By Tracy Evans
I recently joined a growing club. I am now a preschool mom. While a lot of moms and dads have a hard time saying goodbye to their little one I was actually pretty happy about it. My daughter is only gone three to four hours a day and for me it’s a welcomed break since I often work out of my home office. But when we decided “Miss I Love Preschool” could make the switch from part-time to a full-time student that made me more than a little sad. That meant for the first time in her 23-months of life she’d be eating lunch and taking a nap away from home. I never thought I’d have to buy my not yet two-year-old a lunch bag. But there I was at Target the other week trying to pick out the cutest one. Her very first lunch away from home included a note from me. I wish she could read every word on the note I tucked inside the lunch bag but her teacher did most of the reading for her. Still the thought of staying connected to my daughter by sending her a little lunch box love was comforting.
While my daughter’s away-from-home lunches lasted less than a week – she was miserable trying to nap at school each day – I learned a valuable lesson. Whether Johnnie is in preschool or Jane is in junior high a love note tucked inside your kid’s lunchbox or backpack goes a long way. It definitely makes you feel good and it just might put a smile on your kid’s face too. Of course, the most meaningful notes come straight from your heart whether you jot down your thoughts on a cute card, beautiful stationary or just a scrap piece of paper. Or you can go all out and make your own cards. Simply stock up on index cards and stickers and images that your kids like. Then decorate the card with your kid’s favorites and jot down a little note. But if you’re not crafty, at a loss for words or simply don’t have time to think of something cute to say every morning don’t worry – that’s what preprinted lunch box notes are for. Here’s a sample of where to find lunch box notes online:
Mrsgrossmans.com : Graphic designer Andrea Grossman has put her skills to good use by creating colorful lunchbox notes. You’ll find about a half-dozen different styles to choose from. Each set of notes includes: 20 note cards, 6 sheets of stickers and design ideas. All that for just three bucks. Since you have to put the card together yourself this item is not for the lazy parent. But if you are a Martha Stewart in the making buy ‘em all!
Kidslunchboxcards.com : “A lunchtime treat that expands minds not behinds”. Huh? You’ll get it once you take a look at these super clever cards which are full of stuff to tease, enrich, and challenge little minds. Topics include: “Eeeww, That’s Gross!”, “Real Looney Laws”, “Mystical Little People”, “It’s a Wacky World” and “Riddles”. Great selection thanks to fabulous illustrator Gina Flanagan and graphic artist Rose Cricchio. Plus, the back of the each card is blank so you can even jot down a personal note to your kid. Or save it and send it to your child when they are away from home for the first time. Simply slap a postcard stamp on it and send it off. Each pack costs $4.95 and contains five cards.
NickJr.com : If your kid is a fan of Dora the Explorer or Blue Clues stop what you’re doing right now and head to this site. Do a site search for lunch box notes and you’ll be amazed at all the choices. The cards come four to a page. Now of course these cards work best with a color printer but if you don’t have one the cards will still look decent in black and white. Also, try using a thicker paper or card quality paper for the best results. Simply, print, and then add your child’s name and mom or dad’s signature.
KidPrintables.com : If you are a fan of quick and easy this site is for you. Once you are on the home page hit the link for "Lunch Box Notes." Choose from ten different colorful designs. Simply print and then tuck a card into your kid’s lunch box when the little one isn’t looking. Note cards won’t cost you a dime. I also found the same note cards on gingerbreadnook.com .
FamilyEducation.com : This is another great free site for the budget-minded parent. Once you get to the site, click on the link for "Printables Center." Under the "Charts and Columns" section you will see the link for "Lunch Box Notes." The cards are black and white but if you’re up for it you can grab some crayons or markers after you print them out. I love the Star Lunch Box Note which says, “I have a surprise for you. See you at ________. XOXO.” What a great way to perk up your kid’s day. Note: In order to print out the cards you may have to register for this site.
So whether you’ve been writing notes to your school kid from day one and just want to jazz up your messages or you’ve simply run out of things to say preprinted lunch box note cards might be worth the try. And remember, notes aren’t just for lunch time, tuck one into your kid’s backpack, under his or her pillow or in their coat pocket. You just might make their day.