Much of what I do as a mom is centered about the kitchen table. I decided to let the table help me teach without saying a word. We have done variations of this in the past, but it has turned into something more.
I have a large cereal box on my table that has become a billboard, in a sense. You might find on our cereal box a geography lesson, a scripture to memorize, a spelling list, a set of jokes and riddles, a short biography, non-fiction information on animals or places, character building quotes, or an inspiring story. Some of the information is just for fun and other scripts are quite calculated.
A large, empty cereal box
2 cans of food or rocks for weight
Three sheet protectors
First you put the rocks or cans into the bottom of the box and wrap the box with wrapping paper.
Next cut the three ring holes off the sheet protectors.
Use the transparent tape to secure a sheet protector to the front and the back of the box.
Then cut the third sheet protector in half and secure a piece to each of the sides of the box.
Run a piece of transparent tape along the sides to further secure the sheet protectors.
Be sure to have the opening of the sheet protectors at the top.
Now decide what information you want to put in the sheet protectors. If you are typing the information for the narrow box sides, change your page layout to three columns. Once you cut them, they will fit perfectly. Sometimes we write the information, sometimes we rip a sheet out of a crossword puzzle book and slide it in…there are so many options! My seventh grader sends me jokes to put in it! You can adjust it to fit all age groups. Whatever you want to do to stretch minds…
Breakfast and lunch are when the box gets read the most. It helps that electronics aren’t welcome at our table. The box generally sits on our table all the time, except for during dinner when we all sit down. Then we just set it aside; that is unless it has a new set of jokes that one of the kids just has to quiz one of the others about.
It works best for us to have a mixture of the fun and the serious on our box. Here are some other ideas of what to put on your cereal box: vocabulary words, a discussion of a character trait, a crossword puzzle, a word find, interesting facts, a faith promoting story, something a child is trying to memorize for school, a story from your ancestor’s life, or the latest world record. Once we had a list of different kinds of leavening substances. Another time the history of England’s Big Ben was on there. A brief history of Handel’s Messiah showed up around Christmas time. Why is there daylight saving time? Why is April Fool’s Day a holiday? When was Disneyland established and how has it changed over the years? Is Old Faithful still faithful? Who first settled Florida? Did they really used to make clothes out of flour sacks? The options are unlimited!
This all may sound silly to you, but trust me…”If there is a cereal box on the table, everyone who sits down will read the back” (from the post Cereal Box Syndrome). You have a unique opportunity to promote whatever you think is worthwhile to know. I have a friend who has also started putting a billboard box on her table. She told me she had to make two boxes so her kids wouldn’t fight over who got the box first. She and I think alike so we give each other the papers we have had in our box. It is a fun exchange!
I love that I get a chance to influence my kids without ever saying a word. The key to keeping it interesting is to change the information on the box often. Give it a try.
I have other posts that center around the dinner table…here are few:
(The featured picture of the dining room table came from pixabay.com)