A few years ago my husband and I read a book about how kids have a love language. Some kids thrive with physical touch such as hugs and kisses. Other kids receive and show love through gifts, some through spending time with people, and some kids love words of encouragement or affirmation. Sometimes I forget how much they appreciate words of encouragement; especially when it is unexpected.
Last year I remember sending a note in Abigail’s lunch box, which she made no mention of when she came home from school. But I remember seeing that note weeks later on her desk as if it were a treasured piece of artwork. At that moment I realized that my words impacted her more than I was aware. I still remind myself of this, especially when I’m upset with her.
Then there is Mimi. Mimi loves to feel set apart. Her appetite for cute and unique things compels her to beach comb for beautiful shells and beach glass. It also brings her great joy to shop for certain types of items to add to her “all things cute” collection. It is with this in mind I remind myself to “cutify” things when I can because I know it is very meaningful to her.
Both girls love being resourceful and creative. You could say that I take credit for these attributes – it’s in their genes.
One of the ways I try to speak to them through their love language is by adding decorative touches to their lunches. Both girls love how special it makes them feel, especially when these touches go above and beyond a typical school lunch.
The great thing about dressing up their lunches is that it requires very little time and effort. All that is needed is a little bit of creativity and a willingness to pull a few things together with items easily found around the house.
Chances are you probably have a lot more crafty supplies in your ‘junk drawer’ than you realize. Just searching around my home today I found patterned duct tape, colored card stock, streamers, straws, decorative paper punches, crayons, markers, ribbons, colored pencils, gift wrapping paper, garden twine, and all kinds of other random art supplies. Sticky pads also work like a charm to write something quickly and stick it in your child’s lunch pail.
An easy way to add a bit of fun to an ordinary lunch is to add a straw with a flag attached and a personalized message written on it. To make the flag use a piece of duct tape and cut out a flag shape.
Another great idea to brighten your child’s day is to wrap a special treat like a mini present. This works well with a brownie or cookie wrapped in parchment or wax paper and then tied with a ribbon, string, or twine around it. I might also attach a few leaves I find on a bay-leaf bush outside for a pretty ornamental touch.
To dress up a sandwich, try taking a piece of card stock and add your own creative flair to make it unique and special. I once used pink nail polish to make a little paper flower pop with color on my “love” note along with a parchment paper strip and pink streamers.
Try cutting a square piece of card stock in half and tape it together around a small cup to make it extra pretty. The decorative cut outs almost make a mini cup of carrots look like something out of a magazine.
My girls personally love it when I apologize in writing.
You don’t have to go to great lengths to add personalized decorative touches to your child’s lunches. However, if you do I can assure you it will not go unnoticed. And maybe, even for a day, you’re kids will show their appreciation by displaying your creative touches in their rooms- the ultimate mom compliment.