at the store costs $2.99. That is $0.37/ounce. I look at the conversion chart below, and see that 1 tbsp. converts to ½ ounce. So, I divide $0.37/2 ounces, and see that this ingredient for just one drink costs $0.186 (you can round up to $0.19).
Ingredient Cost: $2.99_ Converted Amount Used: ½ fl. Oz. Total Product Amount: 8 fl. Oz. Cost per ounce: _$0.37/fl. Oz. Cost of Ingredient Used: $0.37 X ½ = $0.186.
Looking for a shortcut? Here’s a free online tool for pricing out beverages. You’ll need the converted amounts.
Step #4: Calculate Your Profit Margin
Figure out how high your profit margin is if you sell the drink for $5.00.
Profit on Drink: $5.00 – total drink cost = _$_________.
Profit Per Dollar: Your answer from above \ Cost drink is sold for ($5.00) = $ Profit
Profit Margin: $ Profit X 100 = Profit Margin%
Step #6: Taste Judging Begins
By now you’ve set the scene for some fun things to do in the winter outdoors – think a crackling bonfire out in the backyard (or in your fire pit. Heck, you can de-hibernate the grill for some winter outdoor cooking/heating), plus a table/flat surface where your kids can place their super-secret signature creations.
Bust out some blankets, cover straw bales with table cloths…you get the idea. (And if you’re in Houston like we are? Well, a hoodie should suffice).
Have your kid(dos) place their drinks on the tasting mat, as well as fill in how much their drink costs and what the profit margin is (all calculations they’ll be guided through on the free printable).
Now they get to take a break, while the parents taste + score each one!
Included in the printable are both a tasting mat as well as a score card with specific criteria, such as inventiveness, taste, and profit margin.
Step #7: Declare the Winners
There are winners in a variety of categories, and then an overall drink that is chosen for The Yeti Slide's Yeti Roasts:
- Most Inventive
- Most Tasty
- Best Money-Maker
- Newest Yeti Slide Signature Drink
Looking for fun things to do in the winter? This two-part activity for your child that will leave them understanding profit margins like a pro, plus give your family an awesome family date night under the stars on a winter evening when you might otherwise be watching tv.