As part of our ScholarShare 529 Toddler Time at Home program, we’re making fresh squeezed lemonade! Using simple ingredients, together, you can create delicious and refreshing lemonade for you and your little one to enjoy! This is great for toddlers as they can explore and experiment with mixing ingredients, squeezing fresh lemons and making their own lemonade. Watch the video below for a tutorial on how to make lemonade at home.
Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
AGE: 2-5 (with adult support)
TIME FRAME: 1 hour
- 1/2 Cup Lemon Juice (6-8 lemons)
- 1/2 Cup Sugar or Honey
- Approximately 7 Cups Water
- Lemon Press/Juicer
- Liquid Measuring Cups
- Quart-Sized Pot (for simple syrup)
- Ice (for cooling lemonade)
1. Slice all lemons in half. Encourage your little one to explore the lemon with their senses. Let them touch, smell and taste it!
2. Squeeze out ½ cup of lemon juice using a juicer or lemon press. If using fresh lemons, you may need more, as their rinds tend to be thicker than store bought lemons. Once squeezed, set the juice aside.
3. Pour 1 cup of water over low-medium heat in a saucepan. Then add ½ cup sugar or honey and stir constantly until the sugar or honey dissolves. Set aside the syrup to cool for approximately 20 minutes.
4. When ready, add the cooled syrup to the lemon juice and stir. Have your little one help you with the squeezing, pouring and stirring!
5. Pour the lemonade base into a standard pitcher. Consider adding other flavors/fruits to your lemonade – e.g. strawberries. Add enough water to fill the pitcher or to taste (approximately 6 cups of water).
6. If you have lemons remaining, consider cutting a few slices and adding them into the pitcher or to the serving cups. You can always freeze your lemonade to make refreshing summertime popsicles too!
Toddler to Transitional Kindergarten Learning Connections!
Cooking together with early learners (ages 2 – 5) is a great way to teach hands-on skills in measuring, counting and motor skills as well as to build memories and foster collaboration. To further increase the learning opportunities while making this lemonade recipe together, consider incorporating one or more ideas below.
Use Your Senses!
Encourage your child to experience this activity using their senses. Invite them to touch, smell, examine and taste the ingredients. Have them talk about their discoveries and to consider what they like and why.
You might talk about/ask:
- What ingredients do you see? How do they smell? Feel? Taste?
- Which ingredient is your favorite? What do you like best about it?
Talk about other favorite juices and where they come from. You could use this activity as a chance to introduce the origins of fruits, including lemons, as well as to invite your child to think and share about the foods they eat. Experiment with adding other flavors to your lemonade mix using different fruits or by squeezing and making another fruit juice!
You might talk about/ask:
- Where do these fruits come from? Where are they grown and how?
- What fruits do we like to eat in our family?
- How do we like to eat them?
Share a Story!
Reading is a wonderful vehicle for learning and for introducing new ideas to early learners. Select engaging and age-appropriate books that feature lemonade, fruits and related topics to read to your child before or after the lemonade making activity.
Recommended Related Reading (Ages 2 – 5):
- When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L. B. Deenihan and illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
- Caterina and the Lemonade Stand by Erin Eitter Kono
- Maisy Makes Lemonade by Lucy Cousins
Preschool Learning Foundations Standards (Nutrition)
Age 48 months:
- Identify different kinds of foods.
- Indicate food preferences that reflect familial and cultural practices.
Age 60 months:
- Identify a larger variety of foods and may know some of the related food groups.
- Indicate food preferences based on familial and cultural practices and on some knowledge of healthy choices.