Friday, August 31, 2012

Get Your Lemonade!

Hey Girls –

My oldest son has been moving a pile of scrap wood around our backyard for about a week.  He keeps telling me that he’s going to build a tree fort.  Here’s the thing, there’s not enough wood to build a fort.  One afternoon while he was moving that wood (two long 2 x 4’s, a couple of short 2 x 4’s, and one rectangular piece of plywood), I realized that although he couldn't build a fort with that wood, he could build a lemonade stand (same thing, right?).  At least he could use his profits to buy more wood to build a tree fort.

With this epiphany, we recruited our crafty and fun neighbors, and what seemed like a little lemonade stand project quickly spiraled into a community service project, five days of crafts, baking, selling, and a neighborhood fort fund.

Day One:  Build

There was absolutely no plan when it came to building the lemonade stand.  We pretty much worked with the existing pieces we had and winged it. 
The two long 2 x 4's were cut to about six feet long.
Supports were screwed onto the legs to hold the tabletop.  
They were cut to be the same width as the scrap piece of plywood.

The plywood was used as the tabletop. 
The diagonal 2 x 4 added some stability.
Here's the stand in its improvised-construction glory.
My neighbors brought over a summery plastic tablecloth that we used for the banner and tablecloth.  We made the scallops by tracing the edges of a bowl and then cut along the edges.

We painted the stand on the first day too.  The yellow color is a combination of different craft paints we had around between both of our houses.  After the “custom” base color was on, we taped sections of the board to make stripes.

Then, we painted green and blue stripes.

Finally, we stapled on the banner and tablecloth. 

Day Two:  Signage

More craft paint, stickers and cardboard was all we needed to have some serious lemonade stand fun on day two.  That’s because we were making the signs.  And we made a bunch of them.  Some for along the road, some for prices, and one just saying thanks that each of the kids signed. 

The cute stickers are from a Discovery Kids stand that 
we had already converted to a ticket stand for the kids' carnival.
It was on day two that the community service aspect of the stand came into play.  The kids decided that they would like to donate half of their profits to a local humane society.  Did I write “the kids decided?”  What I meant was the kids were strongly encouraged (forced) to raise some money for charity not just for more 2 x 4’s.

Day Three:  Uniforms

Michael’s had foam visors on sale 2 for $1.  I couldn’t pass them up when I was there shopping for fabric paint on Day Three.  We used the paint to decorate white t-shirts that would serve as “uniforms” for the kids.   
Here's our attempt at a lemon stencil cut out of a piece of cardboard.  
Each kid added it to the front of their shirts.

The best part of this day was definitely listening to the kids’ t-shirt slogan ideas:  Squeeze Me!, When Life Gives Us Lemons, We Make Lemonade,  Got Lemonade? and my youngest son’s idea…Wheat Thins.  That idea didn’t make the cut.  They did have a lot of fun decorating the shirts and visors though.

Day Four:  Baking

During one of the many lemonade-stand-brainstorm-sessions someone suggested selling cookies too..  So, on day four, we got baking.   

 We made pizzelle cookies, and our neighbors made sugar cookies.  

Day Five:  Fresh Lemonade

By 11am the kids were dressed and ready to sell some cookies and lemonade.  They had already practiced selling pretend lemonade (water) for the previous four days.  During their dress rehearsals they even worked out each of their roles:  work the toy cash register, put ice in the cups, pour the lemonade, and hand out the cookies.  So, on the day of the sale they were a well oiled lemonade selling machine.

They spent about two hours selling/shouting “Lemonade for Sale.”  The nicest people stopped their cars and kindly waited while each child completed his/her job.  They made $34.  They'll be donating half of their profits.  So, they have a ways to go before they can afford their tree fort...but, what do they say about memories?  Oh yeah, priceless.

Still a bit sticky, 

Mrs. Kelly Comment:  Oh, Mrs. Williams!  I love your over-the-top lemonade stand.  How do you say no to cute children with visors and hand painted shirts / wooden stands?  Did they write a business plan too?  PS I want a shirt that reads "Wheat Thins!"


Bridge said...

I am exhausted just reading about this. Exhausted, but thirsty for a delightfully tart and cool beverage. What are your hours?

Moe said...

I am left thinking that this might be the cutest thing I have ever seen. I am also left thinking that I should be deeply, deeply ashamed because I didn't put this much planning and forethought into my wedding.

I second Mrs. Kelly's call for Wheat Thins tees. I'd buy one.

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