I have such a fondness for kid’s writing. The labored handwriting, the invented spelling, and the simple, lovely thoughts that are put to paper make my heart melt. With my kids, the goal has always been to have them feel comfortable with writing. From scribbles, to printing, to cursive, I have encouraged the expression of their thoughts. One of my favorite activities we have been doing for a long, long time is secret note writing. Our little notes have such a powerful effect on our connection as a family.
When my kids were smaller, it was mostly me, writing to them. But as they have gotten older, they tend to initiate more of the notes. It is not a routine, we’ll write back and forth for a few days, then stop for awhile. The lull gives us just enough time for the next note to feel special. I might ask a question or recognize an accomplishment, give some encouragement, or just say, “I love you”. A return note is not required but often received. I just treasure them so. The notes are such a great way for a simple, heart-felt connection.
We have a few special places to leave notes. The fabric heart shown above is an idea from Amanda Soule. It moves around to various doorknobs and hooks, with a note quietly waiting to be read. The menu clips make it easy to move notes around on tables and bookshelves. Even just a simple binder clip on a nail is a great place to hang a little love!
More ideas for writing notes:
Use a dry erase marker on the bathroom mirror.
Tuck a note under a pillow, in a shoe, or a pants pocket.
Sticky notes can be placed on walls, furniture, doors.
Turn a small notebook into a paired journal and write back and forth.
Lean a small (or large!)dry erase board by the front door for the whole family to enjoy.
The benefits of note writing are many – kids are practicing handwriting and expression, and putting empathy or gratitude into play. The whole family is connecting in small powerful ways.
Update two years later:Even now as my boys have gotten older, they often use writing to communicate their feelings. I often receive an apology via a special note. It can be easier to express big feelings with a simple note;they can help to ease the transition into a personal, “I’m sorry”.
Do you have a way to pass special messages to family members? I would love to hear about it!!