Sometimes though, at the end of a cold and wet weekend when they have been stuck inside for too long the age gap begins to show. They all want my attention. But there's not many activities that we can all do together that will satisfy the needs of an 8, a 5 and an almost 2 year old.
The Big Book is for drawing all together with no judgement and no competition. It is ok to colour in someone else's work and to turn something into something else.
At first there is always a bit of 'do you like what I'm doing?' and 'she scribbled over my best one' but it doesn't take long before we all start working towards the bigger picture together.
2 of my girls are at school now and barely a week passes without a complaint and a comparison between their school lunches and their classmates'. While we will never be able to compete with the zillions of dollars of market research and packaging that goes into making mini packets of chips so exciting and appealing, we do have a couple of tricks up our sleeves.
Get yourself a packet of Mountain Bread. It is that flat, thin papery bread most commonly used in wraps.
Paint it with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, cut into squares, lay on a baking tray and pop into a moderate oven for up to 4 minutes.
For a variation sometimes we crush a clove or two of garlic into the oil.
Wait to cool and enjoy.
Pop them into an air tight container and they will probably last a couple of days, but they never really go past the next day's school lunch here.