Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Training Up Tuesday: Love Tokens for Your Child

Last week we spoke about teaching our children to express love through thank you notes and love letters. Did you help your child follow through on it? If so, did both your child and the receiver of the letter beam with joy at this small, yet precious token?

This week, let’s turn the tables a little. Let’s put an unexpected smile on the little ones!

Some moms put love notes in their kiddo’s lunchbox for school. There are SO many creative ways to do this from what I’ve seen. There are a few really cute notes you can find online by googling “lunchbox notes” and can print onto paper or stickers. Check out these adorable fruit labels. Of course, there’s nothing like a simple handwritten note, either. Perhaps, you write or draw something silly for your little wise guy. Maybe you write lyrics to a favorite song for your music lover. Or perhaps you know your precious one is having a tough time, having a difficult test that day, or just needs to be reminded of the encouragement we can find in God’s love letter to us! Write out a scripture to help them get through that day. Lunchbox notes create a connectedness when they aren’t with us (hmmmm...sounds like what God’s Word does for us, too). They also help to

build a love for reading.

Maybe, like me, you have a “pre-reader”. Last year, I let my little guy, Mr. C (who was 2 going on 3 years of age) go to a preschool program 2 days a week for 3 hours per day. He had a lunch time and I wanted to send love notes, but he couldn’t read yet. So, instead of traditional love notes, I put thought into his food. Perhaps it was cutting his vienna sausages (please, no hate letters on that!) into trains or octopuses (which became easier with time!) or sandwiches into various favorite shapes with the aid of cookie cutters. Sometimes it was stickers or a drawing on his napkin. He loves cuckoo clocks, so I have even made a sandwich into that (sort of).

As I mentioned last week, my husband goes through seasons of travel. We looked for something he could do or collect to mark each trip and to let the little ones know he was thinking of them. We didn’t want it to be costly, but things like collecting a rock or shell from a destination weren’t as easy to do as we thought either. Eventually, I came across this idea to create a flip book using postcards, a hole punch, and binding rings. Even if my husband never leaves the hotel or convention center, he can almost certainly find postcards at the airport or hotel before leaving. You can often find postcards for a quarter! If it is a long trip, he mails the cards to us, which always makes going to the mailbox a treat. But even if he simply brings the cards home in his bag, it is always something the boys look forward to.

The book is simple to make. First, collect your cards; then, you can laminate them, if you prefer. Punch two holes in one card first, as your “guide card”. Make sure all cards line up with the “guide card” before punching holes in them, too. The last step is to insert your binding rings through the stack. This is a book that can expand with time. It’s also a great tool to use when teaching geography. You can point on a map where daddy has been (or let them hold an appropriate map puzzle piece) and show the post card from that trip. You will be surprised how this gets soaked into their memory!

These are just a couple of everyday ways to let your little one know you are thinking of them even when they aren’t with you. What creative, inexpensive ideas have you come across that you use?


HPS said...

That cuckoo clock sandwich is a hoot. A+ for creativity. Those fruit labels are also a hoot. I'll have to remember those for when AP can read!

HPS said...

PS...on second thought, maybe I can use em in DH's lunches NOW...LOL!

Ashlie Miller said...

HPS, I know, I thought the same thing for my DH. Wouldn't it be cute to use them for valentine's? Instead of regular kiddie cards and suckers, you could do fruit with the labels!