A Lemonade Stand Teaches Kids How to Turn a Profit

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During the spring and summer months of the year my children love to sell lemonade.

The first few times they asked if they could set up a stand I was reluctant to let them because it would require me getting involved. The request usually came on a Sunday after church and lunch. With a full belly, all I wanted to do was relax. Going to the store to buy supplies, making lemonade, and drawing posters was not my idea of relaxing.  Eventually I gave in.

The first time they opened up shop they made $40. The kids were thrilled! The profits were split 4 ways, a portion for each of my children and our neighbor who helped.

Selling lemonade became a regular thing. After about the 3rd weekend of sales my husband and I quickly realized this was a great opportunity to teach our kids lessons about entrepreneurship. As a result, we changed the way we assisted them in this endeavor.

The kids were now responsible for:

  • Purchasing supplies for the product. Up to this point we provided them with the cups and lemonade mix since we already had some in our pantry. Now that they had used up all our supplies it was time to pay for some of their own.
  • Purchasing marketing materials. They already had a few signs created with extra cardboard and markers from our craft room. We suggested that they take care of the signs they has so they wouldn’t get beat up or ripped because future signs would require a financial investment on their part. This reinforced the idea of stewardship, taking care of what you already have. (link)
  • Creating change.  Not only were they responsible for the money to buy supplies, but they were responsible for their ‘bank’. That’s the money they need to make change for customers.

The lessons they learned:

  • It takes money to make money. This is called the initial investment.
  • Don’t drink your profits.  Consuming your inventory leaves you nothing to sell. If you have nothing to sell, you can’t make money.
  • Everybody needs to chip in if they want to get paid. They quickly figured this one out on their own. You can’t magically disappear, leaving the others to do all the work, and then show up to split the profits.
  • Pay yourself back before you count the profit. The initial investment in the purchase of supplies and the ‘bank’ should be paid back to yourself or whoever provided the capital first, then can enjoy your profits.
  • Don’t spend your seed money, reinvest it. If the kids wanted to have another lemonade stand the following weekend they would need to save their money they used to get you up and running this time and use it again for the next.

Now I find myself looking forward to the warm weather and Sunday afternoons selling refreshments in our neighborhood. Who knew lessons about money could be so fun and profitable.


This post is apart of a 31 Day Series on Kids & Money.

Last Post in the series: Day 19-1/2 Playing Games Together