The After School Question Jar | Tuesdays with Jacob

The After School Question Jar

July 19, 2017
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RITZFilledBackToSchool #CollectiveBias

I don't know about you, but I can hardly believe that summer is more than half over. Where have these precious, sun-soaked days gone? I'm faced with the harsh reality that not only am I returning to the classroom soon, but my son is headed there as well. Shortly after I return to my job as a kindergarten teacher, little man will be headed to preschool for the very first time. 

I'm feeling SO bittersweet about this change. I'm so excited for him and all he's going to learn this year; the friends he's going to make and the experiences he's going to get away from home. His little mind is sharp as a tack and incredibly eager to learn. I know he's going to thrive in a school environment. But I'm also so, so, sad that we've reached this point in his childhood already. Weren't we just bringing him home from the NICU yesterday? I'm still a little bit in denial that we're sending him off in a little more than a month, that we've reached a place of backpacks and lunch boxes. 

Because of our work schedules I'm usually out the door before anyone in the house is awake. Which means Daddy will be doing drop off and pick up each day. It also means that by the time I get home Jacob will have been home for 3 hours and taken a nap. Which presents me with a unique challenge to get him talking about his day. It'll be easy for Daddy, since it will all be fresh in his head when he gets picked up, but I know I'm going to need some extra help getting him to remember and share about his day.

Enter the after school question jar. Designed specifically to get kids talking about their day. Have you ever had this exchange with your kids?

Parent: How was your day? 
Kid: Fine. 
Parent: .......
Kid: ......

Exasperating isn't it? Every single question in the jar is designed so that it cannot be met with a one word answer. The open ended questions will get your kids thinking and sharing about all different aspects of their day.

So here's what you do:
1. Print out the Question jar printable HERE
2. Choose a label (color or b/w) and glue it onto a container - mason jar, old soup can, etc. 
3. Cut out the questions and glue them onto Popsicle sticks
4. Place all the Popsicle sticks in the jar. 

Every day after school let your child pick out a predetermined number of sticks. You can do one, or several. If you have a reluctant conversationalist you may choose to start with just one and work your way up to a couple as they get comfortable. I'll be getting home from work just as little man is getting up from his nap and ready to have a snack, so I plan to always pull out the question jar at snack time. To make things extra special I plan to do a little snack picnic some days. I don't know what it is but Jacob finds something so magical about eating a picnic on a blanket, even if it's just a quick snack! 

Speaking of quick snacks, here are some of our favorite pairings: 

1. RITZ Cheese Crackers + grapes or blueberries
2. Fruit Kabobs + yogurt dip
3. RITZ Peanut Butter Crackers + Berries (PB&J)
4. Pepperoni Slices + Cheese Sticks
5. Popcorn + Pretzels + Goldfish (snack mix)

RITZ crackers are the perfect portable snack not only for after school picnics, but also for throwing in your bag for sports practices, after school meetings, etc. Jacob loves both flavors and they always fill him up, helping us avoid meltdowns. I found my RITZ crackers at my local Kroger. Find your local Kroger/Kroger Family of Stores to get your RITZ crackers HERE.   

Photos courtesy of Little Mountain Momma
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