Let’s Talk Lunch: Back to School

By Megan Bailey

Written by Megan Bailey of Sweet Little Peanut for Building Blocks.

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With summer coming to a close, it’s hard to believe our thoughts have turned from the swimming pool to the classroom! Heading back to school means backpacks, notebooks and, of course, packing lunch. Today we’re sharing a few of our favorite back-to-school lunch ideas that are as fun as they are healthy.

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An easy way to get kids excited for lunchtime is to get creative with how their meal is presented. Something as simple as changing the shape of their sandwich can interest even the pickiest eaters.  Have fun making silly faces out of sandwich garnishments, or use these Stainless Sandwich Cutters to easily cut out fun sandwich shapes. (We used the flower cutter and embellished it with cheese slices cut into flower petals and a cherry tomato to finish it off.)

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For storing everything from chips and salsa to dips for fruits and veggies, we absolutely love the Spencer Dip & Chip Container. My boys will not eat fruit or veggies without some type of dip, so for us, this container is a must!

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On that note, here’s a recipe for a healthy and delicious dip that’s perfect to serve with sliced apples or celery:

Peanut Butter Dip

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 6 – 8 oz. original or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Just mix everything together – it’s that easy! We know your little peanuts will be asking for this in every lunch ahead.

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For a main dish – and to change things up from the traditional sandwich – try making fun-to-eat mini wraps. Our favorite includes ham and cheese with a little mayo and lettuce, all wrapped up in a tortilla. For a sweeter version, try filling it with peanut butter, thinly sliced apples and cheese.

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The All-in-One Lunch Bag and Stainless Steel Bento Boxes are perfect for keeping wraps, sandwiches and even leftovers fresh. (The day after taco night, pack your little one’s lunch with strips of tortillas, pieces of chicken, beans and cheese. They’ll have fun making their own fajitas for lunch!)

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Every good lunch needs a little treat at the end. We absolutely love these fun and educational alphabet crackers (we have a hard time keeping our hands off them ourselves!). Try making them with your children as a fun shared activity.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (softened for 30 minutes)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Beat in softened butter and slowly add sugar. Add egg and vanilla and beat.
  2. Add half of the flour mixture and beat until combined. Add remaining flour mixture until completely combined.
  3. Divide dough into two balls. Shape each ball into a flat disc and wrap separately in plastic wrap.
  4. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour before using. (Tip: chilled dough is easier to cut out and will hold its shape better when baked.)
  5. Once dough is chilled, use a rolling pin to roll out to a thin layer.
  6. Use these Mini ABC Cookie Cutters or your own favorite cutters to cut out shapes in the dough.
  7. Place shapes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool and enjoy!

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Family Together Time During Back to School

By PBK Editors

While gearing up for a busy school year, don’t forget to schedule some quality family time! Whether it’s reading a favorite story together before bed or watching a movie over the weekend, everyone deserves a break. Here are some of our favorite ways to get the family together.

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Get cookin’. A themed dinner and movie night is the perfect excuse to teach your kids some skills in the kitchen, as well your family’s traditional recipes. Watch Lady and the Tramp while eating spaghetti and meatballs (made from this recipe from Martha Stewart), a Ratatouille meal or even a sweet Frozen-themed treat.

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Cozy up with a book. We can’t think of a better place to snuggle up for story time than in one of our teepees. Add a few blankets and pillows, and you’ve got the ultimate hangout for you and your kids.

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Get outside the house. From a simple scavenger hunt to nature-inspired crafts, spend some time outside the house with activities your little ones love. For a chef-in-training, head to your local Williams-Sonoma to take part in one of their Junior Chef classes. 

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For more family activity ideas, visit Design Studio.

Sweet Surprises for Back to School

By PBK Editors

In the first of our four-part back-to-school series, we took a look at getting (and staying) organized. Now that you and your little ones are all set, let’s add some details to make school days more fun!

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We rounded up three sweet printables to keep your kids encouraged, motivated and smiling through their day.

Add these School Breakfast freebies by The Sweetest Occasion to your little one’s breakfast for an an inspirational start.

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This cute Hit the Books banner from Paging Supermom is perfect for hanging over your kids’ study space.

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Pack a special surprise (and a sweet message) into your child’s lunch with our Lunch Notes from Design Studio.  They’re an easy way to let little ones know you’re thinking of them.

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Now that you’re inspired to make it the best year ever, don’t miss more Back to School party ideas on our Design Studio.

3 Tips for an Organized School Year

By PBK Editors

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It’s that time of year – back to school is back! In the first of a four-part series on getting set for school, we’ve rounded up three tips for your home to help kids stay organized.

1. Create a back-to-school station.

Designate a room (or part of a room) as back-to-school central. Fill small bins with basic school supplies – a ruler, tape, glue, hole punchers, erasers, sticky notes, and boxes of crayons and colored pencils.

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Hang a calender or pinboard on the wall to help keep track of everyone’s schedules, to-do lists, and things to shop for.

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Make a checklist for each child to ensure homework and reading are done, and clothes and shoes are ready for the next day.

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2. Prepare for tomorrow the night before.

Pack backpacks so they’re ready to simply grab and go in the morning. Make sure the right homework is in the right bag and that everyone has what they’ll need.

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Packing lunches the night before is another time-saving step that will reduce stress on hectic mornings.

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3. Build an inspiring desk space.

After a long day in the classroom, give kids a creative, fun place to come home and wrap up assignments. Create a “study corner” with a spacious desk, comfortable chair and a few desk accessories.

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For an alternative to a desk chair, add a plush place to sit and read – like our Anywhere Chair, personalized with their name.

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Here’s to an organized school year! For more inspiring ideas, visit potterybarnkids.com to shop our entire collection of desks, chairs, storage and more. Plus, check the blog tomorrow for the next installment in our back-to-school series. Here’s a hint: it’s all about extra special details!

Trend Spotting: All That’s Gold

By PBK Editors

Shimmering gold is our new favorite neutral to add a little luxe to a child’s room. From lighting to party ideas, here are a few of our favorite ways to turn the shine on with this perfect color for fall.

 

1. Add a little sparkle to room accents. Gold is surprisingly easy to mix with warm whites and soft beige tones. Try it with lighting or wall decor for a simple switch that adds whimsy and drama.

 

2. Layer it on with other neutrals. If you’re adding gold to bedding, try layering it on top of crisp whites and soft grays.

 

3. Decorate your celebration with dazzling DIYs. When welcoming a new addition to the family or celebrating a special birthday, gold is the perfect color to bring warmth and joy to the festivities. From recipe ideas to party decor, check out our Gold Baby Shower for inspiration.

For more great ideas on decorating and party inspiration, visit Design Studio.

Crazy for Creamsicles! 3 Fun Recipes

By PBK Editors

A summertime staple, the classic creamsicle reminds us of happily chasing down the ice cream truck as kids. Since today is National Creamsicle Day, we’ve rounded up our favorite recipes that celebrate this humble treat as summer comes to a close. Enjoy!

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These Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes by Cooking Classy are a fun take on this frozen treat.

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For a tiny bite packed with rich flavor, try an Orange Creamsicle Truffle by of Tastes of Lizzy.

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For a similar spin on the classic creamsicle, try these Peaches and Cream Pops by Sugar & Cloth that take full advantage one of this season’s bounty.

Looking for more summertime snacks? Get inspired by our recipes over at Design Studio.

 

An A+ Addition to an After-School Snack

By PBK Editors

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Make their next after-school snack even more special with a fun DIY Pencil Drink Stirrer from The Sweetest Occasion. This classic school icon also makes the perfect addition to a fun back-to-school party.

From quick breakfast ideas to nutritious lunches and snacks, get geared up with all of our back-to-school recipe ideas at potterybarnkids.com.

Celebrate Summer’s End with a Backyard Movie Night

By PBK Editors

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The days are starting to get shorter, but that doesn’t mean you have to move the party indoors just yet! We love this Backyard Movie Night from Lay Baby Lay to help make the most of summer’s end. From the sparkling string lights to the cozy lawn setup, we think this party would be a hit with little ones and parents alike.

Looking for more great parties ideas? Visit Design Studio and get inspired.

A Beautiful Nursery in Bright Pink

By PBK Editors

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Between the pops of bright pink and the touches of sophisticated gold, we can’t get enough of this lovely pink nursery from Stephanie Thill, a merchandising director here at Pottery Barn Kids. Here’s a look at what went into this space – and how you can achieve the same look in your nursery or child’s room.

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1. Use neutral furniture to balance bright colors or prints on walls and windows.  Our Wingback Convertible Rocker helps ground the room without detracting from the light and airy feel of the space.

2. Add gold for a luxe touch. Shimmering gold tones work perfectly as a neutral element, adding sophisticated style that will grow with your little ones.

3. Make the space unique with bold walls and personalized touches. Try a monogram in a complementary shade, or create a display wall with a few pieces from our art gallery.

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Check out the reveal on Project Nursery and shop our favorite picks below to get the look!