This summer, keep the little ones cool by passing the time with a nostalgic activity: setting up a lemonade stand. Not only will they learn how to make their own refreshments, but you’ll also be teaching kids the basic concept of running a business. We’ve designed a lemonade stand set in partnership with American Girl® to make it easier (and more festive) than ever to assemble your own sidewalk stand—complete with cheerful straws, cups, umbrellas and even a pink-and-blue lemonade banner.
To get you started, we asked our friend, lifestyle blogger Melissa Sanchez of Savvy in San Francisco (and mom to Landon, 9, Tatum, 7, and Charlotte, 5), for her pointers how how to host a lemonade stand with your kids. Keep reading to see her pointers for the kids’ best lemonade stand ever—plus, get our favorite lemonade recipe.
Melissa’s 6 Pointers for Putting Together a Lemonade Stand
- Make sure your kids are involved in the planning process. Get them excited by asking them to help you brainstorm where the stand should be, when it should open and what they should sell.
- Draw up a list of supplies you’ll need before you get started. The Lemonade Stand Kit, which comes with a lemon juicer, cups, umbrellas, straws and banners, helps you with most of your supplies. The only additional things you’ll need will be lemons, sugar, water, a saucepan, a pitcher and a chalkboard stand or sign that tells people your prices.
- Set up out of the sun. Either find either a shady location for the lemonade stand, or bring a little umbrella, so kids don’t get too hot in the Summer sun. And don’t forget sunscreen!
- Add a little something extra for flair. Decide if you want to sell a treat, like cookies, cupcakes, brownies or crispy rice treats, along with your lemonade. And add something special to your drink for additional flair—strawberry slices or mint leaves are always a good bet.
- Practice good lemonade stand etiquette. Encourage kids to ask people walking by politely with a smile if they would like to buy some lemonade, and remind them to be polite and say “thank you” after every purchase.
- Make sure they have fun! And don’t forget to bring snacks for the kids so they can eat while selling lemonade and cookies—otherwise, they’ll eat all of their supply.
For the simple syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
4 cups cold water
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
To make the simple syrup, in a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar, stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour into a heatproof container, let cool completely and refrigerate until thoroughly cold. You should have 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups. It will keep up to 1 month in the refrigerator.
To make the lemonade, pour the lemon juice into a 2 1/2-quart pitcher and add simple syrup to taste. If you are using a sweet lemon, such as a Meyer, you will need less syrup. Add the cold water, stir to blend and then add ice. Pour into tall glasses, garnish with the lemon slices and serve. Serves 6.