I have 2 in my house in the form of my eldest two boys and it drives me, if I am honest, completely up the wall.
Dinner is often a bit of a battle ground, it’s getting easier, but it still isn’t the most fun filled time of the day for us (hmmmm, dinner time seems to correlate to the time of day I most fancy a G&T, who knew?!)
Because of this, the boys have been packed lunches at school for the past year. They did school dinners for a year before that in a bid to see if it would help, but it didn’t and their eating habits didn’t improve and they were just wasting food which is a bug-bear of mine, so I changed them off them and now I make their lunches.
Truth be told, I’m not really one for ‘Pinterest Lunches’ as I like to call them. You know the ones, the photos of a vegetable animal, painfully crafted using 7 different vegetables and some cocktail sticks, the elaborate sandwiches which, once bashed around on the way to school, will look like a car crash scene rather than the intricate and elaborate lion you had made before they left for the school run this morning. Who has time for that anyway?! I was thankful for a luncheon meat sarnie at my Nan’s as a kid (goodness, the thought of eating that now makes me want to vom. Sorry Nan…)
Here is what I did…
Sandwiches: I used a dinosaur sandwich cutter (I got mine from Ocado.com but these are readily available everywhere – or you could use a cookie cutter and get the same result) to cut out the sandwiches into dinosaurs. These just have ham inside but you can pop whatever your child fancies inside them.
Cheese: I peeled a Dairylea Strip-cheese to make it look like a tree the Dinosaur Sandwich could eat.
Grapes: These grapes can become Dinosaur Eggs (or poop if you have typical poo obsessed kids like mine!) ALWAYS cut your grapes in half for children to prevent choking. I have only just stopped doing this for my 8 year old but still do for my 6 and 2 year olds.
Cocoa Pops: Chocolate isn’t allowed in our kids lunchboxes at school but cereal is so a few cocoa pops are classed as being fine. I used these to make dirt/stones in a pot to rest the dinosaur footprint biscuit on.
Dinosaur Footprint Shortbread: I made these with the kids the other day. They’re super simple and you can find the recipe here.
(I didn’t have any left for the photos sadly, but my edible dinosaur eggs would also work really well in a lunchbox. You can find the recipe for those here)
Drink: Water is the only drink allowed at school during the day, but at lunchtime the children are allowed milk, juice or a smoothie. I made some fruit squash and added a tiny bit of green food colouring to the squash to make it green. It’s not really dino related but it looked more interesting and prehistoric!
I took this opportunity to label the packed lunch box and drinks bottle ready for the start of the school year.
I was sent some amazing name labels by Stickerscape and some of them even had the brilliant Dinosaur designs on our wall stickers by Kali Stileman on them. They’re colourful, durable and just what I needed to help get organised for the back to school chaos that’s looming around the corner! Importantly, they’re also very clear to read and instantly recognisable which is very important when you have a child in charge of looking after their possessions!
If you go to the Stickerscape website, you can view their extensive range of stick on and iron on name labels. They have a huge amount of different designs to suit every age and interest, and with prompt delivery, you’ll have no trouble getting all those items, ‘school ready’.
Because my middle one is such a fussy eater, and he is only 6, reward charts do still work with him.
When WOW Toys very kindly sent me a, very fancy, reward chart to review, I instantly thought of my 6 year old and his eating habits. We used the snazzy reward chart to get him try a few different foods and do you know what, I worked!
The reward chart is a chart and rewards all in one box. It’s a fab idea!
You move the magnetic star up the chart as they complete a task and when they get to a reward window (on numbers 1, 5 and 10) they get a toy which, in the end, makes up a set! It’s a really fantastic idea and one my 6 year old really loved. It took us less than 10 days to get the chart done and in the process he tried new foods which I could never have imagined him trying a few days ago. It was amazing to be quite honest. Once complete, he ended up with a little dinosaur toy set composed of a cave man, a dinosaur and a carriage for the caveman to sit in. The toys are colourful, durable and I can see them lasting the test of time, even with my heavy handed toddler about!
We loved the fact the star was magnetic and we didn’t have to remember putting sticker on a chart or anything. My 6 year old loved moving the star up when he had tried something new.
The age range on the box said 1-5, but there wasn’t a chance my 2 year old would’ve understood the fact he couldn’t have all the toys out of it in one go (#tantrumcentral) which is why I chose to use it for my 6 year old. I think the chart is great for kids from ages 3-7 personally but they toys inside it would be suitable from 1 year upwards because of their chunky and durable nature.
You can buy the WOW toys reward chart here. They also have a racing car one and a fairy one available.
Until 10th October 2016, you can get 20% off all Kali Stileman Wall Stickers at Stickerscape if you use the code DINOKALI.