Intro to Entrepreneurship: Apple Cider Stands & Donut Shops

Apple Cider Stand (5)

Raddish Kids changed their lesson plan format recently, from one lesson to correspond with each recipe into more of an overarching theme for each month’s package.

The change hasn’t worked well for Travis. The scope of the lesson now seems aimed at older kids, and it’s difficult to engage a first grader in the activities. This month’s theme was: what is an entrepreneur and how do you turn an idea into a business. Here’s I engaged Travis in that!

As a warm up, I asked him to imagine his favorite restaurant and describe what he liked best about it. But since we don’t go out often, he couldn’t come up with much more than that it was fancy. The idea is that kids now take their answers and design a donut shop, in conjunction with the Apple Cider Donut recipe.

We watched an online read of The Donut Chef, a cute book, but Travis couldn’t really translate that into creating a shop or flavors of donuts. Older kids can use the provided Brainstorm Bubble Map (in the shape of a donut of course) to write out ideas for a store name, logo, menu, and more.

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Kids can also lay out the shape of their store using tangrams on grid paper. I simply had Travis use dollhouse furniture to create a little restaurant diorama.

Donut Shop (3)

We also watched a quick clip on the history of the donut, and scrolled through images of successful donut chains around the country. Big kids can learn about innovations in donuts (the cronut!), or imagine a “donut of the future”.

Donut Shop (1)

But I knew Travis needed something more hands on. So… we decided to open up an apple cider stand and put entrepreneurship into action.

Once we had the idea, Travis couldn’t wait for the big day. First we talked about a logo, and came up with a shiny red apple. This went on all of our cider stand materials, including an announcement poster, a price poster, and the jug we’d use to pour the cider. His color scheme was red, green, and brown.

He also watched Raddish’s provided clip of a child entrepreneur to get fired up for his own “business”.

Apple Cider Stand (3)

Kids can brainstorm what snacks to sell, or even invent one. We kept it simple with store-bought packets of candy corn. Time to open up shop!

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To put it simply, this was amazing. Travis was dismayed when the first few cars drove by without stopping. But once he had his first customer, the floodgates opened up. Within one hour he’d served ten customers, and we’d sold nearly all the cider.

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He loved waving down cars. And little sister Veronika helped!

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We finished with apple cider at home, warm with mulled spices. The perfect reward.

Mulled Cider (1)

Ultimate Lemonade Stand

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We couldn’t say farewell to summer without having a lemonade stand!

The inspiration for Travis’s first entrepreneurial venture came when we learned about Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, and were inspired not just to help our neighbors on a hot day, but to send our proceeds to charity, too.

Unfortunately I could not be certain that the beneficiaries of Alex’s Lemonade Stand (in the realm of children’s cancer research) did not test on animals. To get in on the charitable act without harming any living being, I was thrilled to learn that the Children’s Oncology Group does not test on animals. We planned to send our donations to this charity, and then it was time to think about some lemon-tastic fun.

First up were a few recipes! To supplement a few bottles of store-bought lemonade, we also made this homemade version. In a blender, combine the following:

1 (5-pound) watermelon, cubed

8 ounces lemon juice

1/2 cup agave nectar

Process until smooth, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Lemonade Stand (2)

For a Lemonade Snack Mix to go with our beverages, Travis helped prepare this mix:

  • Melt 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter with 2 tablespoons sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract.
  • Drizzle the butter mixture over 4 cups multi-grain cereal (such as Barbara’s multigrain spoonfuls) on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 300 degrees F for 20 minutes, stirring about halfway through.
  • Once the cereal mix cools, stir in 1 cup raisins and 1 cup dried cranberries.
  • Heat 1 cup chocolate chips in the microwave at 20 second intervals until melted. Transfer to a zip-top plastic bag and drizzle over the cereal mix.
  • Top with your favorite sprinkles (such as Let’s Do Organic). Let cool completely
  • Divide the mixture into zip-top plastic bags to sell.

Lemonade Stand (1)

On lemonade stand day, it was set-up time! Travis helped make posters by drawing yellow “lemons” around my words.

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Big kids can definitely have fun with the decorations on their posters. Be sure to post them all around the neighborhood so those who might not otherwise pass your house will have a reason to come by.

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We adorned our stand with yellow crepe paper and a few yellow balloons; green construction paper “leaves” taped on the tops turn them into instant giant lemons!

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Travis took to his new business with more alacrity than I would have guessed, flagging down cars and passers-by, gleefully pouring lemonade from the pitcher, and proudly asking each customers how many cups they wanted.

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A couple notes for a hot day: Do try and set up your table in the shade, or your little seller will wilt fairly quickly.

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Don’t be afraid to take breaks! You might miss a few customers, but especially for the youngest business-owners, their interest may lag after about half an hour. Try again in an hour or so!

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Finally, charge a small amount for each cup and snack, but be aware that folks are surprisingly generous and will often pay you more, whether simply to support a young kid’s actions, or once they learn the proceeds will go to charity.

I knew this was a hit when Travis turned to me and said, “Mom, this was a great idea. Thank you!” And now to proudly send off our donation.