Business for Kids: How to Run a Lemonade Stand

Starting a lemonade stand is an easy and fun way for kids to learn about money and business. This project works well in a classroom and as an at-home learning activity. Students will learn some basic business for kids principles of starting a work project, estimating costs, and calculating profit from sales. Before starting, be sure to check with your town and neighborhood to make sure it’s legal to host a lemonade stand there. You can also create a pretend classroom lemonade stand and teach these same principles using props and play money.

Lemonade Stand Business for Kids

Planning the Lemonade Stand Business for Kids

  1. Supplies. Have students list the supplies needed to run a lemonade stand, such as:
    • A sturdy table and chair(s)
    • A large beverage dispenser
    • Cups
    • Lemonade mix or lemons and sugar
    • A long spoon for stirring
    • Water
    • A container with a lid to hold money
    • Poster board and markers for signs
  1. Calculate Expenses. Then have students calculate the total cost of supplies needed for the lemonade stand, such as lemonade mix and cups. This will help to establish a sales goal, and to determine pricing per cup of lemonade.
  2. Set Prices. Use our math activity sheet (link) for this phase. Next, have students determine the price per cup of lemonade and decide how much lemonade they think they can realistically sell. Explain that if they purchase more supplies than they can sell, their business will lose money.
  3. Advertise your Lemonade Stand. Students will need to design signs to advertise their lemonade stand. As a group, decide whether to design a logo and fancy lettering for the signs. Also decide whether to place extra signs around the school building or neighborhood.
  4. Business Goals. Students should decide what will be done with the earnings from the lemonade stand. Will it be used to help purchase something for the classroom or school? Can students donate some or all of the profits to charity? Having a purpose like this is a strong motivator for students to make sales.

Running Your Lemonade Stand

Students will need to decide how to design the signs for the stand, make and sell the lemonade, and to clean up afterward. This is a great opportunity to learn about teamwork, and taking turns by working in shifts on different phases of the project, including designing signs, making the lemonade, running the stand, and cleaning up.

For even more ideas, the nonprofit organizations Lemonade Day and Alex’s Lemonade Stand have useful tips for teachers, parents, and students.

Lemonade Stand Vocabulary Words

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Price – The amount of money it costs to buy something

Expenses – The amount of money spent to create or produce something

Profit – Money earned from selling something minus the expense of producing it

Loss – The amount of money lost when the expense of making it exceeds the number of items sold

Advertisement – A way to persuade someone to buy something, such as a sign for a lemonade stand

Entrepreneur – Someone who owns and runs a business

Goal – An end result of your efforts that you set before starting and try to achieve

Charity – An organization that helps people or animals in need

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Reading Comprehension Questions

  1. The _________ is the amount of money it costs to buy something.
  2. _________ are the amount of money spent to create or produce something
  3. Money earned from selling something minus the expense of producing it is called _________.
  4. The amount of money lost when the expense of making it exceeds the number of items sold is called ___________.
  5. An ___________ is a way to persuade someone to buy something, such as a sign for a lemonade stand.
  6. Someone who owns and runs a business is called an ____________.
  7. A ________ is an end result of your efforts that you set before starting and try to achieve.
  8. A _________ is a group that helps people or animals in need.

Math: Setting Pricing for a Lemonade Stand

Have students run through different pricing scenarios to estimate earnings.

First, have students total the expenses for supplies so they know how much they need to earn in order to cover those expenses and make a profit.

Have students calculate different pricing models. For example, if they hope to sell 100 cups of lemonade at .50 cents a cup, how much would they earn? What about at .75/cup? $1.00/cup?

Brainstorm other ways to ensure more sales are made, such as putting up more signs, scheduling sales for busy times of day or the week, and extending the hours of the stand.

Math: Calculating Profit or Loss from a Lemonade Stand

After the lemonade stand sales are done, have students determine whether they earned a profit from their sales.

Have students write down their expenses for the lemonade stand supplies.

Next, have them add up the total number of cups of lemonade sold.

Was their sales number is higher or lower than the expenses?

If the sales are greater than the expenses, they earned a profit. This means that they made more money than they spent on setting up the lemonade stand.

What is the total profit earned?

If the sales were less than expenses, they experienced a loss. This means that they spent more on supplies than they earned in sales.

What is the total money lost?

Start a discussion about what went well with the lemonade stand and what students might have improved upon.

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About the author

Toni McLellan is a writer and podcast host who lives with her husband and three kids in Loveland, Colorado. Learn more at ToniMcLellan.com

View all articles by Toni McLellan

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