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MCSA Lockdown Tip 67

MCSA Lockdown Tip 67

Lockdown Day 67 – Packing a lunchbox

Activities of Everyday Living

If the pandemic teaches us anything, it is most likely going to be patience!

This weekend was rather fraught with last minute ‘schools can open; no, they can’t’ information. It seems that some schools will in fact start to open today, whilst others will not. The Minister of Social Development indicated in a TV interview that preschools and the early childhood sector may open on July 6th. Hence we have a few more weeks together!

As we have mentioned in the last two AEL posts (#53 and 60), returning to school is going to involve a whole new set of skills. The extra time at home gives the children (and you) a chance to prepare the children for the ‘new’ school they face.


For the foreseeable future, it is likely that all children will need to bring their own snack/lunches to school in an attempt to curtail the spread of the virus during mealtimes.

This will mean that children will need to be familiar with all the containers that their food is in so that they can independently access it. Let’s use the next few weeks to prepare the child for this task.


Finances permitting, you may wish to set the child up with a new set of snack/lunch materials. This may add some excitement to going back to school, and also serve as a ‘transition’ object for the child who may be a bit worried about going back.

The snack/lunch set may consist of the following:

  • a lunch bag
  • plastic lunch/snack containers
  • water bottle
  • applicable cutlery

Please give some thought to what you are likely to pack as snack/lunch for your child so that you can practice all the necessary skills to allow the child to be able to eat independently.


Once you have all the items at hand, spend some time with the child looking at and discussing each item.

* The lunch bag that contains the boxes and bottle may have a zip. Show the child how to unzip and zip the bag, unpack its contents, and pack the bag again. Allow the child to practice this.

* Each lunch box may have a different opening and closing mechanism. Demonstrate how each lunch box opens and closes and give the child time to practice opening and closing them. If you are intending on giving the child more than one lunch box, remember that the child will also need to learn how to match the correct boxes and lids together (Tip #8). Please however be mindful of the number of boxes that you pack into the bag for the child. Parents often pack up to 10 little containers with little bits of snack. This is lovely but creates an access and execution nightmare for the child. Let’s keep it simple for the time being!

* You will also need to practice opening and closing the water bottle. When shopping for a water bottle, please ensure that its opening mechanism is one that the child can handle on her/his own.

* If you are likely to be packing a small yoghurt for the child, please start practicing opening the yoghurt now. The child will then also require the use of a spoon. Practice this! Consider also what you would like the child to do with the yoghurt’s foil lid, and how the used spoon should be packed back into the bag after use.

* Any ‘packet food’ (dried fruit etc) will need to opened. Either decant this food into a container that the child can open, or ensure that you pre-cut a ‘tearing-slit’ into the packet to allow for easy access.


Once you have practiced the individual skills, consider packing the child a snack box every day that will allow the child to practice all the skills together. This will give the child confidence going back to school that snack or lunch will be readily available and accessible whenever s/he is hungry.


Find all of our lockdown tips here –