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12 Lemonade Stand Ideas (Your Kid Will Learn so Much!)

Awesome lemonade stand ideas to not only get more customers, but to teach your kids money and business lessons.

Can I count on two hands the amount of entrepreneur and general money lessons your child can learn by creating a lemonade stand?

two girls behind lemonade stand, slapping each other five, text overlay "12 lemonade stand ideas for kids - teach money and business lessons"

Nope. There are far too many for that!

And if your child has done a lemonade stand in the past but hasn’t exactly taken away from it what you had hoped?

Well, buckle up.

I’m offering you lemonade stand ideas will help teach your child:

  • How to count money and make change
  • How to attract customers
  • How to create a product and test it out
  • How to work with customers
  • Etc.

Before we dive into these fun ideas, let’s address the elephant in the room: whether or not it’s legal to have a lemonade stand.

Is it Legal to Set Up a Lemonade Stand?

Most of us have seen the news stories by now from experts talking about the need for permits to run a lemonade stand.

You don’t want your child to be the first kid in town to get shut down by a health inspector, I can assure you that (oh, the tears!).

Here’s where you can find out which cities and towns have laws you’ll need to follow, and which do not.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…let’s move onto the fun part – the actual lemonade stand ideas.

Lemonade Stand Ideas

Pick at least one of these lemonade stand ideas, based on the types of lessons and learning you want for your child (not to mention, many of them will add extra fun into things!).

1. Take a Free Lemonade Stand Business Lesson First

You can help your child tie in their lemonade stand dreams with actual business know-how and learning by first having them go through a business lesson themed around what they’re about to do.

The Not Your Grandmother’s Lemonade Stand (Suggested Grade: 6-8) is a free one to try out.

Psst: check out this article for more free business simulation games for kids, and this article for 7 kid business plan templates. Here’s a kid business plan example.

2. Have a Guest Sign-In Book

Here’s a creative lemonade stand idea: have a guest sign-in book.

Customers love these in local stores, and your child will likely get a kick out of reading through them (and looking at where their customers came from!).

Suggested columns:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Where you’re from
  • What you like about lemonade stands (hint: this is also great market research that can fuel future lemonade stand ideas)

3. Offer Something Else for Sale

What else can you sell at a lemonade stand?

Here’s a list of ideas:

4. Offer an Upsell or Add-On

Is your child ready to increase their profits and experiment a bit with an upsell or add-on (meaning, offer something extra for an additional cost, such as when my favorite Poke bowl place gets another $1.50 out of me for avocado)?

This can be a fun exercise that uses their creativity (not to mention, a great learning activity – they’ll start seeing upsells everywhere after this activity!).

Add-on ideas off the top of my head include:

Hint: to make this easier on your kids and change pot, try to price in round numbers.

5. Create a Signature Lemonade Drink

Surfing the web for lemonade stand recipe ideas?

Great. I’m going to challenge you to go one step further: use this as a tool to teach your child how to create a product (their signature lemonade stand recipe).

This means they’ll gather up ingredients they think could taste good in a lemonade drink, and tinker away.

A little bit of this, a little bit of that, then taste it to see how it came out.

Adjust, adjust, adjust.

In the end, they’ll want to write down the exact measurements of their winning drink, so that they can create a large batch of it for their lemonade stand day.

Hint: help your child to name their new product – this can create more of a buzz when they make their signs! Also, check out my worksheets on the Winter Beverage Taste competition to help with everything.  

6. Give out Different Roles to Different Kids

For the next lemonade stand that your child does, see if they can do it as a group activity with some of their friends and siblings.

Then, give each child a role in the lemonade business.

For example, a child could be:

  • Chief Sales Tracker: Use a worksheet from these lemonade stand worksheets to track sales as they come in.
  • Chief Treasurer: This person can be in charge of counting all of the money that is taken in. If you decide to donate part of the proceeds, then they can calculate how much will be donated. Also, they may need to set aside some of the money to pay back anyone who paid for upfront expenses.
  • Chief Lemonade Pricer: This child will be in charge of recommending their pricing for a cup of lemonade, after taking the expenses into consideration.
  • Chief Marketer: This child is in charge of coming up with a list of ideas and ways to market the lemonade stand. Once ideas are voted on, they can be in charge of making sure everyone follows through with their part.
  • Chief Buyer: This person can be in charge of purchasing all ingredients needed, with the group money.  
  • Chief Inventory-Taker: This person can be in charge of making sure there’s enough ingredients, and taking stock of the level of lemonade that is left/when a new batch needs to be made.

7. Make a Book Study Out of It

I’ve got a whole article on 14 business books for kids. It’d be a great way to prep for a lemonade stand day, or to read afterwards and relate the concepts in the book back to what happened on their selling day.

Psst: got a teen? Here’s my review of 5 business books for high school students.

8. Make a Pricing Lesson Out of it

You could focus just on teaching your child how to price something, and that would be a huge learning lesson for them.

Here are some worksheets that will help them to price their product, also, here is my market day lesson plan on pricing.

But I want to take it a step further, because there’s a real opportunity here for them to learn tips and tricks about pricing.

Some ideas for pricing:

  • Check Out Competitor Pricing: Take them to the store, and have them write down the cost of some finished lemonade products. Help them to calculate how much one glass of that bottle of lemonade costs, so that they have a reference point for pricing their own. Talk to them about how their lemonade might have added benefits (because it’s homemade), and that’s why a higher price could be warranted.
  • Play Around with Cutting Expenses: Once they figure out their signature lemonade drink recipe, help them to shop around and try to lower the price of at least one of their ingredients. Do this by shopping at a different store, or using a similar ingredient to an expensive one, or using a generic product instead of a costlier manufacturer product. In this end, this means they could either increase their profits without raising their prices, or lower their price without losing out on their profits. It’s their choice!

How Do You Attract Customers to a Lemonade Stand?

Worried about getting customers, or want to try and get even more customers to your child’s lemonade stand?

This next list of ideas is going to help with that.

1. Pair it with a Yard Sale for More Traffic

How do you attract customers to a lemonade stand?

One way is to pair it with something else, like a yard sale. A neighborhood yard sale event? Even better.

2. Pair it with a Charitable Donation

You’ll quickly find that if you give people a way to spend money where part of that money goes into the community or towards a charity? They’ll be more likely to do business with you.

It’s a win-win – you can seriously help out someone, or an organization, all while learning business skills.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is a great resource for how to help fight Childhood Cancer with your lemonade stand.

And, of course, you can always just pick a charitable organization to dedicate a percentage of your profits to.

Either way, be sure to include this in your marketing (flyers), on social media, and in your signs! People want to know that their money is going towards a good and important cause.

3. Take Part in a Nationwide Lemonade Day

More people will be open and ready to buy lemonade from a stand when there’s a national day built around it (lots of marketing and word-of-mouth on your kid’s side).

Checkout LemonadeDay.org, and see if there is an event in your own town or city.

4. Try a New Marketing Technique

There is a seemingly endless amount of marketing ideas you can try (though they might not seem obvious if you’re just starting out selling something – like your child is).

The goal is to keep trying something new, or making little tweaks, until you find something that sticks. Then…double down on that marketing strategy.

Here are some ideas:

  • Hand out samples to passersby or nearby offices
  • Make a flyer, and hand it out to neighbors a few days before your stand goes live
  • Locate your stand near an event, such as a sports event, or near a construction site
  • Ask customers to take a selfie and post it to their social media in local Facebook groups
  • Etc.  

Pick one of these lemonade stand ideas to try out, set up your stand day, and then tweak as needed. If your kids want to do another lemonade stand day? Awesome — choose a different idea to teach them something else. By the end of the summer (or summers), your child could have a lot of firsthand knowledge with both handling money and what it takes to create and sell something. Not to mention, they'll have a lot of fun doing it!

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Amanda L. Grossman is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, a 2017 Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Money Prodigy. Amanda's kid money work has been featured on Experian, GoBankingRates, PT Money, CA.gov, Rockstar Finance, the Houston Chronicle, and Colonial Life. Read more here.