Thursday, October 10, 2013

First Day of Kindergarten!

First day of Kindergarten lunch - Biting the Hand That Feeds You
Thursday, August 29, 2013 - I was totally stumped for ideas on how to make Z's first day of Kindergarten lunch special. I had the idea to spell out "Kindergarten" in letter picks, but that was it. Until I saw Lunchbox Dad's school supplies lunch! I'm sure I've seen these ideas before, but his was the inspiration that got me moving this time.

[This post contains affiliate links.]
Normally I am able to squeeze in time to photograph the lunches in the morning, but since we didn't have our new routine down yet, I decided to play it safe and take some pics the night before. Good thing too! There was no time to take photos, and we were still running late (surprise surprise.) So I apologize for the yellowy lunch photos.
Despite the time crunch, I made her stand in front of our door for a "first day" photo - to compare to the "last day" pic I'll take in June! Missing this ritual was not an option!
(If you noticed her chunky Lalaloopsy "bubblegum" necklace and want to know more, you can read all about it at the bottom of this post!)

Kindergarten Lunch
Because I had so many separate elements I wanted to include in her lunch, and I needed a long space to spell out "Kindergarten," I chose our Planetbox. I don't use it often (even though I love it! Squeee!) because it's a lot heavier for her, and sometimes the latch is harder for her to open, depending on what angle she's trying from (she has weak muscle tone in her hands, so some things are harder to manipulate than others.) And the metal box plus food plus water bottle in her backpack are heavy enough that she complains. I'm not worried too much right now, since I carry her pack to and from her classroom for her. She just has to carry it a short while once she's in.
Organic strawberries, apples, and purple and green beans; organic Ranch, Unreal 41 chocolate candies, PBJs
KINDERGARTEN: I just stuck the letter picks into some apple slices. Luckily I got two sets, so I have duplicates for each letter. Except "A," apparently... I couldn't find either of my As! So I improvised with a heart pick - which is actually what inspired me to include a heart in each of her lunches this school year! Please note that the lid won't close with the picks up like this. I had to take them out and jab them in more horizontally. I was still able to spell out the word for her to see, just not as visually interesting!

Head of the Class!: For the "chalkboard," I just hand-cut the gluten-free PBJ sandwich into a roughly rectangular shape, eyeballed and cut out a nori sheet (dried seaweed) to go on top, then used some mini number cutters on a slice of dairy-free "mozzarella" cheese. I hand-cut the plus and equals signs with a steak knife.

Pencils Down!: For the pencil-wich, I again hand-cut the bread (just one slice this time, cut in half) and used it as a stencil to cut the cheese [pun intended.] The dairy-free cheese slices are very malleable, so I was easily able to "draw" lines with a toothpick to make it more pencil-like. And I used the curve of the "2" cutter to make a scalloped edge at the tip, to look like it was sharpened. I was too tired to bother cutting a tiny piece of nori for the lead tip, but I did mold a bit of dye-free pink taffy into an eraser. 

Not my best work, but quite good for not having a plan ahead of time, and making it up as I went along!

While the Planetboxes are durable and sturdy, and could very well last your child's entire school career, they're also expensive. Not something you want misplaced at school! I didn't know what the lunch routine would be yet; whether the kids keep their lunches in their backpacks and put them away right after, or if they get put into a communal lunch tub, or cubbies (which can easily get mixed up, and your kid finds the wrong lunch in their cubby when it's time to go home!) So I made sure to put on one of my new dishwasher-safe (and washing-machine-safe) personalized KiDECALS - both on the box and on her lunch bag.
I had Z help me choose which design to order. I had been leaning towards the Flutter design, but Z would accept nothing less than the Princess. Purple plus princess? No contest!

In addition to labels to personalize clothing and belongings, KiDECALS is unique in that they also offer other products, including decals to jazz up your computer keyboards! Most of them have labels to go over all the keys, but they have a few specialized mini sets, for a few select keys. I could not resist the Trekkie set! Even though it's sized for Mac keyboards, it should work on standard ones too, maybe with a wee bit of trimming. I had to get a set, but am waiting until my new computer arrives (in just a few days! Squee!) to use them on a shiny fresh new keyboard that isn't about to poop out on me any minute now... I will definitely be showing off my geeky new keyboard! Make it so!

Since I don't want E being stuck with a lifetime of hand-me-downs with her sister's name permanently affixed (plus many things, like the bento boxes, are shared items,) I opted for the labels to just have our last name and my cell # - in case they get lost. If you're looking to make your stuff identifiable too, you can get 15% off your next order when you sign up for their newsletter!

[Disclosure: KiDECALS gave me a code for a free custom order and Trekkie set, for review. No other compensation was given, and all opinions are truthful and my own.]

Tools of the Trade
 alphabet picks Japanese Bento Box Accessory Food Pick 20 pcs In Love  
Food for Thought

Still with me? Here's a little bonus. Who doesn't love seeing pics of my little girls all day long? (*chortle*)
Z has sensory and anxiety issues, and insisted upon bring a lovey of some kind in her bag to school pretty much every day last year. Didn't really matter what, most of the time. Whatever small toy or stuffie she'd happened to bond with that morning.
But her new public school has a "no toys" policy - not even in backpacks! She was quite distressed about this prospect. So when I saw some chunky necklaces with mini Lalaloopsy toys on them, from Little Lady Designs on Facebook, I found our compromise! Z could "wear" her comfort item, and it's not a toy, since she can't take it off to play with (or lose!)
I was able to get custom orders for Z's (then) current favorite characters - the green and blue skinned LalaOopsies! She likes both characters, and I figured E would flip out if Big Sis got one and she didn't, so I got one with each, for them to share and swap around. (I was right! E threw a massive tantrum until I managed to open the wrapper on the one "her" necklace was in.)
I had seen the Lalaloopsy pets on necklaces from another artist, but she only used the heads, with a big hole where the neck plugs in! Creeeepy! But I loved the idea of having the pets on there too! Little Lady Designs was also able to figure out a way to incorporate the pets onto each necklace for me, even though it isn't something she normally does. (Each mini doll comes with a mini pet and various other "props" or accessories. I just had Amazon ship the dolls I wanted straight to her, rather than go and try to find them in a store, then mail them myself!)

Z also likes fiddling with things, and has a hard time sitting still. So I had hoped that being able to feel the different textures on the beads, and spinning them around on the string would be able to help her focus by allowing her to fidget in a socially approved manner.

E had a hard time seeing Big Sis go without her, and over a month later, it still hasn't gotten any easier! But she was thrilled to be reunited again after school, and made me put her necklace back on before we picked "Weewee" up from the classroom door. She really looks up to her sis, and it's almost comical watching her studying and copying Z - even to the point where she'll stop and "fall" if Z happened to trip and fall down!

And if you haven't seen it, check out my "Welcome to Kindergarten" lunch for Z's last day of preschool the previous school year!

1 comment:

  1. While I love that lunch, your Kindergartner takes the cake on this one. Her outfit and person style are fabulous! She's adorable!


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