I’m always looking for new ways to put a little fun and learning into everyday moments – and I love putting small surprises in my kids’ lunch boxes. It’s my little way of connecting with them during the day. So recently, I decided to marry these two desires and came up with a few ideas for making lunch time – well, literary too! Try out these ideas – and explore your own and see what your kids say. My kids were surprised and had a good time sharing them with their friends at the lunch table.
Pack a Few Jokes: Grab a few joke books and write down individual jokes on post-its, construction paper, or whatever you have around the house. I write the first part of the joke on the front of a small piece of paper and put the “big finish” on the back.
Riddles: My boys love riddles. There are all kinds – so experiment. I found a few cool “visual” riddles and drew the visual image out on paper and asked: What is this? On the back, I revealed the answers. My kids and their friends loved these. I’ve also thrown in word and math riddles to keep it interesting.
(Answer: A spider doing push-ups on a mirror!)
Personal Note: Personal notes are a reminder to my kids that I’m thinking of them. Sometimes it’s as simple as, “Have a GREAT day! Love, Mom” or “Hope your publishing party is really fun today. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!” Or “Happy Friday! See you tonight for family movie night!” Try making your note specific to the day or an event that’s happening so they connect that you’re aware of it and know it’s important to them.
Mad Libs: I keep a few Mad Libs books on hand at all times and they’re great for pulling out a page and slipping into their lunch boxes. Because these can take some time to do, I use these when I know it’s going to be a rainy/snowy day and outdoor recess is likely not going to happen. It gives them something to do with their friends that’s fun – and funny!
Trivia and Factoids: Throwing in a few “did you knows?” always work. Sometimes I find a wild and crazy fact in something I’ve read -- in the newspaper, a magazine, book or online -- and share the fact on a post-it. Jotting down a few trivia questions and answers is something they like, too. When it comes to trivia, I look for topics I know they’re interested in (music, entertainment, sports, video games, science & technology, characters from books, etc.) and would like to talk about with friends – so it can turn into a bit of a game at the lunch table and also spurs new conversations.
Most importantly, have fun with it!
Happy eating & happy reading!
There are so many more ideas and these are just scratching the surface. How do you slip literacy into lunchtime with your kids? Share your thoughts on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page and continue the conversation.