I Packed The Same Lunch For My Kindergartener For A Week: I Double Dog Dare You To Do It Too!

I challenge you, no I DARE you, to pack the same lunch for your child every day for a week.

I did it last week. It made packing lunch a breeze! No wondering if it all would fit into the bento box. No wondering which item would go in which slot. No wondering if my daughter was going to eat the food or like the food. It was simple. And better yet, my kid came home and told me I had made the best lunch ever nearly every day. And she even thanked me some days too!

I didn’t start packing lunches this way. I had this idea in my head that I was showing my daughter I loved her by offering variety. Each lunch was a surprise that said, “Look at this creation! I love you and miss you terribly!” Yes, this is my first child and our first long school day apart. Haha!

I packed the same lunch for my kindergartener for a week. And I dare you to do the same!

The first week of school lunches looked like this:

Chicken Pinwheels on Monday: She ate some of the chicken, a bit of the lettuce and none of the tortilla it was wrapped in.

DIY Ham and Crackers on Tuesday: Her whole lunch came back except apples and carrots. She said lunch was cut short. And then later said she wasn’t “into” the ham or crackers.

Kids Charcuterie on Wednesday: Lunch was cut short again? Evidence of child-size nibbles on a piece of chicken and her apples were gone. I suggested she concentrate on eating her lunch the next day.

Blackberry Jam Sandwich on Thursday: Everything was gone. The sandwich, apples, carrots, plantain chips, and freeze-dried blueberries. She told me she loved her lunch and I was the best mommy ever.

Blackberry Jam Sandwich on Friday: Her bento box was empty again. And the guilt I felt about packing a duplicate lunch because I was so tired vanished. And that guilt was replaced with the notion that I may be a genius!

I packed the same lunch for my kindergartener for a week. And I dare you to do the same!

The next week I got more jam and…

I made the blackberry jam sandwich lunch every day the following week with the same results — an empty bento box returning to me all week long. My daughter still came off the bus ravenous, but raved the entire week about how good lunch was!

No, it’s not Instagram Story worthy to show the same lunch each morning. So I stopped sharing those – haha! I don’t get points for creative lunch-making or food-art technique. But I feel certain that my kiddo will have a full belly in school each day. And isn’t that the point of a lunch?

I still love to see what others are packing and creating for their children’s lunches, kind of obsessed, actually! Especially all of you lunch-packers I follow on Instagram (shoutout to @sarahmakeslunch!). And I’ve been pinning kid lunches ideas like a madwoman recently on Pinterest — I have three boards dedicated to kid lunches – Kids Bento Box Lunch, Bento Box Inspiration, and Kids Lunch Ideas Not Just Bento Box! I’m not completely naive, I’m looking out for ideas for when the jam sandwich shine wears off. Haha! But I’m determined to wait to make a change until the shine wears off.

But I challenge you to repack your first entirely-eaten up packed lunch and see what happens for you! Side effects of packing the same lunch may include: less mom stress, full bellies, and being called the best mom ever a few times. Oh my goodness is my daughter just shaping my behavior through positive reinforcement? Well, it’s working!

I packed the same lunch for my kindergartener for a week. And I dare you to do the same!

Tell me where you get your lunch inspiration? Who should I be following? What bloggers should I be reading? Whose pins should I be pinning? Tell me below or find me over on Instagram and send me a DM or comment in a post you like.

I packed the same lunch for my kindergartener for a week. And I dare you to do the same! Read more at the blog: https://penandthimble.com/2018/09/23/samelunch

Preschoolers and Paint

A story with pictures… See more art ideas and tips below!

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Rainy Day Got You Down? Just Add Glitter Paint!
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We Decided To Paint A Giant Piece With Glitter Paint and Finder Paint
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Is There Anything Better Than Feeling That Cool Paint On Your Fingers?
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Art Takes Concentration
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Focus
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Sharing and Negotiation
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And The Result Is Beautiful!

Art Tips:

  1. On a nice day, consider taking your paper and paint outside and paint with leaves and stamp with rocks and other found objects. Nature makes everything even more fun!
  2. Reuse Your art work! My kids create a lot of art. I cut their work and fold to make handmade birthday cards out of them for parties!
  3. Painting at this scale is better with an apron. We didn’t think to put them on and had some regret. Grab a pen&thimble apron today and add your kid’s name to it too!
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Paint All Over… And Paint Caps

Squishy Muddy Spring

Muddy spring got you down? We are definitely in that pre-green spring season in our backyard. And while I can’t wait to see all the green and everything in bloom, my girls recently reminded me that it is far better to enjoy the season we’re in.

And we are full-on in mud season. It is squishy, cool, scoop-able, and fun for hours!

So this is your reminder from the pen&thimble crew to pull on your mud boots, grab some buckets and shovels, and enjoy this squishy season!

Other activities we are loving this spring:

  • Hiking
    • Bring binoculars and magnifying glasses to admire the buds on the trees and shoots coming up!
    • Email insiders: Check your inboxes in May for a fun Spring Scavenger Hunt printable that is great fun on hikes!
  • Blowing Bubbles
  • Visiting Our Favorite Playgrounds
  • Picnicking
  • Collecting Sticks
    • We’ve started a nature table in the mudroom after hearing a friend has one in her house! Our nature table used to be a side catch-all table. Now it is a stick table, I mean Nature Table. 😉

What are your favorite spring activities? I mean right now I’m just loving any excuse to get outdoors! How about you?

Hold up! Are you an email insider? Each month insiders get: 1) A FREEBIE, 2) EXCLUSIVE coupon code, and 3) Activity and NEW Book Suggestions!

Yes, Every month! In May, the freebie is spring lunch note printables and a very fun Spring Scavenger Hunt! (Plus you get panda lunchbox notes right away after signing up!) Grab your freebies and monthly savings here: bit.ly/ampmail

Science and A Snack: The Celery Science Experiment With A Preschool and Toddler

Can science make your kids eat more veggies? Yes! Yes it can!

Celery Science and A Snack!

The other day we did the celery and food coloring experiment. Pretty basic stuff, but it was new to my girls (3 and 5 years old) and I called it a “Celery Science Experiment” with my super enthusiastic voice and they were INTO IT.

To start, we talked about how plants “drink” water, but we can’t see the water travel through the roots and up the stems to the petals or leaves because… water has no color. So maybe if we add dye to the water the plant drinks, we might see how it travels. And we were going to try it with the yellow celery mommy had left over after chopping some up for our special CELERY SCIENCE EXPERIMENT!!

The Celery Science Experiment
First the girls chose their dye color. 3 year-old chose blue and 5 year-old chose to color mix to make orange.
Color Mixing With Preschoolers
Science tip: Safety glasses protect eyes and help with laser focus
Color Mixing
Yellow + Red = Beautiful
Kids Science Goggles are great for parties
The girls stirred the dye with their celery stalks and then it was time to wait! And have a snack!

 

Peanut butter and carrots? Okay
3-year-old went for a carrot first!
Healthy Toddler Snacks
And 5 year-old went for the celery first!

Our Celery Science (and a Snack) Experiment was a success! And our healthy snack felt like such a TREAT! By dinner time, the dye had already started to reach the leaves. SCIENCE IS SO COOL!

We think science is way more fun with accessories (and a snack). Our accessories pictured above can be found here: