When was the last time you snuck a note into your child's lunchbox? If it's been a while, experts say it's time to do it again. Author, parenting coach, and teacher Melissa Schwartz says she's a "huge proponent" of lunchbox notes for kids (and notes in general). "Leaving short love notes for children is a wonderful way to stay connected, especially in a world where so little communication is tangible," she tells Scary Mommy. "A short note with a doodle or sticker is a fabulous way to remind your child that you're thinking of them even when you're not together. Writing a few affirming words — like 'You're so special' or 'I can't wait to snuggle with you this evening' — keeps your connection going throughout the day. They don't have to be long to be impactful!"
Let's lay it out: Once your child is in school, you'll only get to spend about a third of each day with them. They'll spend the other two-thirds sleeping (hopefully) or in a classroom. And what does that last third of their day look like? It's probably a mess of activities: practices, homework, chores, meals, and simply "getting ready" for any combination of those. It's super-easy to get caught up in the tasks and lose sight of the connection. Even if you're one of the few families in the U.S. who manages to make time for family dinners around a table, filling up your child's bucket with encouragement isn't always prioritized. Yes, it is important to take time to listen to them vent, help them work through a problem, or rehash major events of the day or week. But sometimes, your kiddo just needs to be lifted up.
Enter: lunchbox notes. This is your chance to show a multitude of things. Did they mention they were nervous about a test? Remind them how smart you think they are. Or you could even give them a pre-test reminder about something they'll need to know. Are they secretly crushing on the kid who sits two tables away, but they don't feel confident enough to say hello? A lunchbox note is a great way to offer a quick, sneaky pep talk or ego boost. And if they're having a tough week? Send them a silly joke sure to make them laugh.
Need inspo? You've obviously come to the right place. The following lunchbox notes beg to be borrowed.
Encouraging Lunchbox Notes
- You’re so smart.
- Have an amazing day!
- You have the best smile... share it with someone new today.
- You’re kicking butt today!
- I believe in you.
- Guess who has the best kid? I do!
- You can do anything you set your mind to.
- I’m so proud that you’re my kiddo.
- You’re such a good friend.
- You’re the kindest kid I know.
- Work hard, but be kind.
- You’re so special.
- I wish I had your style when I was your age.
- I really like your new haircut.
- Let your light shine.
- Thanks for being my kid.
- The test will be easier than you think.
- Go talk to him/her/them. (Be vague!)
- You’ve read. You’ve studied. You’ve done the work.
- You’ve got this!
- There is no one else like you in this world.
- You are so loved.
- Smile! Somebody loves you. (It’s me!)
- You are “dino”-mite!
- IOU: an extra hug after school today.
Food Related Notes
- Love you from my head to-ma-toes.
- Eat up!
- Superheroes always eat their lunch.
- Love you a latte!
- I think you’re grape.
- Nom nom nom!
- Love you, pumpkin.
- We go together like peas and carrots.
- You’re berry special to me.
- An apple a day keeps the doctor away. (But, not your mama!)
- Olive you!
- Nuts about you.
- If the world was a sundae, you’d be the cherry on top.
- Eat dessert first! (I’ll never know.)
- You’re one smart cookie!
- You’re one in a melon.
- I’m just bananas for you.
- I love you to pizzas.
- Go ahead — eat dessert first.
- Because you’re so sweet, here’s a little treat.
Lunchtime Jokes & Riddles
When all else fails? Send a joke! School jokes or food puns and jokes would be most appropriate, but anything will do in a pinch. Riddles for kids require a bit more thought, but they’re a cute way to engage your child even when you aren’t with them.
- What’s the math teacher’s favorite sum? Summer
- What did one pencil say to the other? “Lookin’ sharp!”
- I am a fruit that is always sad. What am I? A blueberry.
- Which school building has the most stories? The library.
- What do you call a cheese that’s not yours? Nacho cheese!
- What stays hot, even in the refrigerator? A hotdog.
- Why did the computer squeak? Someone stepped on the mouse.
- What happens when you make an egg laugh? It cracks up.
- Why did the banana go to the school nurse? It wasn’t peeling well.
- How do you get straight As? With a ruler.
- What’s the best place to grow a garden in school? In kindergarten.
- How do bees get to school? On a school buzz.
- Why was 10 afraid of 7? Because 7 (8) 9.
- Why did the cookie need a doctor’s excuse? It felt crumb-y.
- What do you call a bear with no teeth? A gummy bear!
- Why was the math book mad? It had too many problems.
- Why did the kid bring a ladder to school? She wanted to go to high school.
- Which building has the most stories? A library.
- How many months have 28 days? All of them!
- When does Friday come before Thursday? In the dictionary.
- What's the best thing to put into a pie? Your teeth!
- Did you hear the joke about the peanut butter? I'm not telling you. You might spread it!
- What is black, white, green, and bumpy? A pickle wearing a tuxedo.
- Why did the banana go to the doctor? Because it wasn't peeling well.
- What do you give to a sick lemon? Lemon aid.
- What kind of nuts always seems to have a cold? Cashews.
- What bird is with you at every meal? Swallow.
- Why did the student eat his homework? The teacher told him it was a piece of cake.
- Two pickles fell out of a jar onto the floor. What did one say to the other? Dill with it.
- What did one plate say to the other plate? Lunch is on me.
- What’s a vegetable’s favorite backyard game? Cornhole.
- What did the vegetable say to its love? I love you from my head to-ma-toes.
- What’s a turnip’s favorite soda? Root beer.
- Why was the artichoke so generous? It had a big heart!
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