Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7

Extra-special feel-good exam lunch boxes

When my girls write their exams, I always prepare them an extra-special lunch box. Considering that they make their own lunches for the rest of the term, this is always a treat for them and they now consider it an exam tradition.
An exam lunch box covers all these options. In my girls’ schools they usually write two exams a day, so I take that into consideration as well.
I tend to steer clear of full-size sandwiches and heavy food. Everything is bite size and nutritious. It’s colourful and sometimes even a little fun. I want the lunch box to make them feel better after an exam and to remind them that mom is thinking of them.
I prepare the boxes the night before, to give me enough time to fuss and to avoid the usual morning rush. Thankfully my children aren’t too fussy. The idea is to do something different from the rest of the term.
I wrap everything in cling wrap or purchase cheap Jiffy bags from my plastics shop. Nothing worse than having everything squished together. Just remind younger kids to avoid littering and to rather bring the plastic home if they can’t find a bin.
Items in my exam time lunchbox
  • Fruit: Pre peeled naartjies/ pineapple slices/ melon slices/ dried fruit slices, any fruit they will enjoy. The natural sugar will compensate for when their adrenalin levels drop after exams.
  • Carbs: Bite-size sandwiches with their favourite spread or filling. I use my cookie cutters to cut them into different shapes. Other options are mini pita pockets filled with a protein, a bran muffin, crackers or a small bag of popcorn.
  • Vegetables: Use a kebab (sosatie) stick and add cucumber, baby tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, baby corn and so on. This looks so pretty. You can add a dip in a small plastic container with a lid.
  • Protein: Sliced biltong, rolled up ham, chicken drumstick, chicken kebab, boiled egg, mini meatballs, sliced sausages on toothpicks
  • Fats and oils: Nuts are an excellent source of B vitamins and all the fat soluble vitamins, as well as an excellent source of protein. Try walnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds or pecan nuts. Toss in a few dried cranberries for some sweetness.
  • Dairy: Cheddar cheese or yoghurt, and occasionally a chocolate milk which is a great source of protein (I didn’t believe it either – but scientifically it has the best ratio of fats and proteins).
  • Just because I want to: Small role of Super C, small piece of dark chocolate, marshmallows, soft fruit gums or any other small treat your child will love.
  • Hot drink: On the cold days they get a small flask with tea or hot chocolate. Remember that water is still important even during winter.
I always include a little note wishing them luck for their next exam or that I hope they are having a good day. Sometimes it just says that I love them.
Needless to say the lunchboxes are always empty when they get home and they love that their friends are always in awe of what they have for lunch. 
Preschool, Grade R
Plastic bottles/containers with lids
Paper or a funnel
Rice, pasta, screws, beans, beads (any small, hard objects which can be placed in the bottles/containers)
Stickers for decorating
Instructions: Using a funnel or a piece of paper rolled to act as a funnel, fill the bottles/containers with... Read the full article
Preschool, Grade R, Grade 1
Toys/household objects that can be used to measure length and height (e.g. Legos, blocks, books, apples, spoons)
Have your child use different household objects to measure length and height. Determine how many Legos tall the couch is, or have your child lie down and see how many apples tall... Read the full article
Preschool, Grade R
Cookie cutters in various geometrical shapes (If you don’t have these, you can use a knife)
Your child’s favourite “cut-able” foods – pancakes, cheese slices, fruit, bread
Using cookie cutters, cut shapes into your child’s favourite foods. Discuss the... Read the full article
Finding fun activities for your children that are educational but engaging doesn’t need to feel like work. In this blog series, I’ll be giving you lots of activity ideas for children of all ages, from toddlers to Grade 3.  

TODDLERS: (ages 1-3)

Make a Shape Book

Coloured... Read the full article
Preschool, Grade R, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7
When your children lose interest in learning, you may find yourself wondering how you’re ever going to get them excited and motivated again. These tips will help you get them fired up and back on track! Be passionate about your teaching. Even if you’re having a bad day, be expressive, smile and put excitement into your voice.... Read the full article