Lunch Bag Love
It’s back to school time! For parents, this means the usual: shopping for school supplies, meeting teachers, getting shoes, clothes, and a backpack, tons of fun for everyone. As for my little one’s first day this school year, I think I was more nervous and worried about it than he was, but it’s still hard for both of us. Sending your child to school after the summer is always an adjustment, sometimes it’s a good one and sometimes it’s not as good, but it’s just something that has to happen. (However as a side note: I’m a fan of homeschooling and I think parents that are able to do that are amazing). Back to the point, a big part of the school day that I always looked forward to is lunch!
My son is a very picky eater, I wanted to make sure that he has something he likes to eat or even would be willing to eat so I decided to pack him a lunch each day. I was nervous to send a lunch box, that can be costly, with him because he might forget it, lose it, never open it, it just wasn’t the best option for me. So now it’s time to brown paper bag it! My little one love-love-loves Pokémon, so to give him a little smile I have been drawing various Pokémon on his lunch bags each day. I tried to stick to the cute Pokémon since he’ll be taking them to school where there are younger children and such.
I think this is a fun idea for any child, with any interest, because I think it reminds them a little of home, maybe even cheer them up if they’re having a bad day. I went with Pokémon but there are plenty of other themes that are awesome: superheroes, Star Wars, Star Trek, sci-fi/fantasy, Hello Kitty, My Little Pony, bugs (might not want to associate bugs with lunch though), dinosaurs, Nintendo, the possibilities extend to the time you’re able/willing to spend drawing. It doesn’t have to be everyday, maybe once a week or just every so often as a surprise.
The easiest way for me was going to the Pokémon website, where they have lists of all the Pokémon, searching 'suprise me' and drawing them from those images. I used pencil first and then outlined in black sharpie. What’s nice about Pokémon specifically is that most of them are pretty easy to draw. You don’t have to copy images of characters; you can draw your own designs too, like made up monster creatures. If you don’t feel confident about your drawing abilities, you can always print out a picture and glue or tape it to the bag!
If your child wants to participate, it also makes for a fun art activity. Just buy a pack of brown paper bags and let them decorate away, after all they’re the ones that have to bring it to school. It might be easiest for them to draw in pencil and then use markers to go over their lines if they're drawing a specific design like Pokémon. If they're like my little one though, they might just want a pile of colors to go crazy with! From experience I’ve found that washable markers are COMPLETELY better than sharpies when it comes to children using them! Stickers are always a fun thing to add as well, let them be as creative as they want. I would avoid glitter or anything that takes a ton of glue because that can get messy, take a long time to dry, and you don’t want glitter to get into their food! This gives them a little extra something to be proud of each day when they look at their work; it’s also something they can show their friends.
I believe the whole process of drawing 10 bags took me about an hour, so it wasn’t a huge time commitment, as I went I got faster and faster too. I’m quite happy with the results. I wanted to just do a lot at once while I had the materials and time, rather than doing in the morning last minute when I’m already trying to get everything else ready for the day. So if you think that this would be something your child would enjoy, go for it! Although, if I had the kind of job where I would need to take a brown paper bag lunch each day I would probably decorate my own lunch bags in a similar manner! Additionally if you have a partner’s lunch you pack, or occasionally pack, then I encourage you to take a little time to give them a fun surprise with this activity!