Two Tips: Still-Usable School Supplies, and Figuring Out Servings of Leftover Holiday Treats

I have two ideas that I keep meaning to tell you and I keep forgetting, and I’m not going to try to segue them naturally into another post, I’m just going to put them here.

First idea! You know how at the end of a school year, some of the school supplies are still usable (notebooks only 1/4th used, binders a little worn/bent but still holding together, crayons blunted but not even peeled yet), but also a bit rumpled and disappointing to use for the fresh new school year; and also if you DO try to reuse them they tend to wear out around January when it’s hard to find new ones in the stores? These are great to put aside for MID-YEAR replacements. Like, go ahead and buy the new binder/notebooks if that’s fun (I think it’s fun), but if they wear out two months before the end of the school year you won’t have to buy brand new ones, because you’ll have a few of last year’s still-good things sitting in the school-supply bin, ready to do in a pinch. And by then no one is feeling attached to the idea of brand-new school supplies, they just need something they can bring to school the next day.

Second idea! I don’t know if you run into this, but we regularly run into the problem of trying to figure out Sweets Values. Like, if we have a bunch of leftover Christmas (or Easter, or Halloween, or whatever) candy/cookies of various types, and I want the kids to be able to have a measured amount, we then get into exhausting conversations about how many M&Ms are the same as a Reese’s Peanut Butter Tree, and how many Hershey Kisses are the same as a frosted sugar cookie. I enjoy that kind of talk for about four minutes and then I am DONE. So here is what I do now: I have them use the kitchen scale (I have the Weighmax and I would recommend it) and I tell them a WEIGHT of sweets they can have. Then they can dither with the endless combinations themselves, and leave me out of it. A typical full-size candy bar is in the 1.5-ounce range, if that helps. I usually weigh a few sample batches and that helps me figure out what amount I have in mind, whether it’s .5 ounces (“Have a wee treat”) or 2 ounces (“Leave me alone for a little while”).

10 thoughts on “Two Tips: Still-Usable School Supplies, and Figuring Out Servings of Leftover Holiday Treats

    1. Matti

      Amen. It’s beyond genius. I mean, it actually turns candy dithering and bickering into LEARNING. We’re not worthy!

      Reply
  1. ESL

    These are great ideas! Thank you for sharing. Much of the time now when my kids ask how much Halloween/stocking/whatever treat or candy they can have I throw it back at them – what do you think is a reasonable amount? Usually (not always!) they do come up with something reasonable. I figure they need to learn self-regulation some time. And I actually am terrible at self regulation with candy and seeets so I hope they do better than I do.

    Reply
  2. Alison

    Love. “But the Swedish fish are bigger than the sour worms which are both smaller than the gummy octopuses.” Gah.

    Reply
  3. Katie

    I do love the kitchen scale idea. This could be better than our current method of letting them fight it out and eat candy until it’s gone.

    Reply
  4. Maggie

    Oh my god, the sweets weight is THE BOMB. I am so tired of these bargaining kinds of conversations after dinner that I want to scream. This is perfect!

    Reply

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