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Lunchbox notes: Connect to your kids throughout the day

Lunchbox notes: Connect to your kids throughout the day

Lunchbox notes can be a great way to brighten your child’s school day. I share custody of my daughter with her mother, but for the past year years her mother has lived too far away for me to be able to take my daughter to school. When she lived closer, I loved everything about that …

Lunchbox notes are also a fun reminder that communication isn't limited...

Lunchbox notes can be a great way to brighten your child’s school day. I share custody of my daughter with her mother, but for the past year years her mother has lived too far away for me to be able to take my daughter to school. When she lived closer, I loved everything about that trip in the morning, even if it meant I had to fight through both sides of rush hour. At her first school, each child was dropped off in the school auditorium, and onstage the drum team would be banging away. It was impossible to stay sleepy with a heavy drum beat that early in the morning.

Still, my daughter was bored at school—she had already skipped a grade, but going any further would have had negative social impact—so her mother and I tried to figure out ways to keep her engaged throughout the day. Like any kid, my daughter loved lunchtime and recess. Her mother is a very talented artist and would put drawings in her lunch box (sometimes my daughter would sell or trade them for a treat from another student). I also did that—although not as creatively as this father who has documented the daily notes he puts in his child’s lunch; my drawings were terrible, but that was part of their charm.

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As my daughter grew older, she began to showcase a talent for sculpting. She liked to mold her own toys out of polymer clay. I included some poly clay in her lunch, so that when she was done she could sculpt something. Parents can include art supplies or instructions for a craft in a lunchbox as an added treat for your child so that art doesn’t just become associated with “Art Class.”

Lunchbox notes are also a fun reminder that communication isn’t limited to emails or text messages. It takes time to grab a pen and write something down on a piece of paper, leaving a tangible message that literally travels from your hand to your child’s. It’s a subtle way to make a connection to your child in spite of hectic work schedules and extracurricular activities, which may keep family time at a minimum.

And the practice catches on down the road. My daughter, now 12, learned how to make origami birds. When her grandmother took a new job that required her to get up at four in the morning every day, she would find a new origami bird in her lunch bag…from my daughter.

Do you pack notes in your child’s lunch?

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