Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lemonade Day

This year we decided to participate in Lemonade Day, a nationwide program to teach business skills to kids.  I knew I would need other adult help, and it would be more fun to have friends alongside us, so I asked a few neighbors to join in the fun!  The kickoff event involved workshops for the kids on topics like marketing, developing a recipe, giving a sales pitch, making a business profitable, etc.  

Our kids were on the young end to be participating in this project.  My main objective was to get Meredith to learn basic things like profit margin and to also understand that it takes a lot of work to run a successful business. 

Meredith had asked me about doing a lemonade stand a lot of times so I knew this would be something she would really enjoy and take ownership of.  There were worksheets for the kids to fill out.  She spent hours reading the workbook on her own and filling out the answers in her own words.  One of the first pages asked why the child wants to start a business.  She said, "To make me and other people happy."  Later the workbook asked what she would do with her earnings.  She read it wrong and thought it said "earrings" so she wrote: "Wear them."  Ha!

After hours of preparation the kids open their lemonade stand. Their business was called "Lightning Lemonade" -- "Zap your thirst!" 

One of our main contributions was making giant sugar cookies.  Here is Clara, just one of the little siblings eager to help!

When business was slow, the kids stood by the curb to drum up more customers!

To be honest, this year the stand was barely profitable.  But I do think the kids learned some lessons and they got a good introduction to running a business.  Hopefully each year we can do better and learn more!  I definitely would like the kids to participate again.  I think it would be wonderful if they could learn to be entrepreneurs and create jobs for themselves and others.  

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