Next in a series of things you don’t want to think about yet, it’s lunch boxes!
I’m discussing this now, because some of the beautiful lunch accessories I mention require mail ordering from Japan. And I am only thinking of your schedule here.
I like these two-level round Marvel bento boxes from Bento&co. My son has had the Spider-man one for a year, and it fits stonewheat thin crackers, as well as having a built-in spoon (though not a waterproof section, fyi). It’s a good size for a kindergartener lunch.
We are big fans of My Neighbour Totoro in this house, and I admit I bought this bento box (also from Bento&co) as much for me as for my son. This is a one-level with a moveable divider inside. It’s a handy one for a sandwich and some baby carrots.
It’s an uninspiring photo, but the two-level stainless steel bento boxes from ONYX are really lovely. The clamps holding the whole thing together manage to be easy to open while also secure. If you’re not keen on plastic, but don’t want to send glass, this is a good solution. These boxes come in three sizes.
We like Lunchskins snack bags to eliminate plastic bags for snack time. The larger bags could conceivably fit a sandwich, but I tend to fill them with things like little crackers and raisins, or grapes, or even a muffin. The little ones are great for single servings of crackers and whatnot for snack time. Beware, when they are new, the velcro can be a bit aggressive, and pops open suddenly, sometimes showering everyone around in penguin crackers. I say this from experience.
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If you’ve got a small child between 3 and, well, I’m not sure there’s an upper age limit here, paper airplane construction becomes a critical life skill. I wrote about a great online resource for paper airplane plans here, and it’s one of my most popular posts. As my son’s appetite for paper airplanes only grows, I decided to invest in an actual book. The [amazon_link id=”0761143831″ target=”_blank” ]World Record Paper Airplane Book[/amazon_link] is a pretty good one.
Along with plans for many different types of planes, there are pages to cut out that produces really cool looking planes, and a hangar to park them on. There is also many pages of seriously deep information into why each model flies and how, discussions of drag and lift. So if you have an older child who is into Knowing Everything, this is great. You can safely ignore those chapters otherwise.
I particularly liked the troubleshooting tips that go along with each plane model. After you’ve finished following along with the clear diagrams, they provide some help for diving planes, planes that go up quickly and then dive, or veer in a particular direction. This is handy when your child wails, ‘Mummy! This plane DOES NOT WORK.’
I love citizen science projects. I spend way too much time on Snapshot Serengeti, flipping through photos of giraffe under carriages and endless antelopes. Now you can count penguins in Antarctica! This is a great activity for school-age kids that are keen on animals – and it’s hard not to get a thrill knowing you’re helping scientists with their research.
The internet is full of homemade bubble mixture recipes, and to be honest, they are all very similar. It irks me to pay for this stuff in a store, and I don’t want to be more annoyed when the container gets knocked over (because it always gets knocked over). So we make it at home.
This recipe is the most reliable I’ve found so far, but still requires some sitting time, so make it the night before you’d like to use it.
2 cups warm tap water
2 tbsp Dawn dishwashing soap
2 tbsp glycerin (available in the pharmacy, look for the shelf by the rubbing alcohol)
1 tbsp sugar
Mix gently, and then leave to sit in an open container overnight. Sugar makes the mixture a bit more robust, but also stickier. Our house is always vaguely sticky due to beekeeping activities, but if yours is cleaner, you might want to stick to outside bubble blowing with this one.
Today is the anniversary of the Music Monday campaign, celebrating the importance of music in our lives, especially in our schools. Last year, my son and I had the incredible experience of witnessing Commander Chris Hadfield perform the song above on a live link from the International Space Station at Science World, as well as hearing some incredible local school musicians perform.
Having the chance to learn music in school made so many other things possible for me. I went on to learn six different instruments, perform in concert bands, orchestras, pit orchestras for musicals, and jazz bands. I ended up working at one of the biggest arts centres in the world, due in no small part to those programmes. Possibly even more critical, it made high school livable.
So take a moment today to think about music in your life, and do what you can to keep music education happening in our schools. To get you started, visit the Access to Music Foundation for British Columbian youth.