printables

School Lunch Simplified + FREE Printable

What is it about packing lunches that just sucks?  Is it all the options?  See Variety Is A Ploy of the Devil...Or the whole making it through the day, feeding people, cleaning up from the day only to get out stuff for the next day and make another mess in the kitchen?  My mind is ready to shut down at just the point it needs to make yet another 3-5 decisions for 3-5 people and I just want to be done!

Here are some tips, and super easy lunch box ideas to help you out this week:

1. Keep. It. Simple.  As much as I feel like my love and parenting ability is wrapped up in what this lunch is like...it is not and I can stick to what I know and what I know they like.  

2. Ditch the Bread.  Making sandwiches can be on of my most dreaded chores of packing 5 lunches for the kids.  But giving them a roll up or just some meat and cheese with or without crackers (similar to a lunchable minus the price and packaging) accomplishes the same thing: main meal.

3. Eliminate all the options.  I grew up on the same lunch, 5 days a week with maybe a slight variation in my chips or dessert option.  Granted, it was in the days when peanut butter and cheetos were allowed in school, but here I am no worse for the wear.  It's ok to not ask your kids what they want for lunch every single day.  

4.  Stick to a few basics.  There are a couple of items I pack in their lunch boxes nearly every single day.  Such as a granola bar, applesauce, a fruit cup, and a piece of fresh fruit.  

5. Invest in a decent water bottle for each child and give them only water.  I occasionally buy the mix-in flavors so they feel like they are having something special.  

6. A few inexpensive, simply divided containers make the packing that much easier and clean up a breeze.  A few favorites are listed below and don't portion of your child's education fund.

7. When all else fails, no one ever died from eating 1 lunchable a week.  

A few of Amanda & Lily's Go-To's:

*it should be noted that Amanda is the most reliable source when it comes to lunch packing.  Lily makes packed lunch 1-2 days a week which is enough to send her into a tizzy and be known for avoiding it all together by bringing a bag of popcorn and sack of apples to share on the floor of the gym...

Water water water

Rollups: 1) meat & cheese, 2) peanut butter & nutella, 3) peanut butter & jelly, 4) peanut butter & honey, 5) cream cheese & avocado, 6) cream cheese + shredded cheese

DIY Lunchable: Crackers, sliced cheese, sliced meat or pepperoni

Pita Chips + to-go hummus

Side ideas that don't involve much prep work and can be thrown into those containers mentioned above: apples, clementines, carrots, cucumbers, squeeze applesauce, frozen yogurt tube (usually thawed by lunchtime), granola bar, grapes, mini bell peppers, fruit cups, popcorn

And sometimes just for fun, I throw in a little something special that makes the kids smile.  Maybe their favorite cookie or a simple hershey kiss.  

 

To Download a FREE School Lunch: Simplified printable with over 3000 lunch combinations, all on one page, fill out the form below.

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Those Early Years - Part 2

As mentioned last week, there is just all the grace and flexibility in the world to let those little years stay filled with wonder and discovery.  The way we approach “school” during the four-five years involve a lot of hands-on, everyday life with a seasonal stack of “extras” that might include cut and paste, sorting, tracing, early handwriting, etc.  If it gets by us one day, or a week, there is no stress.  If there is extra interest and excitement to do more in one day, then we do more.  But for the most part, I follow their pace.

*for one of my children’s Pre-K Year I did intentionally try and have him complete one or two school related tasks a day.  The only purpose of this was to instill in him the habit of listening to my teaching and understanding that there are set expectations for school; it had very little to do with academics.  

*We are also part of a co-op that starts at age 4; We don’t do much with review until their second year, but they retain so much of it anyways!  Review time is always incorporated as a family and largely led by books we check out that pertain to the material.  

Here we go!  

Favorite Curriculum & Websites

**again, used loosely.  I print things off monthly and keep a big stack in a folder for each age and pull out as desired.  

1+1+1

This Reading Mama

Read Aloud Revival

 We love Zaner Bloser for beginning handwriting and their 1st book is a great start.  That could be a post in and of itself - reading and writing and when to start.  

 

Favorite Toys for Pre-K:

Dollar Tree Buys:

Corn and beans in a tray or small bin

Pom Poms to sort, put in and out of containers, etc.

Pipe Cleaners with letter beads

**I made a ton of busy bags one time for my first born; but was reminded that boys are just a little different when it comes to quiet time play and almost everything I made was either destroyed or reconstructed to be something else, so I let that one go...