Raising Summer Readers Tip #33: Have a lemonade stand…and, tie it to literacy!

IMG_5368Summertime and lemonade stands go hand in hand. They’re an item on all my kids’ summer bucket lists that I’d imagine are a summer ‘must’ for many kids between the ages of 4-10. Lemonade stands are another great activity to tie to literacy. Here are a few simple ideas:

  1. Read lemonade-themed books. Some suggestions are:
  2. Lemonade: and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word by Bob Raczka. Enjoy these fun poems, and have even more fun letting these poems inspire the kids to write their own! They really do invite wondering and writing!
  3. Encourage kids to search the internet for a recipe for making lemonade — traditional, flavored, or lemonade with a fun twist. Even if you don’t need a recipe–as long as your kids don’t know the specifics, the need for reading is real. Summer reading is more likely to happen when there are authentic purposes for doing so!
  4. Encourage kids to donate some of their proceeds to a local charity or to raise money for a specific cause. Involve them in the process of deciding where to donate — perhaps research with them on the internet about needs in the neighborhood, read aloud about the organization or the cause that you choose, and even help your child write to the organization to inform them of your plans.
  5. Make signs that promote your stand! Is there a title for the stand? Is it freshly squeezed? How much does a cup cost? Will proceeds be donated somewhere?
  6.  Have a lemonade stand and book drive, where customers donate books for a cup of lemonade. This requires advertising so customers can have their books with them, so the kids’ signs are even more important for this one! Make sure the name of the organization where the books will be donated is indicated on the signs.
  7. Take advantage of the opportunity to tie in math too!  Math skills actually tend to decline over the summer as well, so finding real-life ways to integrate math into summer fun is important. There’s the obvious math-related tasks — giving customers change, counting profits. If you can, take the math a step further and work on building a bit of financial literacy. Engage the kids in some thoughtful discussion and decision-making about their “small business” rather than letting a parent make all of the decisions. For example, talk with them about the cost to set up a lemonade stand (e.g., the cost of lemons, ice, cups), decide on a financial goal for their sales, and discuss how much to charge in order to reach their goal. Afterwards, help them reflect on whether or not they made a profit, how they might improve their business for next time, and the concept of save, spend, and share.

Tip #26 suggested that parents help kids connect literacy to summer fun. This is especially powerful when kids are excited about a specific activity or experience, so that the tie-in is real and has a purpose, as do the above “lemonade stand and literacy ideas”. And this can be particularly important for reluctant summer readers, for whom a meaningful tie-in might make the difference as to whether or not summer reading happens! 526990_10201543281842872_807746516_n

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