Lunch Notes and Lofty Quotes
"Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire." ~William Butler Yeats
When I was in grade school, my mother wrote a note on the napkin in my lunchbox every day. The notes were short and sweet---“I love you” or “You are my sunshine”---and never failed to make me smile.
I am in my 30’s now and my mother still writes me notes. On the morning of my oldest child’s first day of kindergarten, by chance I opened a can of coffee my mother had given me on our last visit. Inside the lid was a note that said “Good morning, I love you.” I live in Illinois and she is in Pennsylvania, but she was with me on that special day of motherhood. It was just a little post-it note, but it meant the world.
I now do the same for my daughter, who recently told me that she passes my lunch notes around to her classmates. I hope every one of them takes to heart the positive messages I send, the kind we all need..."You are awesome," "Enjoy your day," or simply, "Shine!"
The best advice from my mother was a reminder to tell my children every day: "Remember you are loved." ~ Evelyn McMormick
A heart, a smiley face, or an “I love you” is all it takes to brighten your child's day. Eco-conscious paper options could be the blank sides of used envelopes, junk mail, or other scrap paper. Below are some ideas for variety along with categorized collections of quotes. My only suggestion is to keep it entirely positive---no nagging reminders (write a separate note about bringing home their gym shoes!).
Your child will never forget how special you make them feel.
Tell them why you are proud of them:
-The yard looks much better. Thanks again for all of your help.
-You’ve been very responsible with your pet lately. I’m proud of you!
-Thanks for sharing so nicely with your little brother yesterday. You are a sweet big sister.
Comment on an outing or shared time:
-Great teamwork at the game yesterday.
-I can’t wait to hear you at the concert tonight.
-One week from today is your birthday!
Cartoons and stickers
Stickers are always fun. You can add a thought bubble to a sticker or draw your own little cartoon, and stick figures are just fine. The caption could be a token phrase from a favorite character. Think of something silly to make your child laugh!
Days of the week alliteration
-Have a marvelous, magnificent, majestic Monday.
-Try to have a truly terrific Tuesday.
-Wishing you a wondrous Wednesday.
-Think of the things this Thursday can bring.
-Fridays are friendly, fun, and fantastic. Or "T.G.I.F." (Thank Goodness It's Friday," which was my mom's stand-by.)
Include a phrase from your child’s favorite music or from a song that is special between you. My song for my mom is “Loves Me Like a Rock” by Paul Simon, so she often signs her cards to me with “Love you like a rock.”
Acrostic poem of their name
Talented basketball player
Makes great sandwiches
Silly joke teller
Treasury of Quotes
These notes are an opportunity to inspire your child, increase their vocabulary, and broaden their cultural horizons. Literary excerpts and quotes deliver messages eloquently, with the wisdom of other voices and experiences.
Topics can relate to activities or values. The categories below include Arts, Courage, Determination, Friendship, Happiness, Science, Self-confidence, and Sports.
Even small children are capable of understanding profound life lessons. They are on the front lines of learning how to interact with others and they affect every child they meet. Teach them well, for they will become our future leaders. Touch their hearts with lofty ideas and they will reflect them back to you!
Quotes used in the 1971 film "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"
"We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world forever, it seems."
"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world."
~Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." ~Scott Adams
“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ~ Berthold Auerbach
"Every artist was first an amateur." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Music is the universal language of mankind.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
“All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” ~Shakespeare
“Dance is the only art of which we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made.” ~Ted Shawn
"This world is but a canvas to our imagination." ~Henry David Thoreau
"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." ~ Vincent Van Gogh
"Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently." ~Maya Angelou
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” ~Albert Camus
"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." ~Nelson Mandela
"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." ~A.A. Milne
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." ~Anais Nin
"We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face...we must do that which we think we cannot." ~Eleanor Roosevelt
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
"A problem is a chance for you to do your best." ~Duke Ellington
“If you don't like something, change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.” ~Mary Engelbreit
“Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then... find the way.” ~Abraham Lincoln
"I do the very best I know how---the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end." ~Abraham Lincoln
“This thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down.” ~Mary Pickford
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.” ~Dr. Seuss
"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours." ~Henry David Thoreau
- George Washington Quotes
Choose quotes from someone your child is studying in school!
"Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend." ~Albert Camus
"My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me." ~Henry Ford
"A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same." ~Elbert Hubbard
"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be tried before you give them your confidence." ~George Washington
"It is better to be alone than in bad company." ~George Washington
"A friend is one who walks in when others walk out." ~Walter Winchell
"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." ~Oprah Winfrey
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” ~Marcus Aurelius
“It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” ~Dale Carnegie
“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
“Rules for Happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.” ~Immanuel Kant
“Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.” ~W.P. Kinsella
“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~Abraham Lincoln
“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” ~Dr. Seuss
“If you want to be happy, be.” ~Leo Tolstoy
“The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.” ~Mark Twain
"The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do." ~Sarah Ban Breathnach
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“ 'Hope' is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” ~Emily Dickinson
"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." ~Anatole France
"Dream in a pragmatic way." ~Aldous Huxley
“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.” ~Helen Keller
"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars---to change the world." ~Harriet Tubman
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but ‘That's funny...’ ” ~Isaac Asimov
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” ~Marie Curie
“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” ~Thomas Edison
“The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he's one who asks the right questions.” ~Charles Levi-Strauss
"Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world." ~Louis Pasteur
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ~Carl Sagan
"The science of today is the technology of tomorrow." ~Edward Teller
“Never dull your shine for somebody else.” ~Tyra Banks
“Respect yourself and others will respect you.” ~Confucius
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~e.e. cummings
“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” ~Judy Garland
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~Henry Stanley Ha
“Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss
"My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging." ~Hank Aaron
“The only way to prove that you're a good sport is to lose.” ~Ernie Banks
“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” ~Wayne Gretzky
"I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match." ~Mia Hamm
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." ~Michael Jordan
"Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game." ~Michael Jordan
"Champions keep playing until they get it right." ~Billie Jean King
"A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at." ~Bruce Lee
“We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time.” ~Vince Lombardi
“I want to be remembered as the guy who gave his all whenever he was on the field.” ~Walter Payton
“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” ~Babe Ruth
“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” ~Mike Singletary
"Practice puts brains in your muscles." ~Sam Snead
“The principle is competing against yourself. It's about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.” ~Steve Young
"An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head." ~Emil Zatopek
In the effort to give good and comforting answers to the young questioners whom we love, we very often arrive at good and comforting answers for ourselves.