The lazy days of summer are here!
Why not put them to good use?
There are only so many Wii games kids can play in one day, and at some point, the TV must shut off.
Before the whines of "Mom, I'm bored" start around your house, sign the kiddos up for "Camp Star-Telegram!"
For five weeks, on Mondays, beginning today, we will feature great ideas for stuff that families can make, do and see this summer.
Each week, we want you to take photos of your kids completing the "camp activities," and to write down some thoughts about them. At the end of the five weeks, you'll be able to send those to us for possible inclusion in a story in print and on Star-Telegram.com. We will also mail you a certificate of completion.
On Day 1 of this camp, we're offering tasty, modern recipes for an old-fashioned lemonade stand.
Operating a lemonade stand is not only a fun way to spend a summer afternoon, but it's also a great way for kids to learn earning money, supply and demand, advertising and other valuable lessons about entrepreneurship.
Before parents head to the store for the same powdered mix they made every summer as kids, they should consider all the benefits of homemade lemonade: it's fresher, healthier and offers opportunities to teach young ones about fresh produce and cooking. And let's not forget -- it tastes a lot better, too.
We asked local chefs to give us their best recipes for new and creative lemonades that will attract attention to lemonade stands. Some of these get a little fancy, but we know our campers are up for the challenge! Try one or all of them, and let us know which ones sell well.
Here are tips and recipes for refreshing, flavorful -- and very different -- lemonades that will set your stand apart from the others this summer.
Tips for a fun, successful and safe lemonade stand:
Good business strategies
Set up in the front yard near the sidewalk for easy, walk-up access. If your yard isn't an option, parents can help kids get permission to set up at a nearby ballfield, park or business.
On an especially hot day, set up under some shade or get an umbrella for your chair.
Advertise by posting fliers that have the address and times, and be sure to have a highly visible sign on your stand. Consider adding balloons or streamers to attract attention. Have your parents spread the word to people they know through their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Make the price visible on the stand.
Figure out your price per pour, according to the cost of your ingredients and how much profit you want to make.
Consider offering a bite to eat, such as cookies or fruit (bananas, oranges, apples), and selling bottled water or giving away cups of it -- especially on a hot day.
Be sure to start the day with some cash in a sturdy box and remember to deduct that amount when you count your profits.
Consider setting out a tip jar and donating a portion of the profits to a charity that you care about.
To keep the lemonade cool, keep it in pitchers or bottles in a chest of ice.
Replenish the supply as you run low. Try not to run out of lemonade in the middle of a sale.
Smile and thank your customers, even if they don't buy anything.
Safety and cleanliness
Don't approach cars to make a sale. Let people get out and come to you.
Kids should never operate a lemonade stand alone. They also should have at least one adult supervising at all times.
Always have adults slice the lemons with a sharp knife and clean cutting board. Adults should also help with steps that involve the stove or oven.
For sanitary purposes, keep ice cubes covered to keep out bugs and dirt, and use tongs or a clean cup (not your hands) to scoop out ice.
Be sure to have a covered trash container and recycle bin to dispose of cups, napkins and other supplies.
Keep towels on hand for spills and wear an apron, if you have one.
Keep flies and other insects away with a parent-approved bug-repellant device.
Don't forget to wear sunscreen and drink lots of water (not the lemonade you're selling!) on a hot day.
Celestina Blok, Special to the Star-Telegram, contributed to this story.