I always stop for a lemonade stand. Regardless of whether or not I actually want a Dixie cup filled with sugary water, supporting the budding entrepreneur always inspires me. I love watching the little ones take charge.

“What can I get you?”
“That’ll be 50 cents, please.”
“Here’s your change… and a napkin.”

Lemonade stands are such a fun opportunity for learning. From making the lemonade, planning the set up and engaging with customers, to clean up and counting profits, the whole experience can be so empowering for kids. Here are my top 5 skills your kid will learn through this experience:

1. Empowerment It’s always empowering to learn that you are capable of doing something new. Having ownership over this project will encourage motivation, hard work and responsibility.

2. Math Skills There is no better way to teach math to a child than to make a concept relevant to their lives. I lemonade stand gives kids the opportunity to measure out ingredients, divide batches into servings, calculate ratios (amount of sugar per lemon), make change, count cups and learn the different between gross vs. net income. Who says math isn’t fun?

3. Project Management The success of any business depends largely on having a solid business plan. Who is going to be involved with the stand? Will anything besides lemonade be sold? What ingredients are needed for preparation? How long will food production take? Who is responsible for marketing? Will a sign be created, and by whom? What is the pricing and how does it correlate to the overall investment? Obviously, younger children will not be able to answer all of these. The list is meant to help you consider how educational this experience can be.

4. The Art of Delegating Successful businesses have team members with very clear job descriptions. Who will be responsible for overseeing the ‘cash register’? Who is in charge of serving? Who will be tearing down the stand at the end of the day?

5. Generating Cash Flow Money is a completely abstract concept for kids. They’ve seen it and they know how to use it, but they don’t have much understanding for what it takes to earn it. A lemonade stand is an opportunity to let kids see the relationship between money and hard work.

So, summer’s almost over. This is your last chance. When life offers you lemons, make lemonade.

© Gila Brown