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5 Alternative Uses for Unused Lunch Boxes

From year to year, children's favorite characters change quite often.  As a result, parents are finding themselves treating their children to a new backpack and lunch box or tote almost every year.  So, aside from donating them, what can parents do with the unused lunch boxes?  I began thinking about this when the twins were sent these bright and cheery Chuggington Lunch Kits.  They attend half day preschool, so there is no need to pack lunches for them.

Since I was brought up to reuse as many things as possible, I made it my mission to think of alternate uses for these lunch boxes.  My children love Chuggington, so I did not want to just put them in the closet for a whole year until kindergarten started.

(Click any photo to enlarge)

Here are 5 practical ways to make use of unused lunch boxes . . .

1)  A Snack Tote - When the twins attend their big brother's soccer games, we always have to bring a small snack for them and bottles of water.  Instead of throwing everything into the outer pockets of our son's soccer bag, the twins could carry their own snack using one of these lunch boxes.

2)  Store On-the-Go Toys - Use a lunch box to store toys the children like to take with them often, whether it be for a visit to their grandparent's house or for a long car ride.  Then each child can just grab their already-filled lunch box and head out the door.

3)  A Pretend Play Picnic Basket or Suitcase - When presented with the opportunity, a child will just take an idea and run with it.  Offering your child a lunch box to use as a picnic basket, suitcase, or briefcase will offer them many possible scenarios for pretend play.

4)  A Library Bag - Most lunch boxes are large enough to hold small to medium sized children's books.  They would make great library bags for carrying borrowed books to and from the library.  Also, young children would feel such a sense of independence to be able to carry their own books.

5)  A Shoe Bag - A lunch box would be the perfect size for carrying your little one's ballet, tap, or jazz shoes.  There would likely be room leftover to fit a skirt, a dance shrug, and a bottle of water.  I wish I had thought of this before I spent $20 on a shoe bag for my daughter.

Do you have other ideas for more ways to use unused lunch boxes?  We would love to hear about them!

Thank you to Accessory Innovations for providing complimentary product samples for us to base this article upon.