Sorry to interrupt your summer fun, but for many of you, school is just around the corner. Now is that special time of year when you hit up all the back to school aisles for lunchboxes and notebooks – everything is new and the air is full of promise. It’s gonna be a great year.
While you still have time to think about how you want your family’s daily routine to go, give a little thought to lunchtime. Putting a few personal touches on your kid’s lunch will make them know how much you care with the added bonus of helping them get a few cool points in the cafeteria.
Here are three ways to add some nerdy flair to your kid’s lunchbox.
1. The Gear
The most obvious way for your kid to flash some lunchtime flare is the lunchbox. For a many kids, this bad boy is out in plain site all day. You may think it’s just a container, but to them, it’s a huge opportunity to make a statement. Here are a few containers you still have time to get your hands on before first period starts.
If you want something a little more packable, get a soft lunchbox like this R2D2 from Thinkgeek. It lights up and makes sounds.
For eco-chic kids, you can grab a lunchbag like this one from A Little Lark made from recycled cotton fibers.
If you have a perfectly good lunch container from last year and are feeling crafty, don’t forget that duct tape can be an amazing thing. It comes in all kinds of crazy novelty patterns with more added all the time.
Duck Brand makes Duct Tape Sheets, which makes taping a bigger surface area much easier.
If you want to bring a fun, retro cafeteria feel to lunchtime at home, you can grab a separated plate like this one from Green Toys. It’s made from 100% recycled milk containers, and comes in several vintage pastel colors.
2. The Food
Seeing all of the crafty moms making sandwich art to look like character foods may feel inspiring, or it may feel overwhelming. Making art out of their food may not even be right for your kid, if he does what most kids do and chucks his backpack around wherever he goes.
That doesn’t mean you can’t be creative and frugal when it comes to packing a nerdy lunch, though. Try making your own lunchables. As far as artsy lunches go, a cookie cutter can go a long way.
You could also try a little weekend baking to prepare for a week full of nerdy lunches with this Superman logo bread.
3. The Fun
Take the “I love you” lunch note up a notch by packing surprise games or puzzles in with the cheese and crackers.
Hasbro has travel size versions of many of their classic board games, which would perfect for keeping kids out of lunchtime trouble.
You could always print out a few puzzles, wordsearches, or crosswords in advance to tuck in with the napkin. There are even websites that help you create your own crossword puzzles.
Last month, Jello began a promotion called “Jigglevision” where you could print out secret messages that can only be viewed by looking through red Jello cups. If your kid is into Jello, grab the red kind next time you’re at the store and make a few secret messages to go along with it. You’ll need to use Facebook to do it.
If things get a little crazy and you can’t keep up with all the lunchtime ambition you had at the start of the year, don’t worry. If your family sends kids off to school with a healthy, balanced lunch, that’s really all that matters.