Ways to Say ‘I Love You’
Creative Ideas to Show Your Child You Care,
Day and Any Day of the Year
February 2004, Online article
Are you looking for some fun, creative ways to tell your child ‘I
love you’ this Valentine’s Day? Find plenty of great
ideas here to use 365 days a year.
A heart a day….
Buy a package of small heart shaped candies, and put one in your
child’s lunch box every day of the school year. Don’t
forget to stock up during after-Valentine’s Day sales so
you won’t run out.
Heart shaped lunch
Use a large, heart shaped cookie cutter to make heart-shaped sandwiches,
toast, and other treats. Not only will your kids love the shape,
they’ll appreciate you’ve eliminated the crust.
A cupful of love
Give your child a “World’s Greatest Son/Daughter” or “I
Love You” cup, and then use it throughout the year when you
serve hot cocoa or graham crackers and milk.
Plan a surprise lunch date, and pick up your child from school.
Hit her favorite fast-food joint, go on a picnic, or have lunch
together in the school cafeteria. (If you choose the latter, make
sure your child won’t mind. Depending on your child’s
age, this could be a social no-no.)
THE WRITTEN WORD
A poet and didn’t know-it
You don’t have to be a poet to write a poem for your child.
If poetry isn’t your thing, look up simple children’s
rhymes, and make revisions that your child will enjoy. They can
be serious or fun, but either way, your child will love it.
A valentine welcome
Welcome your child home from school with a valentine banner across
your front porch or entryway. Include cute sayings that remind
him why he’s the greatest son, create fun sentences by clipping
words from magazine ads, and add some valentine doodles.
Snail mail surprise
Kids love to receive mail, so why not send your child a card, letter,
or postcard? And don’t forget to have him check and sort
the mail to discover the greeting himself.
Say it with email
Send your child an email with a link to a fun website or a funny
animated e-greeting. With tons of entertaining websites and many
that offer free e-greetings, you can send your child something
new every day of the year.
Wish your child a “Happy Valentine’s Day,” congratulate
him on a great report card, or show how much you appreciate his
help with a scrabble message. For younger readers, spell out a
simple phrase leaving a space between the words. For older kids,
make them figure out your greeting. Intersect the words as you
would in playing the game, and see if they can solve the message.
C is for….
Make a poster that portrays your child’s characteristics.
Put her name at the top, and then list as many positive descriptive
words as you can that begin with her initial. Use a thesaurus for
oodles of words. (Example: Cassandra, cute, caring, creative, crafty,
curious.) When you finish, laminate or frame it, and hang it in
Give your child a poetry book written just for sons and daughters.
To My Son with Love or To My Daughter with Love on the Important
Things in Life, written by Susan Polis Schultz, offer encouragement
and a new understanding of your love and commitment. Don’t
forget to include your inscription inside.
DO IT TOGETHER
Love is silly
One thing kids love and do best is act silly, so loosen up and
join in the fun. If being silly isn’t your style, take a
few lessons from your child, and practice up. Letting loose is
a great way to de-stress and to let your child know he’s
fun to be around.
A gift of time
For today’s busy parents, finding time to read to or play
with your child isn’t always easy. Fortunately, the quality,
rather than the quantity, of time is what matters most. Show your
child you care by setting aside a few minutes each day to talk,
read, or play together, and you’ll both reap the rewards.
A class connection
As kids grow, time together becomes increasingly rare. Decide with
your adolescent on an activity or hobby that the two of you would
enjoy together. Then sign up for a class or set a regular schedule
for the activity, and mark it on your calendar. Treat it just as
you would any other commitment, and don’t let daily life
A trip down memory lane
Flip through photo albums or watch family videos together, and
reminisce about the great holidays, vacations, and family times
Buy tickets to a concert, ice show, or sporting event that your
kids have been dying to see, but don’t tell them about it. On the day of the event,
say that you’re going out to dinner or some other concoction, and then
catch them by surprise when you arrive at your true destination.
Make a date
Plan a regular date with your child for some one-on-one time. This works especially
well for families with more than one child. Each parent should take a turn
with each child, then go out for lunch or supper, play putt-putt golf, take
in a movie, go roller-skating, or spend the afternoon at the park. Set a regular
schedule so your child can look forward to your dates together.
GIFTS FROM THE HEART
Flowers for her
Cut fresh flowers for your daughter, and liven her room.
Race cars for him
Clip sports cars from magazines for your son, and post them on a bulletin board
in his room.
Engrave your thoughts
Engrave a necklace or bracelet for your child, and include his name, your sentiments,
and who it’s from.
Van Gogh in the making
Sift through your child’s art collection, and select a piece to display.
Then matte, frame, and hang it in a room, other than your child’s, for
everyone to see.
Photos say a thousand words
Choose several photos of your child from infancy through the present, then
use paper-edgers, and trim them into different sizes and shapes. Overlap and
tape them to the backing of a frame using double-sided tape, then add matting,
and frame the collage.
It’s in the wrapping
Don’t wait for a special occasion to give your child a gift. Kids love
presents, so the next time you pick up something for your child, wrap it as
a surprise. Don’t forget the ribbon (so it takes longer to unwrap), and
include a small gift card that says how much you appreciate her.
Put together a memory scrapbook of your child. Use photos, locks of hair, vacation
postcards, and ticket stubs. Dedicate each page to a special holiday, event,
or theme. Include dates and any details you remember, along with cute sayings
and stickers to fit the themes.
Kimberly Blaker of Michigan writes for parenting and women's magazines
across the United States and in Canada. Write her at KimberlyBlaker@chartermi.net