Old fashioned fun

It's very cool when something fun also is educational - and when kids come up with the activity on their own.  Over Labor Day Weekend, Benjamin wanted a very specific play date - with a schoolmate.  They had been talking about getting together to make a lemonade and cookies stand.  Benjamin had done this once over the summer with his brother and developed an appetite for generating extra money through entrepreneurship.

Our philosophy is that they should be masters of their project and that we'll invest some working capital, but expect them to cover their costs (including little brother labor), payback the working capital and then take their profits.  We also believe that lemonade should be homemade - fresh squeezed.  And the cookies should be homemade too.  After all, these are not discount products. 

The boys prepared and squeezed their lemons to combine with the sugar syrup we created.  They also arranged their cookie-dough for cooking.  When all was ready, they made their signs and developed their pricing strategy.  They decided to try a cookie-sampling program like Trader Joe's and Costco to encourage consumers.  We walked to the park and they had to introduce themselves and their offer to parents on the playground.  I sat in the background holding their money box - but they had to determine the totals and make change for their customers.  They got rejected a lot - and had to deal with that.  And after they had exhausted that market, they moved to another - a busy corner near our house. 

On the corner, they learned another lesson.  When they were asked who they were selling their products for, my son said - it's for our school.  And so, they had to donate a portion of their profits to the school's tzedakah fund.  Cannot market what you aren't going to deliver.  At the end of the day, they covered their costs, repaid the bank, donated to the school and still made a tidy profit.  They learned some tricks for next time and had a blast. 

What sort of old fashioned fun are you exploring?