Does your child know about the cool math game called Lemonade Stand? When I recently showed it to my teenager, she shrieked, “No way! I LOOOOOVED that game in elementary school!” and proceeded to play three rounds of it. (Who knew??)
As well as being a symbol of the American Summer, the sidewalk stand is many kids’ first stab at running a business and managing finances. It’s an opportunity to practice planning, estimating, calculating, collaborating, and persevering all while engaging with neighbors. Maybe your young entrepreneur will get lucky and make a little pocket change. Or maybe their profits will be comprised entirely of learning and experience. Either way, there’s plenty of benefit and lots of potential for fun!
1) Decide What to Make – Lemonade? Sweet Tea? Baked goods? Any of these can work, and if you’d like some baking inspiration, I’d suggest Basic Scones!
2) Define the Mission / Goals – why does your child want to sell lemonade / baked goods? Are they looking to share an awesome recipe with neighbors? Stave off boredom? Have fun with friends? Earn spending money? Learn about business? Raise money for a cause? There’s no right answer, but helping your child articulate their mission is a valuable process.
3) Determine the Budget – help your child write a list of all the necessary supplies (lemons, sugar, ice, and cups for a lemonade stand or ingredients and plates/napkins for any baked goods). Be sure to include paper and markers for signs. Then write the estimated price beside each item.
4) Gather the Supplies – go shopping with your child for supplies. If you already have some items at home, go ahead and use them, but be sure to track the estimated cost on your list. When you’re done, calculate how much money you spent. Did you go over or under budget? Discuss why that happened.
5) Set the Price(s) – talk with your child about the factors that influence pricing:
6) Assess and Reflect – have your child count all the money and subtract the cost of supplies OR let them keep all the money – your call. Again, there’s no “right” approach here – you know your kid best!
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