I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville wife and mother with a passion for family travel, (mostly) healthy cooking, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries with you, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark.
August 23, 2011
Like most elementary school students who bring lunch from home, Punky has a permanent lunch box.
But she also brings a snack to school each day. I pack her snack in a brown paper bag. And ever since she started kindergarten two years ago, I’ve used the outside of the bag as a learning opportunity.
At the beginning of kindergarten, I began writing what we called “snack stories,” composing one or two-sentence stories about her and her friends with simple words that she could read. When she started bringing home lists of sight words, I’d include the words she was having trouble with in her daily snack stories. Punky had a blast reading the stories out loud to her friends each day, and improved her reading skills without even knowing it.
By first grade, she was a strong reader, so I switched from snack stories to riddles and jokes. That proved to be so popular that many of her classmates began bringing in riddles to read aloud at snacktime, too. Punky complained that she didn’t like being copied. We talked about the fact that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And I changed up the snack stories a bit by the end of the year to a format I’m using now…
I spend a minute or two each morning searching for a fun fact that Punky reads to the class during snack time. And although my drawings are laughably bad and often unrecognizable (we won’t talk about the raccoon I attempted to draw this morning- Did you know it’s Tennessee’s state animal??!!), Punky doesn’t seem to mind.
The point is that it’s an opportunity for me to be involved in her education in a way that’s small but significant. I hope that her snack bags show her I love her AND teach her something in the process.
I expect to be doing this for years to come. I drew on my stepdaughter’s lunch bags all the way through junior high and they probably wouldn’t have minded if I’d continued on through the first couple of years of high school, but I was sensitive to potential teasing, so I put a stop to it then! During their junior high years, I drew funny pictures on their lunch bags and wrote the most random, bizarre things on them that I could think of. The bags were well-received at the junior high lunch table.
So that’s what I do– How about you?