Lunchbox Icepacks

The first week of school was 89% disaster-free.  I consider that a complete success.  My kindergardener doesn't start until tomorrow and I am anxious for that beautiful day to arrive.  He was completely insulted that all his older siblings got to start last week and he was stuck at home with his mom and 2-year old sister.

A certain child of mine, and I won't name any names (Luke), tends to go through at least 3 lunch boxes a year and countless reusable containers and ice packs.  Last year, I made him pay for his own replacements in an attempt to make him more responsible.
I was thrilled when I found this method for making your own ice packs.  So simple and if when he loses them, it won't cost him his college savings to buy new ones.  I buy the cheap pack of 4 sponges from the dollar store to make the loss-impact even less.

To make, just saturate a clean sponge with water and place into a ziplock bag.  Lay flat in the freezer and freeze overnight.  In the morning, just toss them into the lunch boxes.  As they melt, they will reabsorb the water so just toss them back in the freezer after school!!!

29 comments:

A. Wright said...

Oh, I am SOOOOO using this! Thank you (x50)

Beth said...

Genius!

Lynn said...

I have used these for ice packs for injuries..not too cold for little ones and soft too

Keri Dameron said...

Just put some of these in my freezer, got 10 for $1 at Dollar Tree. I bet they will be good for my kids injuries as well as their lunch packs. Thanks!

obviouslymaggie said...

what a great idea!! but do they mold at all?

Libby said...

My elementary school used to use these in the nurse's office as ice packs for injuries. I'd totally forgotten about them until this post!

Susan said...

How many times can you use these ?

Susan

Carole said...

Susan - I would think for as long as the sponge lasts! After about 8 or 9 uses, I add a bit more water to the sponge, but other than that, I just toss them back in the freezer when the lunch boxes come home. If you use regular Ziploc bags to keep them in, you might want to double up the bags, or use a heavier style of bag.

Jennifer Friedhoff said...

What. An awesome idea Will start using it tomorrow

Melly Ann said...

So cool!! :) Thanks.

Heidi said...

Do you think these could also work as warm packs if put in the microwave? Just curious. My middle school son wants to take vegetarian hot pockets to school. Not sure how to keep them warm though. Thanks! - Heidi

Marie MC said...

If you mix a 1:1 solution of rubbing alcohol with water the packs freeze colder and are more pliable for those bumps and bruises!

Anonymous said...

Heidi - use uncooked rice in bag- sew a quick pouch with two squares , fill with rice, sew shut. Then heat in microwave. The rice holds the heat for a long time. Use a soft sturdy fabric - thin tight fleece. Make any size/ shape. The weight feels good for tension relief of the shoulders too!

Anonymous said...

I've used the rice heating packs also, but I've found that uncooked corn (deer corn) holds the heat way longer because of the thick shell it has. A little built in natural insulator! So the heat releases slowly and stays longer than the rice.

Crystelle said...

This is a GREAT idea!
I'm making some tomorrow....

Anonymous said...

I disinfect my sponges every couple of days by microwaving them for a minute. You probably wouldn't have to do this as often since these sponges aren't used for cleaning.

sherry wills said...

I never really threw out the dozen lunch-boxes I accumulated over the years. Stored them in self storage perth. I think they can still be serviceable to charity.

Charity said...

Great idea! Pinned! ♥

Deborah Jennings said...

Thank you so much for this. Although I don't have any young children in school, I do need the Ice packs to keep my allergy meds cold when going to and from the allergy clinic. These are great for anyone!

Gertrude L. Clarkson said...

I like this idea because I spend too much money on ice packs. The cool thing here is the absorption that takes place.

Dorthe Holm said...

What a good idea - thanks for sharing :)

Erin Kramer said...

I found out several health tips in which you could use up a lot of kitchen stuff in your home as an alternative. Recently, I also got a souvenir item made out of sponge and different kitchen wares, they all look amazing and interesting I must say.

Anonymous said...

I am a daycare provider and we make them for kiddo booboos. They wrk great!

Raven Zala said...

Now there's a great go-to accessory for anybody in a bit of a bind. No need to go anywhere else when you accidentally touch over the hot surface of a pot while cooking or something.

Harriet Williams said...

Wow! That sure is a one very good idea to make the life span of an ice longer. Guess, I'll be buying quite a number of sponges to serve as a coolant to any food I have. Thanks for this idea, it do help a lot!

Kai Thornton said...

All that I can say is wow! I am amazed with creative people. To be able to come up with something from nothing. Keep it up and I'm sure that creativity will bring you fortune someday.

Anonymous said...

I love these. We currently are only using a small bar fridge & these are small enough we could use them. Most freezer packs are too big for our tiny freezer.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't put them straight in back in the freezer, I would give them a rinse first and replace the bag every day and the sponge every week. Water gets stagnant, these would be really unhygienic.

Anonymous said...

I wonder would "chux" style wipes be more hygienic? they could be washed and dried daily on a cycle (fast drying), some in freezer, some in wash cycle. they could also act as face and hand wipes after lunch:)

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