Is it 3 p.m. yet? My children loved 3 p.m. Why was it a favorite time of day? For many children it would be because it signaled the end of the school day, but not for my homeschooled children. 3 p.m. was snack time.
My children loved snacks. Hey, I do too. Every day they would ask for snacks many times. It kind of drove me crazy. My solution was a designated time between lunch and supper. “Yes,” a snack would be served at 3 p.m. It ended the constant flow of requests, not just from one child but from all four children. The snack was far enough away from supper that they were still interested in that meal.
The 3 p.m. snack time became so well established even my children’s friends knew about it and were more than willing to participate if they could. There was one particular friend whose mom brought him to our house for about ten months every Tuesday afternoon. He would push and prod and nag his mom to leave his home at a certain time so he would arrive by 3 p.m. He had plenty of food at home but he did not want to miss our appointed snack time.
One summer we purchased a large cooler thermos with a faucet on it. Sometimes it was on the counter next to the sink and sometimes on the back porch. Large ice cubes made in recycled cool whip bowls kept water, lemonade or Kool-Aid cold all day long. This dispenser allowed the children to serve themselves as they needed and wanted drinks. They liked this independence and so did I.
Thanks to Tupperware each child had a specific colored 6 ounce bell tumbler that was used throughout the day. Every day they used the same colored tumbler. It mostly stayed on the table at their assigned seat, but if it was carried and placed elsewhere everyone knew whose cup it was because of its color. All cups went in the dishwasher at bedtime.
Usually I decided what would be served for snack time. Sometimes it was fruit or homemade cookies or brownies other times it was store bought cookies or snack cakes or ice cream. Ice cream and ice cream novelty treats purchased in packages are far less expensive than any item bought at an ice cream shop or the musical truck visiting your neighborhood. Children, just like adults, like to have options and choices, so I tried to provide options when possible. As the children aged they would often make the snacks themselves. Brownies with butterscotch chips in them was a favorite.
Recently I discovered 3 p.m. snack time is observed at our eldest son’s home. Apparently daughter-in-law number 1 has also found it to be a helpful tool with their four children. Whenever I have multiple grandchildren at our home the 3 p.m. snack time is reinstated here. Is it 3 p.m. yet?
P.S. Another thing that drove me crazy was the dozen times a day I would be asked what was being served for dinner. It was wonderful when the children were able to read for themselves the daily menu posted on the refrigerator.