Write Notes On Your Kid’s Back-To-School Pencils

When my son started kindergarten a few years ago, I vowed to myself to draw a cute little picture on his foil-wrapped sandwich every day. Just a little something to remind him of home, to let him know I was thinking of him, to make him smile or feel loved.

A heart. A smiley face. A dinosaur. Pumpkins, candy corn and ghosts around Halloween. Snowflakes, Santa hats and candy canes in the winter. A car, a beach scene, Mickey Mouse, and on and on. By March, I’d completely run out of ideas.

That’s why I love this idea that author Mary Katherine Backstrom posted on Instagram (initially written by Amanda Cox):

You can write sweet, encouraging notes that your kid will see over and over, every day. A reminder that you’re cheering them on without wondering if they’ll be able to tell that you meant to draw a dog, not a horse. Halfway through the school year, when all the pencils have been used up, broken or lost, you can ask them what their favourite phrases were and write those — plus a few new ones — on the next batch of pencils.

If you know your child will be able to keep and use their own pencils, you can make your messages personalised. But in some classrooms, the supplies are communal. You can still do this; another child in your kid’s classroom could probably use a reminder that “You are a star!” or “You are important.” Maybe you can still sneak a special one into your own kid’s pencil case that says, “I love you.”


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