We’re at the halfway point in the summer and I swear, when I look at the kids I can practically see their brains starting to turn to mush. The enthusiasm for my summer reading challenge has waned, interest in math games is lukewarm at best, and they’re onto my efforts to trick them into writing and spelling. The standard response to the suggestion of any activity is to squint and look me square in the eyes, trying to determine whether there might be any subversive learning lurking behind the activity.
Guess what? There is.
To combat the mid-summer learning slump, I decided to make up a new game that relies heavily on two facts:
- If there is a LAFFY TAFFY JOKE or FORTUNE COOKIE around, a kid will read it. Even when they don’t quite get the jokes or when the fortune is too confusing, they’ll still read it. They read it to themselves, share it with me, and run off to show it to another kid. Every. Single. Time. So if short bits of information in a sharable way is what they like? We can do that.
- Kids love a scratch-off game. There’s a tiny thrill in that moment before the reveal. Very tiny, but still, it’s there.
This week we’re combining both of those facts into scratch-off trivia cards. Each morning, the kids will choose a trivia card to place in their lunchbox. At lunchtime, they can scratch the top of the card to reveal the question, then the bottom half to discover the answer. In order to qualify for a new card the next day, they need to bring the card home to read it to me. Simple idea and not very hard to make, I think the kids are going to like them. Even if they don’t find all of the facts interesting or don’t know many of the answers, I can guarantee that they will like scratching off the ticket each day to reveal that day’s questions and answers.
To make your own lunchbox trivia cards, you’ll need:
- A list of questions and answers
- Lunchbox Trivia Cards Printable sheet
- Colored cardstock (cut into 2.25″ x 3.75″ rectangles)
- Clear packing tape
- Acrylic metallic paint
- Dish soap
To start, I made a list of questions that I thought would be age-appropriate, that would interest my kids, or that I thought they should know. Not every card will hit the mark perfectly, but that’s the beauty of providing info in this way. Don’t care who invented the cotton gin? Try again tomorrow!
Once you have a list of questions and answers, print the trivia card sheet and add your own information. Cut out each card and adhere it to the construction paper rectangles using packing tape. Most packing tape is just under 2″ wide which will cover the entire surface of the trivia card, with enough room to adhere it onto the colored backing. Center it if you can and smooth out any wrinkles with your fingernail.
According to Martha Stewart, to create perfect scratch-off paint, mix 2 parts metallic paint with 1 part dish soap. Not one to argue, I did exactly that and it worked out fine. Apply the paint mixture over the question and answer on each card. I applied 2 coats on each one, letting it dry between each layer (about 30-45 minutes drying time with each layer). I tried both thick and thin layers and found that it didn’t matter much. You’ll need to keep applying layers or paint until the words are covered, so give each a try and do whatever works best for you.
Print it: Lunchbox Trivia Cards (15 per sheet)
P.S. If you decide to make these cards and find that about halfway through you feel like you are a chump for doing the project and I am a double-chump for suggesting it, try watching an episode of The Vampire Diaries while you complete the project. It helps, trust me.