new for us friday: fun fact lunchbox notes! (& link-up!)

fun facts lunchbox love notes

This New For Us Friday we’re sharing a new-f0r-us lunchbox note–fun fact lunchbox notes! LOVE these!!

A few weeks ago, Maddy, Owen, and Cora were totally into an article in the Kids Post about ear wax.  Yes, ear wax.  At breakfast.  And the article promised more equally disgusting (but soooo interesting!) topics in the near future.

I could barely swallow my coffee as I read it, but what was strikingly clear to me was that when kids, even little guys, are  interested in something, they’ll read it. They’ll want to learn more.  They’ll ask smart questions  and make incredible connections.

So I was completely overjoyed when my pal Kristen created these fun-fact lunchbox notes and sent them my way.

I was hoping that these strange, curious facts about animals and insects would spark my kiddos’ interest–get them interested in learning more about the world around them. Get them talking about bugs and birds and animals with each other and with their friends.

And they did. Score!

Covering everything from slugs and their numerous noses (do you know how many they have??!) to what ants do when they wake up in the morning, to what a giraffe does with its (how long!!??) tongue, every little fact is fun and full of new-for-us information.

Maddy has said these are her most favorite lunchbox notes ever, and Owen agrees.  Cora loves them because there’s one about a honeybee because right now she’s all about bees.

I love them because as I write a  little ‘I love you’ note on at the end, I’m surprised and amazed at the randomness and strangeness of each fact. Talk about learning something new with every packed lunch!



Fun-fact lunchbox notes are just that–fun like whut and factual–

though I have to admit, some of the facts are pretty crazy!


Fun Fact Lunchbox Notes  1 and Fun Fact Lunchbox Notes 2 are here to download as a pdf if you’d like.


Some days, Maddy will tell me that she and her neighbors at lunch talked about her fun fact note all through lunch.  I’m not sure I totally believe her, but I’d like to–and I’d pay big money to be a fly on the wall of that cafeteria to hear that conversation. . .

Either way, I’m over the moon that she’s thinking about these, and again, I’m grateful that Kristen sent them to us and gave us the ‘go’ to share them with teach mama readers.  Thank you, my friend!!


As more and more rich and varied non-fiction is being created for emerging readers, the challenge for educators is no longer what texts to use but more how they can use non-fiction texts in primary grade classrooms (Palmer & Stewart, “Models for using nonfiction in the primary grades”, The Reading Teacher. February 2005).

The authors offer three models and methods to use non-fiction in classrooms: teacher directed instruction, scaffolded student investigation, and independent student investigation.  I’m not going there at this point, with my kiddos, though I do find the ideas worthwhile.

My focus was more just sparking interest, getting kiddos familiar with non-fiction vs fiction texts. I think it’s little steps that parents can take, like reading a high-interest, catered-for-kids article in the newspaper or a fun-fact like these to get kids’ brains going, juices flowing, and (hopefully) asking for more.

If nothing else, what we do now with non-fiction will pave the way for a stronger understanding of expository texts for our kiddos as their literacy skills grow.



New For Us Friday LINK-UP: Did you do something new this week? Try a new food? Watch a new show? Go somewhere different? Give a new product a try? Read a new book? Anything goes!

Link up to a post where you or your family tries something new, out-of-the-ordinary, or exciting. Our goal for New For Us Fridays is to step out of our comfort zone a bit and to get our little ones into the habit of doing the same.   If we all share what we’re doing–even if it’s not a success–perhaps we’ll get our kiddos comfy trying something new or stepping out of habit a bit.

Don’t have a blog? NO problem! Just leave a comment saying what you’ve done! So cool!





  1. christine says

    i recently stumbled upon your blog – loving it so far. i almost have to walk away sometimes because there is soooo much good stuff on here it makes my brain spin (and then sometimes i feel guilty – like i could and should be doing so much more at steps, baby steps, right).
    anyway, this week as an extension of trying to truly focus a chunk of time on my kids each day (no multitasking), i took just my kindergartener to lunch and together we decided on a place that neither of us had been before. it was sooo nice to do a little exploration together, just the 2 of us, w/o the distraction of very much less self-sufficient 18-month old sister in tow. And the place was tasty too (Five Guys…this is sort of a new thing in the Chicagoland area, old news elsewhere I’m sure…)

    • amy says

      Christine–thanks so much for writing! I have to remind you that these posts are teeny-tiny bits of our day–like 15 or 20 minute chunks, and the greater part of the day is spent the same way as the majority of households are: picking up, running in place, cleaning, rallying the troops, getting coats on, cleaning more, preparing food, etc.

      Especially for you, with a 5/6 yo and a tiny one, it’s HARD to fit in any focused time–but if you do–even if it’s like 10 minutes here and there, it counts! It helps! So pat yourself on the back. I love how you came up with a ‘new’ something to do together–that’s so important because the more of a stakeholder we are, the more interested we are in learning, right?

      Thanks again for writing, my friend, and I hope this means we’ll stay connected!
      Happy Monday!

  2. says

    I just came across your blog…love it! I will be following you :) Thanks for sharing this great idea! My girls also love to learn fun facts and be able to share their cool new knowledge with others. We homeschool, so we don’t always have to take lunch boxes with us, but we do sometimes, plus I could see other uses for the same idea.

    • amy says

      thanks for writing, Susan! Glad the notes work for you, and I look forward to staying in touch!! Let me know how else you decide to use these notes, my friend!!

  3. says

    wow, love this idea… my little one is also still a number of years away from reading and lunch boxes, but thinking I might start including some notes in my husbands for now – maybe some tips on how to make the bed ha ha :) Thanks for the great idea though, going to bank this one for sure…

    • amy says

      Ha, ha, ha!! I LOVE that idea…I need to make tiny ‘reminder’ notes for my family, too–and of course we’ll throw in some hugs and love in there as well Too funny!

      Thanks for writing, my friend!

    • amy says

      of course they did–YOU are amazing, and thank you for creating them!! Let me know when Fun Facts 2.0 is ready. . . :)


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