Disney’s Moana HeiHei Snack Plate Recipe!

 Moana HeiHei Snack Plate


Welcome to day 3 of our 12 Days of School Lunches. Today we are sharing Disney’s Moana HeiHei Snack Plate recipe. It’s easy to make and the kids will love it. You can put it one of those sandwich containers so it stays together. Head over to Just Plum Crazy to get the recipe.

12 Days of Back to School Lunches

Be sure to come back daily and visit the other bloggers sharing their ideas for school lunches too.

Sandwich Sushi

sandwich sushi

Welcome to Day 2 in our Twelve Days of Back-to-School Lunches. I have teamed up with a group of fantastic bloggers to bring you fabulous back-to-school lunch inspiration. Make sure to check back each day to add to your own collection of great school lunch ideas!

Today’s recipe comes from Sam at Gagen Girls who shares with us her creative take on school lunches with Sandwich “Sushi”.

Get the recipe for this Sandwich “Sushi” and add a little fun flair to your lunchbox.

12 Days of Back to School Lunches

Don’t miss out on any of the 12 Back-to-School Lunch Ideas by checking out all the great recipes below.

Make New Friends

The beginnning of a new school year doesn't have to be scary when you take along some special "friends"!
The beginning of a new school year doesn’t have to be scary when you take along some special “friends”!

Starting school can be a scary time, and that’s why I have always tried to do every little thing I can to lessen my kids’ angst! Writing notes on napkins, buying fancy little straws for their milk cartons and fancy plates on which to “place” their sandwiches, and putting the sandwiches in seasonal storage bags were just a few of the ways I tried to brighten up my kids’ days. It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone, then, that my desire to make my girls feel special included food preparation as well….and that’s where the idea for “Make New Friends” sandwiches came from! A gloomy day can become bright again when opening the lunch box and finding a new friend, and these friends are oh, so easy to make!


1. Gathering your supplies together ahead of time ensures that you have everything you need front and center.

2. Using a cookie cutter of a child (a gingerbread boy cookie cutter works nicely), cut out a stack of new ‘friends’ from a loaf of bread. My girls preferred white bread but any bread will work. I usually cut out a whole stack of ‘friends’ so that I can DSCN0158make a bunch in advance. (Oh, and for those who don’t like to be wasteful, throw all the extra bread crusts into a freezer bag to save for Thanksgiving stuffing!)


3. Prepare your filling. Fillings can be as simple as peanut butter and jelly but my kids’ favorites were:

pizza sauce and pepperoni

peanut butter and honey

tuna salad with chopped apples

cream cheese with green olives

pimento cheese

cream cheese with strawberry jam

cucumbers and salad dressing with a sprinkle of fresh dill

mashed bananas and honey


DSCN01644. Spread (or place) the filling on one cutout bread friend and then top it with a second cutout.



5. Here’s where the fun comes in. After making your ‘friend’ sandwich, decorate it! Ideas for faces and/or clothing for the friend include:

drawing eyes and a mouth with a tube of frosting

cutting a triangle from a cheese slice for a skirt

placing small candies on the friend as buttons

pushing in mini chocolate chips for eyes and a nose

sprinkling the entire sandwich with powdered sugar OR a mix of cinnamon and white sugar

sprinkling with “fairy dust” (edible glitter)



A little bit of effort goes a long way for making our kids’ days special. Who wouldn’t get excited about seeing a plateful of deliciousness and fun!!


Note: After making these a few times for my girls, they decided they wanted to get in on the action. My kitchen turned into a fun place on a Sunday afternoon as together we thought up new fillings and ways to decorate our “friends”. Great memories!

Treasures Found in Odd Places

Student recognition increases morale!
Student recognition increases morale!

I KNEW I had to have it!   I looked up, saw it and KNEW it had to be mine!  What was the treasure, you say?  What did I have to have?   A paper mache three dimensional sun.  THAT was the treasure I knew I had to have.   We were getting ready to start a new theme at our school:  Sailing the Seas of Knowledge (or something like that) and I thought the sun would be a fabulous addition to my classroom.

Unfortunately, there were two problems about me having it.    One –This special sun was hanging in a Mexican restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee and they were using it for decoration…..and Two — in big black letters on the side of the sun it said, “Corona”.   This was obviously something provided by a beer distributor for the restaurants to tout their products.     Anyone who knows me very well knows that neither of those factors were enough to stop me from trying to procure that special sun for my classroom!   So I did what any good scavenger—oops, I mean teacher—-would do!   I asked the waiter if I could have it.  He called the owner over and told him that I wanted the sun.  The manager laughed out loud…….and walked away.    As I left the restaurant that night, I gazed longingly at the sun, knowing I wasn’t ready to give up on getting my treasure.

I don’t actually live in Memphis but this restaurant is one of my daughter and son-in-law’s favorite haunts, so I made them promise to ask for it the next time they went in.  Needless to say, they got nowhere with my request (I’m not sure they ever even asked), so the next time I went for a visit, I suggested we head to that restaurant for dinner.  They both gave me big smiles, knowing exactly why I wanted to go there!   And as soon as we walked in the restaurant, I spotted it!  The sun was still there and it was still calling my name!  After placing my order, I asked the waiter if he would get the owner.   The owner came to the table and before I could even make my request, he said, “Are you going to ask for that Corona sign again?”  I’m sure my daughter and son-in-law were ready to crawl under the table when I jumped up and yelled, “Yes!”  but again the owner just started laughing.    I even offered him money for it (by now it was a challenge I could not shake off) but he just walked away chuckling to himself.

It was on my third visit to that restaurant (probably over the span of a good two or three months) that I finally was able to talk the owner into selling me the sun (very cheap) and I remember watching with total glee as he climbed up on a chair and cut it down from the ceiling over one of the guest tables.  As he handed it to me, he shook his head, chuckled and said, “I can’t believe you’re going to use that at school!”

But I did……I covered the “Corona” with green and white contact paper and hung it up by a bulletin board in my classroom where it became the new home for my “Star Student” display!

I tell this story for two reasons:

  1.  To remind everyone that it doesn’t cost a lot of money to make an impression on our kids and believe me, that sun DID!  They loved it when they were the student whose picture graced that board and they totally enjoyed the bright colorful display, and….
  2. To emphasize that we can accomplish many things with just a little bit of effort.  It make take time and ingenuity but thinking outside the box (who would have thought a beer display would make a good classroom resource?) produced an awesome result!

Have you found any treasures lately?

A “STAR” Idea

In my classroom we use the STAR (Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research) curriculum to teach my students many different tasks and skills.  With this curriculum, discrete trial training is reinforced with specific preferred items that a student chooses prior to starting the lesson.   This box (purchased for about $10 at our local Walmart) became invaluable as a way to store some of these tangibles!   From snack crackers to candies to fake mustaches or stickers, this container holds it all!!!

I tape a label on the inside of each drawer so they can be changed out easily.
I tape a label on the inside of each drawer so it can be changed out easily.


Addition Made Simple……and Real

Do you ever get caught up in having to have the best supplies, the coolest games, the newest resources?  If you’re like me, you spend hours researching the latest methods for teaching old skills, and I spend hours making things as well. But I recently learned that sometimes the easiest, spur-of-the-moment ideas can net just as good a result as the newest technology and resource!

This summer I have been tutoring kindergarten students in math, and I have been having a great time, but I am working with students who have been identified as needing some extra help.  These are kids who have already been taught with the conventional resources, so I have been trying to think of new ways to present material they have already heard (but not mastered).   They seem to love drawing but frankly we don’t have much time for extras like that until I had a bright idea!   I got out the scrap paper and crayons and asked each of them to draw a house.  I told them the house had to have a living room, a kitchen and a bedroom.  Then I got out the manipulatives (little people and they each had their own handful to work with) and that’s when the fun began!

I told them to put two people in their living room and one person in the kitchen.  Then I asked, “How many people in all are in your house?” They added and then they cleared their houses for the next problem.  I called out another problem.  They put more people in the rooms named and then they added, “How many altogether?” As I continued to call out problems, they became more and more animated about being able to figure out the total number of people in their houses.  They became engaged, because I gave them ownership in their task. Their houses were nothing fancy, but they were theirs, and that created a window for learning.  We played, and they learned.  It was win-win!

My learning for that day:   It doesn’t take fancy materials for our kids to learn.  It takes ownership!

Addition Made Simple
Two people in one room and one in the other makes three in all!
Creating Ownership
Here is one of the houses.