For a few summers now, I’ve wanted to do a lemonade stand with my twin girls. It just seemed like one of those rights of passage, you know? An all-American summer activity.
I work from home, so this summer, the girls have heard of lot of, “I’m sorry sweetie, but mommy is still at work.” (Ya’ll know this is my second job, right?) I really just wanted to devote this kind of day to a super-special activity with them.
Our twist was to make this a snow cone stand because our electric snow cone maker was the best $19 I’ve ever spent at WalMart. It’s so easy and safe to use that the girls can make their own snow cones – and have been all summer.
I love the pink and yellow lemonade stands that you see, but I wanted to take our stand in a different color direction. The super-bright colors of the snow cone syrups and Baby B’s complete adoration of neon made it an easy decision to make this a neon color palette.
We had so much fun planning this day together – and the girls contributed every step of the way. Here’s how we did it.
1 – Once we had our color palette, it was easy to find just the right printables. We were putting all this together really quickly, so instead of turning to one of my established printables buddies to custom design something, I just search on Etsy for snow cone party printables.
I found Michelle from That Party Chick who already had a great snow cone printables set. She tweaked the colors for me so they were neon, and was easy as pie to work with.
We didn’t need much, but did use invitations, a banner, price stickers for our cups and food tent price signs.
2 – We decided to offer a few goodies in addition to the snow cones, plus homemade lemonade for a little more adult appeal. This lemonade recipe from My Frugal Adventures was so good. Kids and adults liked it. But, after squeezing 8 lemons by hand – even with Baby B’s help – and realizing we still didn’t have enough lemonade, I doubled the batch using bottled lemon juice. (Ssssh. Don’t tell that I cheated.)
Our cookies were all sugar cookies. The frosted cookies came from the store, but Baby A made the neon sprinkle cookies and Baby B made the neon swirl cookies. We used this swirl cookie recipe from Tablespoon. The swirl cookies weren’t hard to make, but they were time consuming, and after having to re-chill the dough a few times, I vetoed the sprinkles on the edges. Very cute, but not worth the extra time.
3 – Shopping! The girls picked out our cup and napkin colors at the dollar store. They aren’t neon, but they are plenty bright and certainly the right price! We did get lucky and found true neon straws at WalMart. We found some inexpensive neon t-shirts (also from WalMart) so my little sellers could match their stand. They were pretty happy about their “uniforms.”
4 – I asked the girls if they wanted to earn money from their stand or donate it to charity. They were divided in what they wanted to do. Big surprise. I can’t say that they agree on much these days.
Honestly, I didn’t think there was a right answer to this question. The girls worked hard at their stand and I had no problem with their earning something for their efforts. So I offered to let them keep their earnings and I would match it and make a donation to charity. I talked to them about two charities and they choose The Confetti Foundation.
The Confetti Foundation supplies birthday party kits for children in hospitals. I love that mission, and since birthday party kits are a large part of what I do as well, it just seemed like a great fit. It also was an idea the girls could really imagine and relate to. Only draw back … Baby A was afraid she would forget the charity’s name and started to write it on her arm with a permanent marker before I could stop her!
5 – Assembly and advertising! The girls added the stickers to the cups while I handled cutting and stringing our banner. The day before our snow cone stand, we went up and down our block and to some friends’ homes to pop our invitations in the mailbox flags. That timing seemed to work out well, because the stand was fresh in peoples’ minds and they came out in droves!
It turns out we were just in front of our mail lady during our trek. She came by the stand and wouldn’t accept a free lemonade saying she could see how hard the girls had worked and that she wanted to donate! So sweet – it really touched me!
6 — This has gotten so long, that I’ll do another post about how I set up the actual stand. But in terms of operating the stand, the girls just worked it and I stayed out of the way. All that Monopoly playing totally taught them how to count change. They invited a friend to join them. “She’s loud — she’ll be a good seller!” they told me. They were right! This friend cracks me up and her high spirits kept us all motivated as it got hotter and hotter.
One tip: if your stand is for charity, have your cash box and a separate jar for donations. So many of our neighbors were incredibly generous. It was not uncommon for someone to buy 50 cents of treats with a $10 bill and tell us to keep the change. One neighbor even came by after the heat had gotten to us and we’d closed up the stand and still donated! Best block ever.
I’m so proud of my kiddos: with the matched proceeds, the girls raised $130 for The Confetti Foundation! Each party kit costs $22, so at least six children will have bedside birthday parties soon!
Party styling: Double the Fun Parties
Printables: That Party Chick
Neon fabric tie garland: Double the Fun Parties
Neon umbrellas: Amazon