Back to School Lunch Ideas

Transitioning to being back-to-school can be tough for kids of any age. Try to ease them into their new routine, try planning for a few super special school lunch ideas that can lighten the stress load or ease the occasional homesick kid. After all the summer season is one that’s hard to follow! 

lunchJSPinsFollow us on Pinterest to check out some of Frankie and friends favorite lunchtime treats and ideas for improving your brown bag or lunch box game. You will be surprised by how delicious and creative these healthy meals can be!

Popular lunch snacks:
Cheese sticks or slices
Sliced fresh fruit or veggies
Hummus and Pita
Yogurt and granola

Entrees:
Sandwiches and wraps
Soups
Bite Sized entrees – pizza, quiche, and more!

Share your suggestions in the comments below or head to our back to school lunch board on Pinterest for more exciting ideas!

Battling Summer Boredom

While in school, kids are actively engaged in learning and developing new skills for a good part of their day. Whether it is a textbook topic or more in the realm of socialization, it is as if they always have something to do and people with which to chat and play. As a result, it is as it they are almost conditioned to expect the same level of activity year-round, which makes fighting boredom in the summer months quite the challenge. With Labor Day and the start of school just around the corner, here are a few fun family activities to help make these last few days of summer really count!

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Find activity ideas at JumpStart.com

Plan a ‘Staycation’ – Are you able to get away from work for a day or two and enjoy a long weekend? Plan a short getaway with the family to a local historical site or nearby city. Exploring a new place, will give you ample opportunity to teach the kids about local history, wildlife, and more! the extended time spent bonding together as a family will be something to cherish year round, especially when schedules pick up at school and work.

Organize a Block Party – Make the ‘end of summer’ season or chose a ‘back to school theme’ as a reason to celebrate, eat and socialize with your friends, family, and neighbors. Designate a location, some activities and a menu. If you want to avoid doing all the extra cooking, consider having a potluck and inviting your guests to bring something to share.

Create a craft – Crafts, art projects and even fun science based experiments and activities can really quench the kids thirst for something fun to do. Best of all they’re easy to organize and a practical source of entertainment that is low maintenance for busy families. Tailor a few crafts to your kids interests and make sure to provide them with the proper materials to complete them. If you’re stumped on ideas, remember that JumpStart.com is riddled with activities, worksheets, and more.

How will you be making these last days of summer count? Share some of your favorite end of summer traditions for fighting boredom, here on the blog!

Happy Independence Day, Jumpeez!

Help us celebrate this historic day by joining Frankie and friends in the JumpStart World. Just in time for all the festivities and fireworks, we have kicked off our own celebration with red white and blue decorations, updates FunZones and more!

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How will you be celebrating the 4th of July? Whether you have all kinds of fun family activities planned like BBQs, Block Parties and larger than life fireworks shows, don’t forget to make time to wish you Jumpee pals a happy holiday weekend too! While in the game you’ll be able to enjoy all of the festive summer features like the updated scavenger hunt in MainStreet, DownTown, and Adventure Canyon!

And MOST importantly make sure to listen carefully this season. At the sound of our special signal, you’ll be able to enjoy our summer time fireworks spectacular in certain areas of JumpStart. Check the messages on your ‘About Me’ page for more information!

JumpStart’s Worksheet of the Week

Count the Mangoes - Free worksheet for summer

JumpStart’s Worksheet of the Week

Tie Trouble – Father’s Day Worksheet for Kids

Father’s Day: Salt Dough Craft Ideas

Father’s Day is a time to show dad how much you appreciate him! If you are looking with the kids to surprise him with something memorable yet affordable, engage them in crafting something special for him at home like a salt dough sculpture. The best part about this type of craft is that it is versatile and can double as a learning experience for your kids. Using materials that can be easily found around your home, invite your little ones to start sculpting a Father’s Day masterpiece in the form of a helpful paper weight, small ornaments, and more!

Sculpt and paint something for dad! Photo by Lawrence Rayner

Kitchen crafts allow kids to put their math skills to good use by measuring materials. Depending on how much dough you plan on making, this Father’s Day craft might call for you to increase the recipe or handle quick conversions and other calculations. Use our tried and true Salt Dough recipe to get started!

Ingredients:
2 cups of flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water

Directions:
1. Mix dry ingredients (salt and flour) thoroughly in a large bowl
2. Slowly stir in water
3. When dough begins to form, begin to knead by hand on a flat surface
4. Divide dough for kids and allow them to start sculpting. For ornaments, flour a flat surface and roll out dough into a flat sheet to cut out shapes.
5. When salt dough sculptures are complete, bake them at 200 degrees, until dough is firm. Time will depend on the size of the figurine.
6. Let dough cool and then paint

If you are not sure where to start with your ball of dough, think about dad’s interests! You could include the emblem of dad’s favorite sports team, a figurine set for him to have at his desk at work, a painted paper weight and anything that you can dream up. Whip up a batch of salt dough now and let us know how you end up celebrating Dad.

The Countdown to Summer!

While Memorial Day officially commemorates those military men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, it has over the years also evolved into the unofficial start of summer. As families celebrate by gathering with friends over backyard BBQs, parades, beach days, festivals, and increasingly warm weather, there’s no better time than now to start planning for the upcoming season and how you plan on keeping the little ones active and having fun. With summer just around the corner, what activities do you have in mind for the family and more particularly your kids? Here are a few popular suggestions to give you a jumpstart in the right direction!

Summer Camp: A tried and true summer traditions and childhood pastimes, kids summer camps come in all kinds of styles. Day camps and sleep away ones to sports focused or academic camps, programs can vary depending on your kid’s interests. Do some research on realistic options, keeping in mind location, budget, and your child’s interest in having that camp tradition!

Outdoor Water Activities: if you’re planning on staying close to home this summer, don’t fret. There’s a number of ways for you to keep the kids entertained while still beating the heat. Simple water activities are no only budget friendly, the can be structured for learning and physical activity as well. For popular at home water activities to maximize fun and celebrate summer, join us at our official Pinterest.

Summer play dates / field trips: the kids don’t need to go the whole summer without seeing their pals from school. Get together with some of the other moms from your kid’s class and schedule fun field trips of local outings and activities that everyone can enjoy. From museums to outdoor events or fairs, summer is the time to really take the lead on exploring your city and learning in exciting and interactive ways.

Summer Reading: In the age of digital media, where kids seem almost always ‘plugged in’ to computers, TVs, or mobile gaming and readers, summer can be the best time to reintroduce them to the simpler things in life like visiting the local library. Whether they are assigned one from school or you draft one up on your own, summer reading lists assure that the kids are actively engaged in getting a jump start in their education.

These are just a handful of options for your kids to enjoy this summer! Get creative and put your unique spin on these activities or start planning for other great adventures like a family vacation or outdoor scavenger hunt.