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What we learned at Lemonade Day

Monday, June 11, 2012 Leave a Comment

 It's a great idea - Lemonade Day - a national day of lemonade stands to teach kids how to run their own businesses.

 It was exciting to plan it with my 6 year old. It was completely adorable when he announced he was going to use the money he made for a trip to Disneyland.

 But then it was the day before, and we were suddenly scrambling to get all the supplies together: lemonade, pitchers, glasses, coolers, tables, signs, chairs, money boxes, change... the list goes on.

 We planned to set up next to the F-15 pool. Great location - and I pictured all the neighborhood kids buying a glass of ice cold lemonade, then heading to the pool, heading to fun... and we'd be in the hot sun, and 6 year olds have a 20 minute attention span. Then our friends at Plum District invited us to set up our stand in Wash Park, and believing the temptation of the pool would be too great for mom and son to overcome, we joined them.

Honestly, I predicted a mediocre performance. Boy, was I wrong!

Not only did my boy make a lot of money, but he learned a lot - and I learned a lot about him. 

 1. We learned the importance of planning. We seriously underestimated the amount of Country Time mix we needed. Yep, we ran out. 

 2. We learned the power of gut-decisions - like throwing the Otter Pops into the cooler at the last minute. They were a huge hit when we were awaiting fresh supplies.
 3. We learned about pricing and packaging. 25 cents per cup was OK, but $1.50 for a cupcake AND lemonade was much more profitable. 

 4. We learned the importance of teamwork. My boy brought lemonade, the girls brought cupcakes, and then there was the sales team: two kids with irresistible smiles and no fear.
 5. We learned the importance of selling. Sure, our hand-painted signs were cute. Our tables were festive. But it was the kids heading out to the park to ask people, one by one, if they'd like some ice cold lemonade that really got things going. Hello, volleyball courts! 

 6. We learned lots of people say no. 

 7. Undaunted, my boy kept asking. : ) 

 8. The kids learned the value of money, how to count change, and how to keep track of profits pretty quickly. But more importantly, my boy immediately agreed that he would split the profits among his team.  

9. Kids who had started out as strangers were instant friends, working together and looking out for each other. 

 10. We learned that you must have a permit to have a Lemonade Stand in Wash Park, when the Park Rangers politely shut us down. 

 So what was our final tally? After paying me back my $30 investment, they made over $100!

 We got home and my boy said, "Mom, let's set up our Lemonade Stand by the pool." 

 Let's go swimming instead.


Jack's Plumenade Recipe

1 pitcher Country Time Strawberry Lemonade
1 plum sliced
1 lemon sliced
3 strawberries sliced
Handful of mint leaves

Stir and enjoy!