Lemonade for One


Your child will have a blast experimenting with different ways to juice lemons to whip up a refreshing glass of lemonade! Making lemonade can help with fine motor skills practice, measurement, and problem solving. 

What We’re Learning & Skills We’re Building

  • Experimentation – testing out different tools and methods for getting the juice out of a lemon
  • Problem solving – figuring out what needs to be done differently to best squeeze the juice out, and what needs to be added to ensure the lemonade tastes delicious
  • Fine motor skills – using the small muscles in the hands to hold tools and squeeze a lemon
  • Measurement – using tablespoons to add the correct amount of juice and sweetener to the lemonade

Ingredients & Materials 

  • Lemon (1-2) 
  • Small serrated knife (adult use only), or child-safe knife that can cut through a lemon
  • Tools for juicing the lemons: Juicer and bowl; (clean) dolls/figurines or toy vehicles; rimmed baking sheet; potato masher and shallow bowl; other safe tools  
  • (Optional) Swim goggles for eye safety 
  • Mesh strainer 
  • Child-safe drinking glass 
  • 1 cup of water 
  • Sweetener: Granulated sugar, agave, honey, simple syrup, etc. 
  • Spoon or straw for mixing 

(Note: Lemon juice is very acidic – if you’re worried about it getting into your or your child’s eyes, grab a couple of pairs of swim goggles for extra eye safety. Remember to wash your hands before and after touching the lemon juice.)


Juicing the Lemons

Figure out together how you’ll get the juice from the lemons – there are so many fun options! This recipe calls for about 4-5 tablespoons of juice, so how many lemons you’ll need will depend on their size. Here are a few ways to juice them:    

  • Cut the lemons in half or quarters and use the strength in your hands to squeeze the juice into a bowl/cup. 
  • Use a lemon juicer. Manual lemon juicers are great tools for practicing fine motor skills like grasping, squeezing, and twisting.  
  • Place sliced lemon rounds onto a rimmed baking sheet, then, use the feet of the dolls/figurines to “stomp” the juice out. Or, squish the juice out by running over them with the wheels of a toy vehicle. 
  • Cut the lemons into rounds and place them into a shallow bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the juice out.  
  • Use your imagination! Experiment with more child- and food-safe tools to see which are the best (and the most fun!) for juicing the lemons.  

Making the Lemonade

  1. Once you have about 4-5 tablespoons of lemon juice, pour it through a strainer into a child-safe drinking glass to remove the seeds and the extra pulp. 
  2. Stir in about 1-2 tablespoons of sweetener (the acidity of the lemon juice will help dissolve it before the water is added). 
  3. Add 1 cup of water to the glass. Give it a taste – too sour, add more sweetener or water; too diluted, it might be time to squeeze some more juice. 
  4. Enjoy your refreshing glass of lemonade! Repeat all steps to make another. 

Lemon juice can be used for more than just making lemonade! Check out our Watercolor and Lemon Juice Paintings activity to see how you can use it both artistically and scientifically.