Lunch boxes and a school calendar

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I have to admit I'm really getting into this school thing, even though Maia's just in preschool and even though I always thought I would homeschool/unschool.

First, I had to get her a lunch box, of course. I read this post about safer lunch boxes by Safe Mama and really got into the idea of the bento box option.

So I bought her one of these. The photo's from the laptop lunches website, not a lunch that I packed. I like the idea of a "waste-free lunch" without the individual wrappings on everything. Unfortunately she can't get the thing opened herself. Details, details. Oh well. I may have to reconsider. (Or use it myself!!) Right now the teachers are opening it for her.

Yesterday I printed out a September calendar page and talked with Maia about the days that she'll be going to preschool.

Not sure how much she got. But she enjoyed putting stickers on the preschool days and using her new b-day crayons to decorate the calendar a bit. We'll hang it in her room and keep track of the days for a while and see how interested she is in it.

And, lastly, I made some fall shirts for the kiddo. A (sweet)heart, a school of fish, and a lucky white elephant. No stencils this time. Just applique.

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  1. threegirlpileup says

    LOVE the school of fish!
    Just wanted to say that to my mind, homeschooling and preschool are not incompatible. My older dd went to preschool for three years and LOVED it. It was a great break for both of us! I’m still on the fence about preschool for my little one (we tried one option but it wasn’t a good fit for her). There’s just no getting around that when kids are preschool age, you need a break. By the time they are really school age, that’s so much less of an issue, as they are much more able to self-entertain, building in breaks for both of you. I remember when we were deciding to homeschool, I thought, “She’s just getting EASY, now I send her off to school full-time? That makes no sense!”

  2. andreamcmann says

    I’m so glad that Maia’s doing well! :)
    Tyler is taking his lunch to school every day. I make them waste free, if I possibly can. He had to have a pirate lunch box, so we didn’t buy one of those cool Bento boxes, but I have a sandwich-sized container, and I send him a homemade cloth napkin every day.
    Also, I happened to have a sewing notions container, with tiny compartments, about 1 x 2″ each. I made tiny sandwiches for him his first day, using a soda bottle lid to cut out the bread, cheese, etc. He loved it! I used some of the extra compartments for dried fruit and some cheese cubes. I haven’t done that since, though, because it was a lot of work!

  3. says

    I love the idea of the calendar! My little girl’s only just turned 2 but she is sticker-crazy, and since we’ve already tried the weekly sticker charts in her CBeebies magazine (we’re in the UK) I know she will find this a really rewarding way to approach preschool a year from now. She too has plenty of brand-new b’day art materials, and we’re having a great time with them.
    The shirts are fantastic!

  4. says

    I love the Laptop Lunches kits! We have five (one for each member of the family) and they are great for days out, too. You can easily just give them one container at a time to snack from.
    That calendar idea is so cute. Now I’m trying to figure out what we need one for around here.

  5. says

    Great to see the sticker calendar so coincidental. My daughter is in preschool and I noticed that when i dropped her off today the teacher has a roster and when the children arrive, they take a sticker off and put it next to their name if they are there. Nice little routines for the kids after they put their backpacks in their lockers. :) I will try the calendar at home :) Thanks for the advice!

  6. MaryEliz says

    My son has a bento box, and so do I. It’s been very useful to have two sets, especiallly for the days when one is still in the dishwasher or when I want to send him a yogurt and applesauce, and thus need two compartment with lids. (As you know, the kit only comes with one lidded container.) But, really, I just wanted to tell you how wonderful is that goldfish shirt. Lucky Maia! May she have a wonderful time at preschool.

  7. Kari says

    Hang in there with the laptop lunch! I’m a Montessori preschool teacher, and every fall I do a fundraiser with Laptop Lunches for my school, so I have many young children in my class that bring their laptops for lunch. It is always tricky at first for them to learn to open them at first, but with practice they all get the hang of it. Even the toddlers! Great for developing those little hand muscles! Looove your blog!

  8. says

    We have a few laptop lunch sets too, as well as a few other tiffin type boxes (which I love but don’t work for the dad).
    If Maia is at all confused by the calendar, try making one that shows just one week at a time. It’s a little easier to grasp visually for little ones, and then they get more familiar with the concept of a week easier too. We used a write and wipe board for this when Zeal was very young, and I made one out of felt at one point and had velcro on the back of labels that said things like library, playdate, hike, art club, etc.
    Enjoy your little breaks. Coffeehouse and book browsing is divine!

  9. says

    Ginger – that’s a great idea about doing just a week at a time. Thanks. I think that makes a lot more sense for Maia at this age. I think a week might be about all she can handle conceptually right now.

  10. Elena says

    My daughter brings this lunch box to Kindergarden. She decorates it with stickers. Yes, she still needs help to open it, but then she does not need any kind of assistance, unlike the others who have different wrappers, difficult containers, pudding or yogourt etc (those are really impossible to open). I put a cloth napkin with her name on it (just on a piece of masking tape) and it is a garbage-free lunch. Schools garbage are pretty impressive… What makes me most happy is that she eats all her lunch!

  11. says

    thank you! I have been looking for those Bento Boxes, and now because of you, have the link. My daughter has been wanting one…. And after seeing them, so do I!