Lunchbox Notes

We decided to skip the “nutritious” school lunches offered in our district (entrées include: Fried Pizza Sticks – a breaded stick of fried pizza ingredients) and opt for nutritious (sans quotation marks) packed lunches instead.

I’d like to go into this in more detail on another post, a dozen things come to mind (like the joy of Bento Boxes and helpful standards like frozen juice boxes as ice packs) – but right now I’ve got lunchbox notes on my mind.

Here is a site where you can get some generic notes (for free) to print and put into your child’s lunch.  I’m considering making a bunch of my own.  You can gear them towards what is going on in their lives right now.  I’ve found dozens of sources for buying this kind of note system for packed lunches – and many seem clever and warm, but I’m left feeling it’s lazy to spend more than a couple bucks on something so simple.

Some ideas on how to make them:

1) Use a business card template in any typesetting or graphics program – or just make your own template (dragging guides or putting card border outlines on a layer).

2) Use a sharpie to rule out 10 rectangles on a sheet of 8.5 x 11″ paper. Take it to a copier and make 15 of them to last the whole school year.

Things to put on them:

 – personal notes

 – uplifting quotes that your child can relate to

 – photos or pictures of your child’s favorite people and characters

 – facts/trivia related to your child’s interests

 – question prompts to be used at your child’s lunch table (If you could be a different animal, which would you be – and why?)

 – comic strips

 – “coupons” for something special at home (a treat, an outing, guaranteed one-on-one time, extra story time, etc.)

– small puzzles (word finds, crosswords, sudoku, etc.)

 – jokes and riddles

 – stickers

 – a month’s worth of valentines in February (those little inexpensive mass-produced cards are a great size for this)

The key is probably to produce a big batch – maybe a month at a time.  Depending on your skill-sets, hand-writing them or typing them will be most efficient.  Sitting at the dinner table one evening with a joke book could cover a month or more with minimal effort (check out a joke book from the library that your child hasn’t read).

Collectible card sleeves (available where game or baseball cards are sold) would do a good job of making them water resistant.  Page-A-Day calendar pages could be great, too (available cheaply after Jan. 1 – – you can likely still get 2011 sets for next-to-nothing)

I’m going through some separation anxiety now that my oldest is a full-day student – I see this as a way to help me stay connected through the day that both of us will appreciate and remember fondly.

Let me know how this works out for you – especially if you have other ideas and approaches that work well!

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