Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Timeless Tradition: Lemonade Stands

We all have fond memories of lemonade stands, whether we set up our own or simply stopped by a neighbouring child’s for a quick summer thirst quencher.
These popular drink booths have come to be associated with childhood and early entrepreneurship since kids often set them up during the summer as a way to earn money. Although they weren't first established by kids, they are, to this day a common activity for youngsters all over North America.
The New York Times dates Lemonade stands back to 1879 where a shopkeeper opened a stand outside his store and sold lemonade to passersby. The stand became so popular that small crowd gathered there each day of the hot summer months. In 1880, a New York Times article mentioned "scores" of lemonade stands cropping up all over the city during the hot summers where patrons could buy a glass of freshly-made lemonade for 5 cents, as opposed to the 15 cents charged in a bar. The Times also reported children setting up stands in 1880 as an easy means of making money. The Globe and Mail first mentioned lemonade stands as a summer activity for children in 1898.

When the large Lego blocks were introduced to the classroom they caused quite a stir amongst the children and they quickly set out to build some interesting structures. The first of their enclosure became an ice cream store.
When it was finished Miranda walked inside and asked the children,” Do you want an ice cream?”
Ethan came to the window, considered his options and asked for, “lemonade please!”
(The teachers surmised that Ethan may have had some previous experience with a lemonade stand since this was not a common topic amongst the children.)
The teachers considered Ethan’s request and the next day they encouraged him, with the assistance of his classmates, to make his own lemonade stand. Of course before the lemonade stand opened for business, Ethan was put to work squeezing lemons. When the lemonade was ready, Ethan set the price for his wares to 5 cents a cup. The children lined up waiting for Ethan’s tasty lemonade. They each had the opportunity to count out five pennies to pay for their lemonade (learning about bartering systems). When the lemonade was finished, Ethan looked at his pennies and decided he would take them home to add to his piggy bank.


  1. Great environment set up, children can learn different skills through this pretend play theme.They can improve communication, imaginaiton social skills, math and problem solving skills. Learning through play!

  2. Lemonade stands are great experiences for the children. The children can socialize with others. It also opens opportunities for cooking experiences i.e making their very own lemonade.~Sabrina