Ideas for The Big Lunch

These ideas can begin in the classroom, be used on your Big Lunch day – or both! Findings, ideas, or creations can come back to the class for a larger piece of work or individual projects. If your class makes something in preparation for The Big Lunch, make sure they take it, wear it or display it on the day to show others.

Big Lunch bunting

Get your class to make a string of bunting featuring each child’s favourite memory, hopes for the future, or a theme of your choice. Ask them to write, illustrate and decorate their ideas on individual paper triangles and combine these with ribbon to make a colourful string of bunting. You could do this on your Big Lunch day or in class beforehand. Hang this up for your Big Lunch and afterwards, why not swap it with another class or give it to a local community group?

On Big Lunch day – get all your guests to do the same as above, creating mementos of the day. They could be hung in your school hall or another communal space.

Big Lunch party hats

Get your group to each design a party hat for someone they know, either from their class, school or community. Their design can include five facts about that person, encouraging conversation to get these answers! Ask the group to do a ‘show and tell’ about their design and share one fact about the person they’ve made the hat for. On Big Lunch day, get the children to wear their hats as a way to start conversation with others. 

Tablecloth teasers

Get your class to make a table cloth to encourage conversation with neighbours. You could include cracker style jokes, fun quiz questions or ice breaker activities to help them get to know one another on Big Lunch day. Use plain paper or a writable tablecloth – remember to make it eye-catching and legible!

Community cook-up

Why not run a cookery session where your class invites members of the local community to teach them how to cook their favourite dish? The class could then recreate this dish for the rest of the school for Big Lunch day. Ask them to find or create some simple recipes, write a shopping list or work out how to source the ingredients locally.

A global Big Lunch

Get each member of your group to think of their favourite food. Use a map of the world to pinpoint the origin of that dish or its key ingredients. Then start a conversation about how food is grown, sustainability or what different people around the world might eat. For Big Lunch day you could encourage the children to make a menu of their favourite foods or dishes and write invites asking people to bring that dish or food in. You could use our plant profile here as a starting point.

Games from the past

Get your class to take inspiration from their elders by asking them what group games they used to play. Focus on getting your school outside on Big Lunch day and introducing simple, fun games for all. Have your group write the instructions and rules for these games and teach others on the day how to play the new games they’ve learnt about.

Food growing

If you start soon, there may be time to grow food to eat at your own Big Lunch. Here are some links to a few websites where you can find out how to grow food and when to plant in time for your Big Lunch.

RHS Campaign for School Gardening

The RHS School gardening campaign supports schools to develop a garden for pupils’ learning, wellbeing and health.

Countryside Classroom (formerly Growing Schools)

This website has resources and ideas for outdoor learning including; food, farming and the natural environment.

Soil Association Food for Life

The membership package from the Soil Association features handy resources to get you started, including a term-time growing calendar, recipes and resources by Jamie Oliver.

Why not sign up to get your FREE Big Lunch pack for more inspiration and ideas?