July 11, 2016

The Best Summer Homework with Box Tops

Apple Bread

Sponsored by General Mills Cereals

Since my children are in nursery school and elementary school we are going to be using a school calendar for many more years to come. For this reason, and for other reasons that pertain mostly to my own sanity, there are parts of our school routine we stick with year round. Not stopping these things during the summer means we don’t have to go through the pain of restarting each fall! Sticking with these easy routines keeps ours days somewhat predictable and fun.

The Breakfast Routine: During the school year my kids devour their breakfast before heading out the door. Having a good breakfast is incredibly important and I make sure, above all else, they walk to school with full tummies and plenty of energy to start the day. Though our breakfast routine is a little lazier during the summer, we never skip the meal altogether. Each September we reinvigorate the breakfast table by picking out some new cereals and pulling out some favorite recipes. I make sure they stick with cereal brands I know and trust and let them pick out a new flavor or style they haven’t tried yet. So long as I know the cereal isn’t filled with artificial flavors and colors I am happy to let them pick out a box or two!

DSC_0951 These new Tiny Toasts have become a recent favorite. We love the strawberry flavor and even enjoy it with strawberries on the side.

Banana-Bread

Banana bread is always a mainstay during the year. We like to toast it and eat it with cream cheese and fruit.

The Apple Bread with Golden Graham Streusel I made last year has become a favorite too. We love to eat it as it is and sometimes I try topping it with different cereals for fun. {photo at top!}

Steel-Cut-Oats

When the crazy weeks really begin I like to make an overnight oat loaf we can slice and heat all week long. The guarantee a hot meal in the morning and I top them with everything from jam to chopped fruit and nuts.

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Collecting Box Tops For Education: Our school has a big Box Tops committee and they are always encouraging people to clip and collect whenever they see them. Box Tops are found on so many of our favorite everyday products like Cheerios, Nature Valley Granola Bars, and Ziploc® bags, and each Box Tops Clip is worth $.10 for your school to put toward items they need for the classroom, playground, gym and more.

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We keep an eye out for them all summer. My daughter helps me clip them and we keep them in a little treasure box for the first classroom collection each fall. This way she goes in with a tidy little bag for her teacher on the first day of class!  Our little school has received a few thousand dollars from Box Tops collections in the past and I know the money is used for purchasing much needed equipment for classrooms like smart boards and art supplies, as well as equipment for the playground.

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Did you know America’s schools have earned more than $780 million through Box Tops for Education over the past 20 years? Visit BoxTops4Education.com and help clip for a school today. It is a win-win program for everyone!

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Chore Charts: Although it is summer, I don’t stop our chore chart system. It makes my children groan, but it is so important to me. Not stopping our daily chores like making the bed and feeding the doghelps them slowly become second nature. (And by second nature I mean that by college I hope I’ll finally stop having to nag them to pick up their clothes and they’ll appreciate their $3 weekly allowance! What can I say, a mom can dream…) I also make sure they pick up their breakfast dishes and load the dishwasher. It all helps to get the day off to a smooth start so we can get to school on a positive note.

I know these few points all sound a little KonMari, but it is true that these little bits of organization and helpful habits make our school year much easier and more fun. While I wholeheartedly embrace lazy days by the pool, still keeping a little bit of structure and remembering to give back year round makes it is all smoother around here. And that is something the whole family appreciates!

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by General Mills. The photographs and opinions expressed are entirely my own. Everyone should clip Box Tops for their school. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Naptime Chef possible.)