When life gives you lemons, make something! This fun youth group activity sparks creativity. Give each teen two lemons and challenge them to turn them into something. Use our printable lemon tags to tie onto each bag of lemons! This activity can be done in person or on Zoom.
Scroll down to the bottom for a poem and inspirational thought about the origins of “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
We’ve had to get pretty creative meeting virtually for our church’s youth group program this year. Lots of games and porch deliveries to make things work. We are finally able to meet again in person in small groups (10 or less), but the weather is so hot right now, and we can only meet outside. We wanted to do a combined activity with all 28 girls in our youth group, and came up with a fun way to get their creative juices flowing while social distancing!
Each participant is given two lemons. They have a week, and can do ANYTHING they want with them: bake, cook, craft, etc. The only rule is that they need to send a photo of their finished project to their leader. That’s it!
This “When Life Gives You Lemons” activity is so easy to prepare. You can leave the bags of lemons on your porch, and have those who’d like to participate stop by and pick up a bag, or you can deliver them to the participants. We are delivering these bags the week before the activity to the girls in our group. Allow everyone plenty of time to come up with their lemon project.
Meeting In Person
If we did this activity in person, we’d challenge everyone to bring their project, or photo of their project, to the activity. Then we’d allow everyone a chance to share a bit about their experience and taste test the recipes (if applicable).
Gather photos of the completed projects and create a slide show (or screen share the photos) on Zoom. Then allow each participant time to share about their experience during the Zoom meeting. You can also have everyone bring their creation to the Zoom meeting, but the quality of the video can be spotty. A photo, shared with the group, is ideal.
I’ve seen other youth groups carry out this activity and they had so many fun entries! Cakes, pasta dishes, centerpieces, kids crafts, cookies, muffins and more. Some groups had judges and gave awards for different categories. It’s a great way to get the teens active that week!
Lemon Recipes You’ll Love
“When Life Gives You Lemons” Tags + Youth Activity
Youth Activity Supplies
- clear bags
- twist ties
- printable tags
- lemonade packets (optional)
These little lemonade packets come in a box of 10 for $2. I put one packet in each bag, just for fun. They do not need to use the lemonade packet for the acitivty.
Print out a sheet of our printable tags and trim them with scissors or a paper cutter. Punch a hole in the top of each one.
(Personal info has been hidden in image above.)
You can e-mail or text instructions or include a card. I included a card in each bag. The card says:
“Take these lemons and create anything you’d like. Bake with them, make lemonade, use them in an art project, or add googly eyes to them. Let your creativity shine! Snap a picture of your creation and text it to ____________. Don’t forget to send her the picture! On ____________ be sure to join the Young Women in a combined Zoom activity to see what your friends made!”
You can tie the tags on with cute baker’s twine or ribbon, but I just used the twist ties that came in the package of treat sacks.
Origin of “When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade” Quote
Even under the best of circumstances life can be challenging. The middle and high school years are tough and present unique challenges, but why not strive to be optimistic in any circumstance. Share the following poem and story at your activity!
According to Wikipedia, the phrase was originally coined in the early 1900’s by Elbert Hubbard in an obituary that he wrote for dwarf actor, Marshall Pinckney Wilder. Hubbard praises Wilder’s optimistic attitude and achievements no matter what challenges life sent his way. “…He proved the eternal paradox of things. He cashed in on his disabilities. He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.”
Later, a poetic rendition of the phrase, by Clarence Edwin Flynn, appeared in a 1940 edition of the Rotarian called, “The Optimist”.
Life handed him a lemon,
As Life sometimes will do.
His friends looked on in pity,
Assuming he was through.
They came upon him later,
Reclining in the shade
In calm contentment, drinking
A glass of lemonade.
Printable “When Life Gives You Lemons” Tags